The Health Benefits of Ground Flaxseed
Health Canada approved a health claim linking ground whole flaxseed to the lowering of blood cholesterol, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. Just 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of ground flaxseed per day supplies 40% of the daily amount shown to help lower cholesterol. So, what is it that makes flaxseed a nutritional powerhouse?
- Flaxseed is high in fibre. It contains both soluble fibre that helps lower cholesterol and insoluble fibre that prevents constipation and makes your digestive system happy.
- Flaxseed is a source of plant-based omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fats are a type of essential fat our bodies need to be healthy. Higher intake of omega-3 fats are associated with lower rates of heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure.
- Flaxseed is one of the best plant sources of lignans. Lignans are high in antioxidants and are phytoestrogens that help regulate hormone levels. Research indicates that lignans may help to reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer. Flaxseed may also reduce hot flashes in menopausal women.
Why is Fibre Important?
Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest, and because it cannot be broken down into sugar molecules like most other carbohydrates, it passes through the body undigested. And that’s a very good thing!
Research commissioned and published in 2019 by the World Health Organization found that the people who followed a fibre-rich eating style have a reduction in heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colorectal and breast cancers. All you need is 25 to 30 g per day.
Flaxseed contains both types of fibre: soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble helps keep your blood sugars on an even keel and the insoluble fibres keep everything moving.
Flaxseed may be tiny, but it has a tough outer shell. Our teeth can’t do a good enough job breaking down the seed, which means you won’t be able to absorb the omega-3 fatty acids or the other amazing nutrients packed inside. Grind it up so that it can be absorbed by the body.