Flax seeds have been used for centuries for their medicinal properties, and they have recently gained popularity in the health and wellness community. These tiny seeds are packed with nutrients and can provide a range of health benefits, including improved heart health, digestion, and hormonal balance. Flax seeds can be added to a variety of dishes, making them an easy and versatile addition to any diet. In this article, we’ll explore the many benefits of flax seeds, how to use them, and potential side effects.
What Are Flax Seeds?
Flax seeds come from the flax plant, which is native to the Mediterranean region and parts of Asia. The plant has been used for thousands of years for its fiber, oil, and medicinal properties. Flax seeds are small and brown, with a slightly nutty taste. They can be eaten raw, ground into a powder, or used to make flaxseed oil.
Nutritional Profile of Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are a nutritional powerhouse, packed with fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Here’s a breakdown of the nutrients found in one ounce (28 grams) of flax seeds:
- Calories: 152
- Protein: 5.2 grams
- Fat: 12 grams
- Fiber: 7.7 grams
- Carbohydrates: 8.2 grams
- Calcium: 6% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Iron: 13% of the DV
- Magnesium: 27% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 19% of the DV
- Potassium: 9% of the DV
- Zinc: 10% of the DV
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): 31% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 11% of the DV
- Folate: 6% of the DV
Health Benefits of Flax Seeds
Flax seeds offer a range of health benefits due to their high nutrient content. Here are some of the key benefits of flax seeds:
Flax seeds are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that can help lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation. These properties make flax seeds beneficial for heart health, as they can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Flax seeds are high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, making them an excellent food for digestive health. Soluble fiber helps slow down the digestion process, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and promote feelings of fullness. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, adds bulk to the stool and can help prevent constipation.
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