Reduce Belly Fat With This Seed

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Excess belly fat is not only uncomfortable -- it's associated with heart disease, inflammation, insulin resistance and other chronic diseases. Adding this seed to your daily meals is a simple way to target abdominal obesity

Need to eliminate stubborn belly fat? You may be thinking in terms of what to cut from your diet, but it may be time to switch gears. Adding flaxseed -- an annual herb rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), fiber, and lignans -- may be key to reducing belly fat and maintaining a flat stomach.

Flaxseed, also known as linseed, has been cultivated since 5000 BC. It's long been prized for its laxative effects,[i] as it contains mucilage, a gummy substance that expands and forms a gel when mixed with water. In addition to adding bulk to your stool and helping the process of elimination,[ii] flaxseed mucilage has been found to reduce body weight in overweight and obese individuals.[iii]

However, there's far more to flaxseed's fat-busting potential than mucilage alone. Promising studies highlight its potential for targeting belly fat and central obesity, in particular.

This is important, since an accumulation of fat in the abdominal area, especially visceral fat -- the type that's deep in your body, often wrapped around your liver, intestines and other organs -- is strongly associated with insulin resistance, systemic inflammation, heart disease, metabolic syndrome and cancer.[iv]

Flaxseed Reduces Midsection Fat

Consuming 30 grams of milled flaxseed a day along with a balanced diet may help you shed dangerous fat around your abdomen, according to research published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice.[v] The study included 60 overweight or obese women, who consumed flaxseed or milled rice along with a balanced diet for 12 weeks.

A significantly higher reduction in waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio occurred in the flaxseed group than the rice group. Further, adiponectin levels significantly increased in the flaxseed group compared to the control.

Adiponectin is an adipokine that acts as a regulator of several metabolic reactions. Adiponectin has beneficial effects on metabolism, oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, inflammation and more.[vi] It's thought that one way flaxseed helps reduce visceral fat and lower the risk of obesity is by increasing adiponectin concentration.[vii]

Further, flaxseed's rich content of alpha-linolenic acid may be involved in increasing adiponectin,[viii] among other benefits. ALA has anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic (reduces the formation of blood clots) and antiarrhythmic effects and is known to deposit in fat tissue, where it affects tissue function and adipokine secretion.[ix]

Flaxseed Decreases Waist Circumference

In a study involving overweight or obese children and adolescents, consuming flaxseed led to a decrease in appetite and waist circumference after four weeks. It also had the beneficial effect of improving mental fatigue.[x] A review of clinical trials also highlighted flaxseed's potential as a "promising candidate" for controlling body weight, waist circumference and body mass.[xi]

Further, in a systematic review and meta-analysis of 45 trials, consuming flaxseed was associated with a significant reduction in body weight, particularly when using whole flaxseed in doses of 30 grams per day or more for 12 weeks or longer. "Whole flaxseed is a good choice for weight management particularly for weight reduction in overweight and obese participants," the researchers concluded.[xii]

In addition to lower body weight and body mass index, those consuming flaxseed had reduced waist circumference. Flaxseed's high concentration of lignans, primarily secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG), is likely responsible for some of its belly fat-reducing prowess.

Flaxseed contains more than 100 times more SDG than most other foods, according to research in Obesity Reviews, and SDG has been shown to reduce abdominal fat in mice. They added, "SDG may also be useful in regulating adiponectin levels and can prevent or reduce obesity through increased fat oxidation in skeletal muscle."[xiii]

Flaxseed even helps remove fat from the liver, as it's been found to improve hepatic steatosis, or the buildup of fat in the liver (fatty liver disease).[xiv]

Flaxseed Benefits 140+ Diseases

Our flaxseed research database contains 141 diseases that flaxseed may be useful for. Beyond belly fat, this includes:

Breast cancer

High blood pressure

Metabolic syndrome

Heart disease


Dry skin

Oxidative stress

Endothelial dysfunction

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Flaxseed can be added to oatmeal, yogurt, kefir or smoothies, used in baking or sprinkled on salads or soups. You can also mix it in with meatballs and hamburgers. Keep in mind that flaxseed is high in fat, which means it may go rancid quickly. However, whole flaxseeds are difficult to digest and may pass through your digestive tract whole, before you've had a chance to reap all their nutritional benefits.

Ideally, flaxseed should be ground before eating, but if you purchase pre-ground seeds, they may go bad before you eat them. To get all the health benefits and ensure your flaxseed stays fresh, purchase whole seeds and grind them in a coffee grinder or blender right before you eat them. If you grind more than you need, store any extra in the refrigerator to keep them fresh longer.

Flaxseeds are easy to add to your diet on a daily basis, but they're not the only option to tackle belly fat. We've compiled additional research on natural interventions to reduce belly fat, which include dark chocolate, coconut oil, acupuncture and more. Our abdominal obesity research database also contains 51 substances that may help you shed midsection fat, from vitamin D and turmeric to green tea and grapefruit seed oil.


[i] Obes Facts 2022;15:395-404

[ii] Mount Sinai, Flaxeed

[iii] Obes Facts 2022;15:395-404

[iv] Circulation. 2008;117:1658-1667

[v] Int J Clin Pract. 2021 Oct;75(10):e14592. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.14592. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

[vi] Int J Clin Pract. 2021 Oct;75(10):e14592. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.14592. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

[vii] Int J Clin Pract. 2021 Oct;75(10):e14592. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.14592. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

[viii] Int J Clin Pract. 2021 Oct;75(10):e14592. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.14592. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

[ix] Int J Clin Pract. 2021 Oct;75(10):e14592. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.14592. Epub 2021 Jul 12.

[x] Br J Nutr. 2021 Jul 14;126(1):151-159. doi: 10.1017/S0007114520003888. Epub 2020 Oct 8.

[xi] Comb Chem High Throughput Screen. 2020;23(8):699-722.

[xii] Obes Rev. 2017 Sep;18(9):1096-1107.

[xiii] Obes Rev. 2017 Sep;18(9):1096-1107.

[xiv] Eur J Clin Nutr. 2021 Jan;75(1):99-111. doi: 10.1038/s41430-020-0679-3. Epub 2020 Jul 9.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
Sayer Ji
Founder of

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