For centuries, linseed seeds or flaxseeds have been valued for their health protection properties. Nowadays flaxseeds are emerging as a “superfood” as more scientific research indicates that it has excellent health benefits.
Here are 10 health benefits of flaxseed that are supported by science.
1. Linseed contains a lot of nutrients
Cultivated since the beginning of civilisation, flaxseed is one of the oldest crops. There are two types, brown and gold, that are equally nutritious.
Typical portion size is 1 tablespoon (7 g) for ground linseed.
One tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains the following:
- Protein: 3% of the RDA
- Carbohydrates: 1% of the RDA
- Fibres: 8% of the ADH
- Saturated fat: 1% of the ADH
- Monounsaturated fat: 0.5 g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 2.0 grams
- Omega 3 fatty acids: 1597 mg
- Vitamin B1: 8% of the RDA
- Vitamin B6: 2% of the RDA
- Folic acid: 2% of the ADH
- Calcium: 2% of the RDA
- Iron: 2% of the ADH
- Magnesium: 7% of the ADH
- Phosphorus: 4% of the RDA
- Potassium: 2% of the RDA
Only one tablespoon has the right amount of protein, fibre and omega 3 fatty acids, besides being a rich source of certain vitamins and minerals.
2. Linseed is rich in omega 3 fats
If you are a vegetarian or do not eat fish, flax seeds can be your first origin of omega-3 fats. They are a rich beginning of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a mainly vegetable-based omega-3 fatty acid.
3. Linseed is a rich source of lignans, which can lower the risk of cancer
Lignans are plant compounds with antioxidant and estrogenic properties, both of which can help to reduce the risk of cancer and improve health. Interestingly, flaxseed contains up to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods. Studies show that those eating flaxseeds are less at risk of breast cancer, especially after menopause.
According to a Canadian study with more than 6,000 women, those who eat flaxseed have 18% less chance of developing breast cancer. Nonetheless, the evidence to date indicates that flaxseed is a potentially valuable food in the fight against various cancers.
4. Linseed is rich in dietary fibre
Only one tablespoon of flaxseed contains 3 grams of fibre, which is 8-12% of the recommended daily allowance for men and women. Also, linseed contains two types of dietary fibre – soluble (20-40%) and insoluble (60-80%).
5. Linseed can improve cholesterol
Another benefit for the health of flaxseed is their capacity to reduce cholesterol levels. In one research in people with high cholesterol levels. The daily consumption of 3 tablespoons (30 grams) flaxseed powder for three months. It reduced total cholesterol by 17% and “bad” LDL cholesterol by almost 20 %.
6. Linseed can lower blood pressure
Studies on linseed are also focused on the natural ability to lower blood pressure. A Canadian study found that eating 30 grams of flaxseed daily for six months reduced blood pressure.
For those already using blood pressure medication, linseed reduced blood pressure also number of patients also decreased with uncontrolled high blood pressure.
7. They contain high-quality proteins
Linseed is an excellent source of plant protein, and there is growing interest in linseed protein and its health benefits. Linseed protein is rich in the amino acids arginine, aspartic acid and glutamic acid. Numerous laboratory and animal studies have shown that linseed protein improved immune function, lowered cholesterol, prevented tumours and antifungal properties.
8. Linseed can help to improve blood sugar levels
Type 2 diabetes is the primary health problem worldwide. High blood sugar levels identify it due to the inability of the body to secrete insulin or resistance to it. This blood sugar lowering effect is mainly due to the insoluble fibre content of the flaxseed.
Research has shown that insoluble fibre slows the release of sugar in the blood and reduces the blood sugar level. All in all, linseed can be a beneficial and nutritious supplement to the diet of people with diabetes.
9. Linseed can stimulate weight loss
If you have a tendency to snack between meals, consider adding linseeds to your drink to avoid feelings of hunger. In one study, the addition of 25 grams of ground flaxseed in a drink reduced feelings of hunger and general appetite. The sentiments of reduced hunger were probably due to the soluble fibre content of flaxseed. It slows gastrointestinal digestion, creating a large number of hormones that control appetite and make you feel full.
The dietary fibre content of flaxseed can support weight control by suppressing hunger and increasing feelings of fullness.
10. Linseed is a versatile ingredient
Linseed or flaxseed oil can be added to many common foods.
Try the following:
- Add to water and drink as part of your daily fluid intake.
- Add flaxseed oil as a dressing on the salad Sprinkle with ground flaxseed over your hot or cold breakfast cereals
- Mixing ground flax seeds in your favourite yoghurt
- Adding ground flaxseed in biscuit, muffin, bread or other baking products.
- Mixing ground flaxseed in smoothies.
- Add ground linseed as a substitute for egg. Add linseed to meat patties.