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Flax Seeds

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Flax Seeds Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 7 g
Calories: 534 kcal
Protein: 18.3 g
Carbohydrate: 28.9 g
Dietary fiber: 27.3 g
Sugars: 1.6 g
Fat: 42.2 g
Saturated fat: 3.7 g
Monounsaturated fat: 7.5 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 28.7 g
Vitamin C: 0.6 mg
Vitamin B1: 1.6 mg
Vitamin B2: 0.2 mg
Vitamin B3: 3.1 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.5 mg
Vitamin B9: 87 μg
Vitamin E: 0.3 mg
Vitamin K: 4.3 μg
Calcium: 255 mg
Iron: 5.7 mg
Magnesium: 392 mg
Phosphorus: 642 mg
Potassium: 813 mg
Sodium: 30 mg
Zinc: 4.3 mg

Flax is a food crop grown primarily for its use in textiles (it is used to produce linen), and for its seed, flaxseed. Also made into an oil (linseed oil), flaxseed is becoming increasingly known as a nutritional supplement for vegetarians and vegans. This is due to its extremely high levels of omega 3s, usually found in oily fish.

Flaxseed must be ground so that we can digest it effectively, which gives us a lot of opportunities to put it into meals, such as baked goods or porridge. Flaxseed has an amazing nutritional profile, a huge amount of omega-3s and is the number one source of lignans. A really great food for a lot of people, and essential for vegetarians looking to live healthily.

100g contains 534 calories, so it is admittedly rather high calorie, but with 18g of protein and huge amounts of omega 3, it is an extremely balanced food. That 100g also contains 108% of your Daily Value (DV) of dietary fibre, which is fantastic for digestion, 98% DV of magnesium, essential for heart health, 31% DV of iron, great for staving off tiredness, 25% of both B6 and Calcium, great for blood and bone health, and 23% DV of potassium, a mineral essential for cardiovascular health. Overall, flaxseed is a great natural way to supplement your diet with a number of vital essential nutrients.

As mentioned above, flaxseed is a fantastic source of omega 3s. In fact, it has the most omega-3 fatty acids per gram of almost any food. Unfortunately, this is in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which must be converted into eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) to have beneficial effects. Some of it is lost in conversion, so in real terms, salmon probably has the most omega-3s.

Omega 3s lower blood pressure, help prevent breast cancer, and delay the onset of age-related macular degeneration. They prevent the shortening of telomeres, associated with age-related diseases and early mortality, in addition to preventing or delaying neurodegenerative diseases.

The second major benefit of flaxseed is its use as a source of lignans; the number one source of dietary lignans in fact. Lignans have proven benefits when it comes to tackling three of the biggest problems with health in the developed world.

Firstly, they have been proven to lower cholesterol, fantastic for heart health. Second, lignans reduce inflammation, which is the cause and catalyst of a huge range of diseases. Finally, lignans have some value in preventing cancer, specifically breast, colon and prostate cancer.