Health Benefits of FlaxseedsFlaxseeds are best known as an excellent source of healthy fats. The most notable of these healthy fats is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This omega-3 fatty acid is not common in many foods, so this plant source is notable 1. In fact, it is one of the most abundant plant-based sources of ALA 2. Our bodies do not produce ALA, so it is essential that we get it in our diet. Do note that ALA has to be converted in the body into the more bioavailable EPA and DHA, so if you’re Vegan don’t make the mistake of thinking you can get all of your omega-3 requirements from walnuts, chia, hemp and flax. Flaxseeds are also an abundant source of phenolic compounds that show anticancer and antioxidant properties. These phenolic compounds include phenolic acids, flavonoids, and lignans. Lignans have been studied for their ability to lower blood cholesterol and decrease liver disease risk factors.3 Lignans will lower testosterone in men, which depending on your goals may or may not be a good thing. In prostate cancer trials, flaxseed supplementation showed significant benefit in reducing PSA and proliferation of cancer cells.
Vitamins and minerals in flax seedsFlaxseeds offer a variety of vitamins and minerals. They are rich in:
- calcium, and
- They also contain Vitamin E. This antioxidant acts to preserve the healthy fatty acids and protect them from oxidation.