Linseeds are also known as flaxseeds. They are a good source of Omega-3 Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is important for reducing inflammation and also for general wellbeing. Linseeds are also a good source of both dietary fibre and protein, important for satiety (feeling full and satisfied).
Health benefits of linseeds
- Linseeds are a source of protein. Protein helps build and repair body tissues. It also contributes to the maintenance of normal muscle mass.
- Linseeds are high in dietary fibre. The soluble dietary fibre in the linseeds plays a role in glucose absorption and maintaining a healthy blood cholesterol level, while the insoluble dietary fibre helps to keep the gut healthy and contributes to regular laxation, thereby helping help to treat constipation.
- Linseeds are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA’s). Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats (such as PUFA’s) in the diet contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels.
- They are also very high in the omega 3 fatty acid, ALA. ALA (Alpha-linolenic acid) contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels.
- A 20 g serving of linseeds per day is a source of vitamin B1 and various essential minerals. Vitamin B1 is necessary for normal carbohydrate metabolism, normal neurological and cardiac function, normal functioning of the nervous system, normal psychological functioning and normal functioning of the heart.
- Linseeds are high in copper. Copper aids in the formation of bone. It also contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system and the nervous system.
- Linseeds are a source of zinc. Zinc is necessary for normal immune function and cell division. It promotes the healing of wounds. It contributes to the normal metabolism of macronutrients. It also contributes to cognitive function, DNA synthesis, fertility and reproduction, maintenance of normal hair, skin, nails, bones and vision. Zinc contributes to the maintenance of normal testosterone levels in the blood. It contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress and has a role in the process of cell division. It is necessary for normal taste and smell. Zinc is a constituent of insulin and many vital enzymes. Sufficient intake and proper absorption of zinc is needed to maintain proper vitamin E levels in the blood and increases the absorption of vitamin A.
- Linseeds are a source of magnesium. Magnesium helps maintain a healthy muscle and nervous system and contributes to a reduction of tiredness and fatigue. It is also necessary for teeth and bone structure and the maintenance thereof.
- Linseeds contain more than 200 mg potassium per 20 g serving. Potassium is necessary for normal water and electrolyte balance. It also contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system, muscle function, normal blood pressure and regular heart rhythm.
- Linseeds are low in sodium. A high intake of calcium, magnesium and potassium, together with low sodium intake, is associated with protection against bone demineralization, arterial hypertension, insulin resistance, and overall cardiovascular risk.
- Add a tablespoon of ground linseed to your hot or cold breakfast cereal.
- Add a teaspoon of ground linseed to mayonnaise or mustard when making a sandwich.
- Mix a tablespoon of linseed into a small container of yoghurt.
- Bake whole or ground linseed into cookies, muffins, bread and other baked goods.
DID YOU KNOW?
You only need 5g of linseed per day to achieve a very high intake of the Omega 3 fatty acid, ALA. This means that a 200 g bag will last you up to 6 weeks.
*Remember that linseed is best, ground because ALA (omega 3) has greater bioavailability in milled linseed than in whole linseed. However, it should be ground and enjoyed immediately and preferably not stored for a long time after grounding or it may go rancid.