Flaxseed Health Benefits & Side Effects

Flaxseed benefits

Know in one minute about Flaxseed benefits

  • It is rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) (55%) and omega-3 fatty acid can reduce the risk for coronary artery disease.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids reduce blood lipid and hypertension.
  • Flaxseeds are rich in soluble and insoluble dietary fiber around 28%.
  • High dietary fiber help in increasing bile movement.
  • Flax seeds are gluten-free.
  • Lignan and isoflavones present in flax seeds control type 2 diabetes.


Now a day’s food is not only synonymous to satisfy hunger but becomes an important representative of staying mentally and physically healthy. Healthy food is a wise choice which saves us from many nutritional related diseases and keeps in controlling certain lifestyle-related diseases like diabetes blood pressure etc. Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum Linnaeus) is rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) (55%) of the total flaxseed fatty acid content. This ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid can reduce the risk for coronary artery disease, fatal ischemic heart disease among women, and high blood pressure (1). Thus included under the superfood level. Some of the flaxseed benefits are as follows

Constituents of Flaxseed

Flaxseed or Linseed (Linum usitatissimmum) is rich in α-linolenic acid (ALA), lignans, protein, and dietary fiber. Per 100 g of flaxseed according to National nutrient database (2) contains the following constituents



Value per 100g


Energy 534 Kcal



18.29 g


Total lipid

42.16 g


Carbohydrate 28.88 g


Fiber, total dietary

27.3 g


Total Sugar 1.55 g


α-linolenic acid

22.8 g

8. Calcium, Ca

255 mg

9. Iron, Fe

5.73 mg


Magnesium, Mg 392 mg


Phosphorus, P 642 mg
12. Potassium, K

813 mg

13. Thiamine

1.644 mg


Niacin 3.08 mg
15. Vitamin D

0.31 mg

16. Vitamin E

0.31 mg

Flaxseed benefits

Some of the flaxseed benefits are reduced heart-related problems, hypertension, and blood sugar level.

1. Reduce cardiovascular diseases

Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3-fatty acid which contains three types of fatty acid namely linolenic acid (LA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These three fatty acids majorly reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases (3).

2. Reduce blood lipid

According to a study (4), it was found that when 12g omega-3-fatty acid was taken three times a day in the form of flaxseed oil and flaxseed flour supplemented products showed a reduction in blood lipids in young women.

3. Reduces hypertension

Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3-fatty acids helps in the reduction in hypertension by controlling cholesterol and triglyceride levels compared to soy protein and casein protein (5).

4. Prevents colon cancer

According to studies (6) done on mice, it was proved that flaxseed oil is responsible for preventing colon cancer by suppressing colon tumor development. As flax is gluten-free, people who are sensitive to gluten can enjoy flax in their diets (Morris, 2003).

5. Rich source of dietary fiber

Flaxseeds are rich in soluble and insoluble dietary fiber around 28%. Per 100 g of flaxseed contains 30 g insoluble dietary fiber and 10 g soluble dietary fiber. A diet rich in dietary fiber helps in the reduction of risks related to heart diseases, obesity, diabetes, inflammation, and cancer (6).

6. Helps in digestion – Increase bile movement

Flaxseeds due to its high dietary fiber help in increasing bile movement therefore also act as a laxative. The insoluble and soluble fiber adds bulk to the waste products hence increasing the gastrointestinal movement (6).

7. High lignan of flaxseed as an antioxidant

Flaxseeds are the richest source of lignan particularly secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG). The lignan present in flaxseed acts as an antioxidant by preventing oxygen radical formation and therefore ultimately helps in prevention against cancer.

8. Antidiabetic

Lignan and isoflavones present in flax seeds help in controlling type 2 diabetes without affecting fasting glucose, insulin sensitivity. lignan and isoflavones for bioavailability when measured by the excretion concentrations.

9. Gluten-free

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and oats. Certain people are sensitive to gluten. Consuming gluten contains food rises a condition where the mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal tract gets irritated and hence results in inflammation known as chronic inflammation disorder or celiac disease. Flaxseed is the best alternative source for those people who have this disease (7).

10. Lowers cholesterol level

According to a study done by the Consumption of flax seeds helps in lowering the serum lipid cholesterol by 9%. (8). In another study, it was found that flax seeds when consumed with sunflower oil helps in cholesterol reduction in hypercholesteremic rats compared with hard fat diets (9).

The side effect of Flaxseed

 Flaxseed contains hydrogen cyanide although it is far below the estimated toxic level. But it was recommended that an individual should take not beyond 1-2 tablespoon of flaxseed per day. And roasting of flaxseed is also recommended in order to eliminate cyanogenic glycosides (10).


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