What is the nutritional content of flaxseed?

One tablespoon of whole flaxseed has three grams of fiber while the same amount of ground flaxseed has two grams of fiber. The nutritional qualities of flaxseed vary depending on how the seeds are eaten. In addition to fiber, ground flaxseeds are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which may help lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation and lower the risk of certain cancers. Your body cannot break down whole flaxseeds to access the omega-3-containing oil.
Marjorie Nolan Cohn
Nutrition & Dietetics
One tablespoon of flax seed contains an array of vitamins and minerals including; manganese, selenium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc and copper, folate, choline, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin K.

Flax seed also is a source of lignans, compounds that help regulate the menstrual cycle and may prevent breast cancer in women. Lignans may also protect both men and women against colon cancer.

The fats in ground flax seed contain high levels of an Omega-3 fatty acid called alpha linolenic acid, or ALA. This type of fatty acid not only has its own effects on the body, but is also converted into another Omega-3 called eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA. ALA and EPA help reduce inflammation, keep bones healthy, protect heart health and aid in the prevention of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

The fiber in ground flax seed is soluble fiber, which helps move food through the digestive tract efficiently and aids in the regulation of blood glucose by slowing the release of sugar from foods. Soluble fiber also helps lower cholesterol, especially LDL, or bad cholesterol. Flax seed also contains some insoluble fiber, which helps prevent constipation and maintain optimal intestinal pH.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.