What are the Health and Nutrition Benefits of Flaxseed?
You’ve probably heard of flaxseed. Although gaining in popularity only recently, this superfood is actually one of the oldest crops in the world. Its reputation is built on its versatility and the numerous health benefits it offers. There are two types of flaxseed: golden and brown; both have the same health properties.
What Makes Flaxseed So Nutritious?
Much of the nutritional value of flaxseed comes from the omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, and fiber found in it. In each tablespoon of ground flaxseed, you can expect the following:
Protein: 1.3 grams
Carbohydrates: 2 grams
Fiber: 1.9 grams
Total fat: 3 grams
Saturated fat: 0.3 grams
Monounsaturated fat: 0.5 grams
Polyunsaturated fat: 2 grams
Omega-3 fatty acids: 1,597 mg
Vitamin B1: 8% of the RDI
Vitamin B6: 2% of the RDI
Folate: 2% of the RDI
Calcium: 2% of the RDI
Iron: 2% of the RDI
Magnesium: 7% of the RDI
Phosphorus: 4% of the RDI
Potassium: 2% of the RDI
With so much goodness packed into such a small portion, it’s no surprise that many people turn to flaxseed to meet their dietary needs.
The Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a major component of flaxseed, and one of the primary health benefits. For people who are vegetarian or who don’t eat fish, flaxseed is the perfect alternative source of this vital nutrient. These fatty acids can help the body perform a wide variety of functions, and can help to:
Reduced risk of stroke
Reduced risk of heart attack
Lower risk of heart disease
Lower risk of other heart diseases
What are Lignans?
You may not be familiar with the name ‘lignans’, but this is simply the term for a plant compound that includes estrogen and antioxidant properties. Both of these components can help lower the risk of cancer, in particular breast cancer, colon cancer, and a variety of skin cancers. Flaxseed contains 800 times more lignans than other plant foods, so it makes a great addition to any diet.
Importance of Fiber
A healthy amount of fiber promotes digestive health. Flaxseed has a high proportion of fiber compared to other foods, and it contains two important types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. This combination creates healthier bowel movements.
Flaxseed certainly packs a punch when it comes to health and nutrition, and luckily it can easily be added to many recipes. Honeyville also sells flaxseed meal and whole flaxseed. Start adding a daily dose of flaxseed to your diet, and relish the many health benefits you’ll enjoy!