The tiny seed that tackles high blood sugar and belly fat

When you’re trying to lose weight and balance your blood sugar, you must face a sad truth…

Your microbiome might be working against you.

Research shows that certain strains of gut bacteria can make it harder to lose weight. They can also impact the amount of sugar in your blood.

So, if you’re unlucky enough to have the wrong bacteria in your belly when you’re trying to make major changes to your weight and health, you could be fighting a losing battle.

But don’t worry too much. There are things you can do to get the bacteria in your body back on your side…

Like eating this seed…

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Flaxseed fights fat and high blood sugar through the microbiome

A new study published in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism found that good old fashioned flaxseed makes mice less prone to obesity and improves their metabolic health by changing their microbiome.

In the study, researchers fed mice one of four different diets: a standard diet, a high-fat diet, a high-fat diet that contained 10 percent indigestible cellulose fiber, and a high-fat diet that contained 10 percent flaxseed fiber.

At the end of the 12-week study, mice who ate flaxseed had high levels of healthy bacteria in their guts, better blood sugar control and less weight gain than mice in other groups. They were also more active and had higher levels of beneficial fatty acids.

Why was it so beneficial?

Well, it contains lots of fiber. And based on this study, that fiber ferments in the gut, which changes the microbiota and increases beneficial fatty acids. These changes slow the production of fat tissue in the body and improve immune function, among other things.

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Fitting more flaxseed into your diet

The good news is, if you eat flaxseed to improve your blood sugar and weight, it will improve your health in other ways too. It can enhance prostate health, lower high cholesterol, relieve constipation, balance hormones, reduce dry eye syndrome, ease arthritis and more.

Ground flaxseed is easier to digest than the whole seed, so make sure to buy it pre-ground or grind it yourself in a coffee grinder or food processor.

There are plenty of easy ways to add more to your diet. You don’t need to find special recipes (unless you want to) because you can add it to many of the things you’re already eating. Start by adding a tablespoon of flaxseed to things like:

  • Hot or cold breakfast cereal
  • Yogurt parfaits
  • Smoothies
  • Baked goods like cookies, muffins and breads (you can add more flaxseed to these depending on how big of a batch you’re making. Usually about a ¼ cup)
  • Mayonnaise or mustard when you’re making a sandwich (a teaspoon should do the trick for this)

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  1. Flaxseed fiber ferments in gut to improve health, reduce obesity — MedicalXpress
  2. Microbial fermentation of flaxseed fibers modulates the transcriptome of GPR41-expressing enteroendocrine cells and protects mice against diet-induced obesityAmerican Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism
  3. Does ground flaxseed have more health benefits than whole flaxseed? — Mayo Clinic
  4. How intestinal bacteria can affect your blood sugar and lipid levels — Kumamoto University
  5. Do gut bacteria inhibit weight loss? — Harvard Health Publishing
Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine,, and