Lose Fat, Have More Energy And More!
What is Flax Seed?
Flax seeds are a great source of fibre, lignans, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. We will examine each of these nutrients.
Flax seeds are an excellent source of fibre. They contain both soluble and insoluble fibre. They also contain a special fibre called mucilage. Mucilage helps stabilise blood sugar levels and is a natural laxative.
Dietary fibre is important because it keeps the digestive system functioning properly. It enhances our body’s ability to use other dietary nutrients. Fibre goes through our digestive tract almost completely undigested. Once it reaches the colon and/or the large intestine, fibre is then broken down.
Dieting lacking sufficient fibre can lead to:
- Chronic Constipation (That can’t be fun)
- Weight Control problems
Lignans are natural plant chemicals. Flax seeds are the richest source of lignans. Lignans boost the productions of a substance attached to oestrogen and carry it out of the body.
Researchers also believe lignans to have antioxidant properties. Flax seed has 75 to 800 percent more lignans than other vegetables and grains! Making flax seed worth the investment.
Vitamins and Minerals
The vitamins and minerals found in flax seeds are zinc, iron, vitamin E, carotene, B-group vitamins, magnesium, calcium, sulphur, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, silicon, copper, nickel, molybdenum, chromium, and cobalt.
For every 100 grammes of flax seeds, you get about 25-30 grammes of protein, which is great considering the other nutrients you get along with this.
Flax seed is one of the best sources for the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid. Alpha-linolenic acid is so important for bodybuilders because it “enhances insulin sensitivity within muscle cells.” (1) This omega-3 fatty acid also has many other beneficial effects:
Those are just some of the beneficial effect of Omega-3. Omega-3’s are sometimes defined as “anti-fats”. This is due to their ability to speed up the metabolic process and aid in fat loss.
So What Does All of This Mean For Bodybuilders?
- Reduced Body Fat
- Enhanced Performance
- Shortened recovery time
- Good source of energy
- Reduced muscle soreness
- Increased utilisation of oxygen
- Increased utilisation of other nutrients
- Overall better health
- And what do all of those lead to? MORE MUSCLE!
Seed vs. Oil
Most of the nutrients are contains in the flax seed. So from a nutritional standpoint, flax seeds are the way to go. BUT, the flax seed oil gives you a concentrated source of the “good” fats we are looking for. Which would give the oil an edge?
The solution… Use them BOTH! By using both the seeds and oil, you get all the nutrients, fibre, lignans, protein, and fat.
How to Use Flax Seed
If using the seeds, make sure the seeds are milled, ground up. Otherwise, you won’t be able to absorb them. You can add the ground up seeds to cereal, salads, protein shakes, rice, or just eat them plain. You can add the oil to other liquid drinks, or just drink it straight. A good plan is using 1-2 TBSP of the ground flax seed and 1/2 TBSP Oil in the morning and before bed. Also, use 1 TBSP of oil with 1 other meal during the day. You want to get 1-3 TBSPs a day.
So what are you waiting for? Starting flaxing.