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Benefits of Whey & Flaxseed

By Skyler White

Many dietary supplements contain whey and flaxseed. Whey is the liquid byproduct of curdled milk. Flaxseeds are brown or golden seeds from the flax plant. Both whey and flaxseeds are considered beneficial additions to a healthy diet, and combining them can compound their health benefits.

Protein Sources

Both whey and flaxseed contain protein. Whey is relatively low in the actual amount of protein, with about 0.9 g per 100 g, but has a high utilization coefficient. The utilization coefficient defines how effectively your body uses consumed proteins. Despite whey's low protein content, your body can utilize whey protein significantly better than the protein in milk, eggs or meat.

Ground flaxseed yields 2.8 g of protein per 14 g, which is about 20 percent, and contains all nine essential amino acids. Whey contains eight amino acids.

Help Control Diabetes

Both whey and flaxseed may help to regulate blood sugar, which is beneficial for diabetics. The oil in flaxseed may act to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels in diabetics, as well as prevent blood sugar spikes. Type 2 diabetics, however, usually have a problem metabolizing the alpha-linolenic acid present in flaxseed, which can lower cholesterol and triglycerides. In this case, flaxseed may be ineffective. Whey protein or nonfat and low-fat dairy products can encourage weight loss and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. Whey protein in particular, may also curb the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar by slowing down their absorption.

Source of Fiber and Minerals

Flaxseed is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids that are essential in brain function and development, and in the prevention of heart disease. Every 2 tbsp. of ground flaxseed contains 5.4 g of dietary fiber, which can help lower cholesterol and prevent arterial disease. The seeds are also rich in manganese, magnesium, folate, copper, phosphorus and vitamin B-6.

Although whey doesn't contain fiber, it does have a variety of essential minerals, including potassium, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, phosphorous, calcium and magnesium. These compounds coupled with the whey's protein make it an excellent addition to a low-fat, healthy diet.

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