A previous article in this series Can chia seeds reverse diabetes?examined the nutritional value of chia seeds. This article will look at how nutritious flaxseeds are and compare the benefits of eating them with chia seeds sprouting jar.
Flaxseeds and linseeds are two different names for the same tiny seeds that have been cultivated for at least the last 6,000 years. Their colour can range from dark brown to a light gold.
The oil extracted from flaxseeds is used in the production of oil-based paints and glazing putties for windows. The oil is also used as a grain protector for wood. The high fibre content of the seeds means they can be used to add strength and durability in the making fabrics, paper and clothes.
But flaxseeds have also been eaten for thousands of years, from ancient Babylon to the Aztec Empire. They were a favourite snack of King Charlemagne of the Franks in the 8th century CE. Since the 1990s they have gained a reputation in the West as a so-called ‘superfood’.
Their reputation is well-earned. Flaxseeds are one of the richest sources of lignans (antioxidants) and plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. They are also a superior source of dietary fibre, plant-based protein, and minerals such as iron and magnesium.
They are considered one of the best foods for reducing inflammation and for maintaining the health of the gut and are usually included in diets designed to fight heart disease and similar illnesses.
How nutritious are flaxseeds?
The short answer is: highly nutritious.
100 grams of flaxseeds (linseeds) contains the following macro-nutrients:
Calories… 534 (2236 kJ) (27%)
Protein… 18.3g (37%)
Carbohydrates (total)… 28.9g (10%), of which:
Dietary fibre… 27.3g (109%)
Fat (total)… 42.2g (65%), of which:
Saturated fat… 3.7g (18%)
Monounsaturated fat… 7.5g
Polyunsaturated fat… 28.7g
Omega-3 fatty acids (total)… 22,813mg
Omega-6 fatty acids (total)… 5,911mg
100g of flaxseeds also contains large doses of various micro-nutrients, such as vitamins:
Thiamin (vitamin B1)… 1.6mg (110%)
Riboflavin (vitamin B2)… 0.2mg (9%)
Niacin (vitamin B3)… 3.1mg (15%)
Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)… 1.0mg (10%)
Vitamin B6… 0.5 mg (24%)
Folate (vitamin B9)… 87mcg (22%)
And dietary minerals… 100g also contains:
Manganese… 2.5mg (124%)
Magnesium… 392mg (98%)
Phosphorus… 642mg (64%)
Copper… 1.2mg (61%)
Selenium… 25.4 (36%)
Iron… 5.7mg (32%)
Zinc… 4.3mg (29%)
Calcium… 25mg (26%)
Potassium… 813mg (23%)
Sodium… 30mg (1%)
The percentages in brackets refer to recommended daily values and are based on a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet. The actual amounts of these nutrients you require will depend on your calorific needs.