Flaxseed is made up of multiple healthy components, its main health benefits come from just three. Omega-3, Fibre and Lignans.
We have all heard of the importance of Omega-3 fatty acids for heart health, flaxseed contains a staggering 1.8 grams of plant omega-3’s in one tablespoon.
Flaxseed also contains both the soluble and insoluble types of fibre. Soluble fibres attract water and form a gel, which slows down digestion. Soluble fibre delays the emptying of your stomach and makes you feel full, which helps control weight. Insoluble fibres are considered gut-healthy fibre because they have a laxative effect and add bulk to the diet, helping prevent constipation.
In addition, Lignans, contain both plant oestrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75 to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods. Several epidemiological studies have shown that regular consumption of plant oestrogen (phytoestrogens), as part of a normal balanced diet can exert a protective influence against later development of breast cancer.
However, something to bear in mind, whole flaxseeds will pass through your body without being digested, so be sure to buy them ground or grind them yourself with a coffee or spice grinder.
At the Waterleaf we have found that flaxseed goes perfectly in our Butternut Squash starter in the form of a flaxseed dumpling.