What to Know About …. Flaxseed

What's the Deal With Flaxseed_You’ve probably noticed that flaxseed has become a really trendy health food lately. These seeds are now often added to things like bread, crackers and cakes but how does they benefit your health? Here’s what you need to know about flaxseed for good health!

A Great Source of Vitamins and Minerals

Flaxseed contains a number of nutrients that are important for health, including vitamin B1, copper, magnesium and phosphorous.

An Alternative to Gluten

If you’re coeliac or can’t tolerate gluten, flaxseed is an ideal substitute as it’s gluten free.

Heart Healthy

Flaxseed is a great source of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, especially alpha linolenic acid (ALA). In fact, it’s second only to chia seeds for this.

Our bodies don’t create this essential fatty acid so we need to get it from our food instead.

Flaxseed oil is the best source of ALA but you can get a good amount from ground flax too.

Flax also contains plant compounds known as lignans. These are linked to cardiovascular health and can lower your blood pressure and improve the condition of your arteries.

Flax is high in fibre too, which may go a long way in explaining its positive effects on cholesterol.

Good for Digestive Health

The fibre content in flaxseed also helps to improve digestive health. You’re unlikely to be constipated if you’re eat flax on a regular basis!

Healthy Skin and Hair

Essential fatty acids are also good for helping your skin and hair to stay in tip-top condition.

If your skin and hair is currently dry and dull, upping your intake of fatty acids can be a game changer. Flax is a great source of these and the B vitamins.

Fighting Cancer

Studies on animals have shown that flaxseed could have a big role to play in the fight against cancer.

A 2010 study found that hens who were fed a diet containing flaxseed had big decreases in the size of late stage ovarian tumours.

The results were so impressive that the study’s researchers believe flaxseed could be used as a treatment for ovarian cancer in the future. There’s still a long way to go before that could become a reality but it shows the potential power that flax can have on our health.

As you can see, these seeds may be small in size but they pack a real punch from both a nutrition and a health perspective!