Nutrition

Why Eat: Flaxseed

April 20, 2017

Confused between flaxseed and linseed? Well they are the exact same thing and have a ton of health benefits and reasons why you should eat them.

Flax is an often overlooked seed that should be incorporated in your diet as much as possible. The benefits of flax have been pretty well researched and it should definitely be featuring on your next shopping list.

Polyunsaturated fat is one of the stand out nutrients for flax and is more commonly known as an omega 3 fatty acid. Just to give you an example, 100g salmon will give you 2.539g of omega 3’s and just one tablespoon of flaxseed will give you 2.011g, making it one of the best plant based sources of omega 3 fatty acids.

What exactly are the health benefits of eating flaxseed?

Flax is full of the good stuff and studies support the following benefits:

Reduce Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is associated with cardiovascular diseases and flax can help to reduce blood pressure, therefore decreasing risk of heart disease.

Fibre

One tablespoon of flax provides 1.9g of your daily fibre requirements (25g/day females and 30g/day males). Flax is made up of both soluble and insoluble fibres helping to alleviate constipation and improve gut health.

Reduce Cholesterol

Flax can help to reduce LDL cholesterol levels (that’s the bad one) and this is helped by the fibre content of flaxseed. There is also zero cholesterol content in flax.

Reduce Stress

With its high levels of omega 3, studies have shown that flaxseed can decrease cortisol levels playing a part in stress reduction.

Want to eat more flaxseed?

A little flax goes a long way and you can find it in all good supermarkets and health food stores and its usually hiding in the health food aisle of most major supermarkets.

It is best to buy ground flax because whole seeds pass through undigested meaning you won’t get the benefit of all the nutrients.

Flax is easily added to smoothies, porridge and breakfast cereals and here are a couple of recipes that have some flax love in them to get you started:

Key Nutrition Information

  • Protein: 1.28g
  • Carbohydrates: 2.02g
  • Fibre: 1.9g
  • Calcium: 18mg (more calcium than a 100g salmon fillet)
  • Magnesium: 27 mg
  • Phosphorus: 45 mg
  • Potassium: 57mg
  • Zinc: 0.30 mg
  • Thiamin (B1): 0.115
  • Riboflavin (B2): 0.011mg
  • Niacin (B3): 0.216
  • B6: 0.033 mg
  • Folate (B9): 6ug
  • Polyunsaturated fats: 2.011g
  • Cholesterol: 0

Do you like flax? I’d love to hear how you like to incorporate it into your diet.

 

References
https://login.ezproxy.endeavour.edu.au:2443/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=mdc&AN=25740909&site=eds-live&scope=site
http://nutritionandmetabolism.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1743-7075-9-8

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