I wrote a blog post a couple of years ago on this tiny golden seed. But i thought i would share a few more benefits to including linseeds in your daily diet. Linseeds are sometimes called flaxseeds (good to remember when searching for them in the shop)
Eating them freshly ground is the best way to reap all the benefits as whole linseeds will pass right through your body without being digested so no nutrients will be absorbed!
Linseeds contain the most abundant amount of lignans found in food. Lignans are natural phytoestrogens and are able to increase or decrease estrogen activity depending on your hormonal status. For this reason there have been many studies done on lignans and their effect on fighting breast cancer and other estrogen related malignancies. Lignans have shown to be beneficial to menopausal woman by balancing estrogen levels. Linseeds can be taken alongside hormonal replacement medications, and in some cases used as an alternative. (Check with your GP first) Lignans in addition to helping balance estrogen levels also have antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Linseeds are also one of the richest sources of plant based omega-3 fatty acids called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA offers heart health benefits, along with lowering blood pressure and preventing hardening of the arteries. The ALA fatty acids found in linseeds are also beneficial to our skin and hair health! Making our hair shinier and stronger and reduce redness and dryness in our skin.
Linseeds are a great source of vitamins and minerals, such as - manganese, thiamine, magnesium, B6, folate, potassium, iron and zinc.
Linseeds are high and fibre but low in carbohydrates, and as mentioned above, if we eat linseeds whole they will just pass through our body undigested. This is because they contain a high level of gel-forming fiber called mucilage gum. Whilst we won’t get any of the nutrient rich health benefits of the linseeds when eaten this way - there are other benefits. The mucilage gum can help slow down the speed at which food leaves our stomach to our small intestine which can increase absorption of nutrients from the other food we have eaten. To get the most benefits from flaxseeds I would recommend grinding them just before eating so that they stay fresh. Or soaking them over night to remove any phytic acid and increase mineral absorption.
I will be sharing one of my favourite linseed recipes toward the end of the week. An excellent way to incorporate this tiny golden seed into you daily diet and start reaping the benefits!