Flaxseeds are simply amazing for health, and that’s why we like to refer to this as the “flaxseed factor.”
The cultivation of flaxseed dates back to 3,000 B.C., and has so many health benefits that, in the 8th century, King Charlemagne passed laws that required his subjects to eat flaxseed. Now that's a serious commitment to making sure others receive the health benefits of flaxseed!
What Charlegmagne noted centuries ago has been backed by science today. Flaxseed does have numerous health benefits, including supporting heart health, cellular health, vascular health, blood sugar health and healthy inflammation and cholesterol levels.† Flaxseeds are even noted to help fight against metabolic syndrome.†
There’s a lot in those tiny seeds that contribute to the health benefits, but among those are flaxseed's omega-3s (the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA), lignans and fiber content. ALA serves as a building block for helping to support healthy inflammation levels—even for blood vessels.† In fact, the lignans in flaxseed can inhibit the forming of platelet activating factor (PAF), which increases the risk of inflammation when there is too much of it.†
In several human studies, flaxseeds have also decreased the ratio of LDL-to-HDL “good” cholesterol and to increase apolipoprotein A1, the major protein found in HDL cholesterol—the good one.† That is probably one of many reasons why omega-3s are known for their heart-healthy effects—among a host of other benefits
The lignans in flaxseeds are packed with antioxidants and fiber—both soluble and insoluble—which contribute to health as well. And flaxseeds are at the top of the list of foods when it comes to lignans, which are unique fiber-related polyphenols that provide antioxidant benefits and more. Researchers rank flaxseeds as the number one source of lignans in the diet. They contain about seven times as many lignans as the next highest-ranking source of lignans—sesame seeds. Plus, flaxseeds have about 338 times as many lignans as sunflower seeds; 475 times as many lignans as cashews and 3,200 times as many lignans as peanuts.
But wait. There’s more. Flaxseeds rank ninth among 100 commonly eaten foods for their polyphenol antioxidant power—beating out even blueberries, among a host of others.
And get this. . . the lignans in flaxseed have also been shown to increase the activity of some Phase II detoxification enzymes which deactivate toxins in the body†. So, we can add detoxifying power to the list of flaxseed benefits.
Then there’s flaxseed’s fiber content, known as mucilage (or gum), which is a water-soluble, gel-forming fiber that provides specialized support for the intestinal tract.† For instance, mucilage helps to slow the emptying of the stomach into the small intestine, which helps to support improved absorption of certain nutrients.†
Wow. Such huge benefits from tiny flaxseeds!
You see? You shouldn’t overlook the flaxseed factor.
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.