Flax, scientifically called Linum usitatissimum, belongs to the genus Linum of the family Linaceae. The plant is cultivated in various cooler regions in the world for food and fiber crop .
Flaxseeds are classified into two main categories: brown and yellow. Generally, both of types share the similar characteristics but the yellow type has a different profile of oil and is low in omega-3 FAs.
Flaxseeds are traditionally used in culinary by roasting, powdering or eating with rice. They bring along with numerous health benefits such as aiding digestion, improving heart health, managing diabetes and reducing the risk of cancer .
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With a cup of flaxseeds (168g), you can get approximately 897 calories with 7% water. Additionally, such amount of flaxseeds also provide you with 30.7 grams of protein, 48.5 grams of carbohydrates (including 2.6 grams sugar and 45.9 grams fiber) and 70.8 grams of fat (including 6.15 grams saturated, 12.65 grams monounsaturated, 48.27 grams polyunsaturated) .
The protein in flaxseeds varies from 18-30%, which contains a large amount of essential amino acids, as well as glutamine and arginine. This makes flaxseeds an ideal ingredient used to promote heart health and immunity .
Such profile of protein in flaxseeds also contributes to the prevention and treatments of fungal infections, inflammation, diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure.
However, flaxseeds are still lack of amino acid lysine, so they cannot be used as the only source of protein in your daily basis.
Carbohydrates and fiber
It is estimated that 29% of flaxseeds are carbs, in which fiber makes up for 95% of the quantity. More specifically, with each tablespoon of flaxseeds, you will get three grams of fiber. Accordingly, to get enough amount of fiber for daily requirement, men and women have to take in 8-13 tablespoons of flaxseeds, respectively .
In the fiber content, there are 20-40% soluble fiber and 60-80% insoluble fiber. This is extremely good for your health since soluble fiber is able to manage the sugar level in blood as well as cholesterol levels. Furthermore, this substance also feed the good bacteria in digestive system, which in turn protects and aids digestion. Besides, when soluble and insoluble fiber are combined together with water, they becomes an excellent laxative for human .
Generally, thanks to the content of fiber, flaxseeds can improve digestion and improve related diseases such as constipation. Also, the ingredient is effective in reduce the risk as well as control the condition of diabetes.
Since with 100 grams of flaxseeds, there are only 1.5 grams of carbs are digestible, flaxseeds become a low-carbs beneficial food.
As mentioned, with a cup of flaxseeds (168g), you will get 70.8 grams of fats, which consist of 27 monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids and 73% polyunsaturated fatty acids.
The content of polyunsaturated fatty acids in flaxseeds contains precious acids such as omega-3 fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and omega-6 fatty acids. In fact, the ingredient is among the best source of ALA, reducing the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. This is beneficial for your health since it lowers the risk of getting chronic diseases .
Although flaxseeds are abundant in omega-3, the body still needs a process of converting ALA into DHA and EPA to use, which is not usually efficient .
Vitamins and Minerals
Flaxseeds are packed with vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin B1: (also known as thiamine) The substance is needed for metabolic activity as well as nervous system .
- Molybdenum: Another mineral easily found in seeds, legumes and grains is important for body functioning .
- Phosphorus: Phosphorus is a beneficial mineral that is good for bone health and maintenance of the tissues in the body .
- Copper: The mineral is essential for the growth and development as well as other functions of the body .
- Magnesium: An essential mineral contributes to the body functions .
Aside from vitamins, minerals, carbs and protein, flaxseeds are also a rich source of other valuable substances such as:
- Lignans: Flaxseeds are believed to be the richest source of lignans, which can act as both phytoestrogens and antioxidants. These substances have the ability to protect the heart, inhibit the amount of glucose and fat in the blood. Besides, they can ease blood pressure; reduce inflammation, the growth of cancers, etc. 
- Ferulic acid: another antioxidant protects the body against various diseases .
- Cyanogenic glycosides: Cyanogenic glycosides are essential for formation of thiocyanates that can inhibit thyroid function in some cases .
- Phytosterols: the substances are able to lower the cholesterol levels in the body .
- p-Coumaric acid: a substance acts as a powerful antioxidants .
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