Flaxseeds are an incredibly rich source of micronutrients, dietary fibre, manganese, vitamin B1, antioxidants and healthy including the omega-3 fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid (LA).
Flaxseed is rich in both soluble and insoluble fibres. These are both incredibly beneficial to our health and play essential roles in lowering cholesterol and maintaining healthy glucose levels, as well as maintaining a healthy digestive tract. It is one of the only foods that are so high in both forms of fibre, which makes the flaxseed and its benefits incredibly unique. Soluble fibre is dissolved in water to form a gel-like substance that is responsible for lowering blood cholesterol and glucose levels, which overall can help to maintaining a healthy heart. The insoluble fibre however, absorbs water and adds bulk to your digestive tract, allowing healthy digestion and intestines.
Omega-3 fatty acids:
Omega-3 fatty acids are known as “good fats” and “essential acids” that our bodies cannot manufacture them, therefore we must consume them in our diets to gain their benefits. The 2 fatty acids found within flaxseed are alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid. Together, these fatty acids have been shown to be a key force against inflammation that plays a part in many chronic diseases including heart disease, arthritis, asthma, diabetes and even some forms of cancer.
Flaxseed is high in phytochemicals, including antioxidants and is considered to be one of the best sources of lignans. Lignans convert in the intestines into estrogen-like chemical compounds with antioxidant qualities (meaning they have the ability to eliminate free radical damage). There is evidence to suggest that lignans balance the female hormones and may promote fertility, reduce menopausal symptoms and possibly help to prevent breast cancer.
Flaxseeds also contain:
- Monounsaturated fat
- Polyunsaturated fat
- Vitamin B1, B3, B5 and C