Although yogurt is already packed with numerous essential nutrients that your body needs daily, adding flaxseed to yogurt provides nutrients you won't get from eating yogurt alone. Sprinkling flaxseed in yogurt may even help reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases. However, adding flaxseed to yogurt also increases its calorie content.
Combining low-fat yogurt with flaxseeds provides you with a good mix of protein, carbs and healthy fats that you don't get by eating just yogurt or flaxseeds. Yogurt is rich in protein, carbohydrates, calcium, phosphorous, potassium and B vitamins, whereas flaxseed is high in fiber and unsaturated fatty acids -- especially the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. Adding just 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds provides about 2 grams of ALA, which exceeds daily ALA requirements for men and women, according to the Institute of Medicine.
Protein and fiber are nutrients that boost satiety, making you feel full for longer periods of time without consuming extra calories. Yogurt is rich in protein, and flaxseeds are loaded with fiber. Therefore, sprinkling flaxseed on yogurt boosts satiety more than eating yogurt alone. Eating a combination of flaxseed and low-fat yogurt is an excellent way to control your hunger -- and overall calorie intake -- for healthy weight management.
Reduced Disease Risks
Given the high omega-3 and fiber content of flaxseed, adding it to yogurt may help reduce your risk for developing chronic diseases. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that ALA-rich flaxseeds may help reduce high blood cholesterol levels, your risk for heart attack and stroke and possibly your risk of developing cancer. The University of Maryland Medical Center also notes that flaxseed may help improve symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and mood disturbances. The probiotics found in yogurt are beneficial for digestive health and may help treat diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome.
Adding flaxseed to yogurt does slightly increase your calorie intake. One tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains 37 calories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. However, because the same 1-tablespoon portion of flaxseed contains 2 grams of dietary fiber, not of all the calories in flaxseed are digested and absorbed by your body. Using flaxseed in moderation as part of a well-balanced meal plan is unlikely to lead to weight gain.
- Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes: Macronutrients
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 26: Basic Report: 12220, Seeds, Flaxseed
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Flaxseed
- Harvard Medical School: Health Benefits of Taking Probiotics