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6 Incredible Health Benefits of Flax Seed

It's a tiny change you can make to your diet that potentially has big results.

In order to maximize your efforts in the gym, you're going to want to make sure you're always getting enough quality protein from your kitchen. Don't forget the often-ignored fiber; it could help your weight loss efforts, too, and that's where flaxseed comes in. Flaxseed is a quality source of important dietary staples like protein and fiber, and it's available as tablets, powder, or oil, so there are plenty of ways to make sure you're getting to experience the health benefits of flaxseed.

However, its status as a protein and fiber source is far from its only impressive qualities. Here are six of the best health benefits of flaxseed.

Flaxseed lowers blood pressure

Roughly one in three Americans (75 million) has high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A normal blood pressure reading is 120 over 80, so if you find you consistently exceed these numbers, it's time to visit your physician. Flaxseed oil, though, should be able to help, according to Greek researchers. In their 12-week study of 59 middle-aged men, they discovered that consumption of this oil resulted in significantly lowered blood pressure readings. This little addition to your daily diet may save yourself—literally—from the headaches associated with hypertension.

Flaxseed fights tumors

Nothing highlights muscle quite like a tan, but there's a skin cancer risk no matter what type of sun rays you're used to. So if you're lucky enough to be in a warmer climate, and the sun constantly calls to you, apply sunscreen and, please, forget indoor tanning if you haven't already; research has proven just how damaging that is. Adding flaxseed to your daily diet might help reduce the risk of developing tumors. Omaha researchers found in a study that mice receiving 10% flaxseed supplementation developed as much as 63 percent fewer tumors than those that didn't get the seed.

Flaxseed lifts your mood

It's no secret that depression hurts, and every moment of your day can be impacted by it. There are plenty of antidepressants that doctors may prescribe, and while there is nothing wrong with taking medication to help stabilize your mood, a simple dietary addition of flaxseed may also prove to be useful, according to a Japanese study. The study found that significant depression levels frequently went hand in hand with lower levels of docosahexaenoic and eicosapentanoic acids (found in various foods including fish, walnuts, and flax) in patients.

RELATED: Your guide to the anti-inflammatory diet that heals your gut, slows the signs of aging, and helps you lose weight.

Flaxseed slashes your risk of liver disease

Are you living a healthy and fit lifestyle, yet still can't shake the alcohol consumption? While having a drink here or there isn't going to kill you, excessive drinking is putting yourself at great risk, especially when it comes to liver disease. Fortunately, there may be a way to decrease the risk factors involved with liver disease. Research conducted on 30 men found that those receiving flaxseed lignan capsules effectively reduced their liver disease risk factors. They concluded that a 100 mg supplementation could be beneficial.

Flaxseed keeps your cholesterol in check

Are you suffering from high cholesterol? Left untreated, your arteries could become clogged, leading to a heart attack or stroke. Flaxseed can help though, according to studies. Interestingly enough, though, it only has the ability to lower the cholesterol of men, according to Iowa State University researchers. So, while they caution that it cannot match the cholesterol-lowering effects of prescription medication, if you're looking for a drug-free, relatively inexpensive way to treat your problem, consider taking flaxseed lignan tablets or sprinkling some ground flaxseed overtop of your meals. Plus, any heart-healthy boost of nutrients helps.

Flaxseed blocks cancer cell formation

There were an estimated 1,735,350 new cases of cancer to be diagnosed in the United States in 2018, according to the National Cancer Institute, so it's no wonder researchers continue to intensely search for ways to combat it. Flaxseed appears to significantly reduce cancer cell creation rates, according to one such study of 161 pre-surgery prostate cancer patients. How does it work? It's likely because flaxseed has the ability to disrupt the events leading to cancerous cell production. Plus, studies have shown that flaxseeds can play a role in reducing the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.

Courtesy of Men's Fitness

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