LINSEED – Nutritional Profile
Linseeds have a very high calorie count due to their high fat level. A single 150g serving provides nearly 900 calories and consequently they are very good for diets where weight gain is required.
A single 35g serving of linseed will provide 16% of the recommended daily allowance of carbohydrates and 183% of the RDA for dietary fibre. The same portion will also provide 2% Vitamin A, 2% vitamin C, and up to 184% of certain B group vitamins.
There is a wide mineral presnence including calcium, copper, manganese, iron and magnesium with significant presence of calcium, 43% RDA and iron at 563% rda.
LINSEED – Health Benefits
Linseed has been seen to benefit patients suffering with Atherosclerosis. Alpha linolenic acid present stops white blood cells binding to the walls of arteries and so stops the build up of plaque caused by undesirable LDL cholesterol. The key to this improvement is the high level of beneficial fibre in linseed. Fibre converts to a colloidal gel in the colon and this gel has been shown to prevent the passage of LDL cholesterol whilst promoting the passage of desirable HDL cholesterol into the bloodstream.
It is also thought that the gel plays a significant role in managing the speed at which food passes through the colon ensuring optimum uptake of desirable and minimal uptake of undesirable properties.
Inflammatory conditions such as lupus and gout may be helped by the ant-inflammatory properties of linseed. Eczema and psoriasis may benefit in the same way. Conditions such as asthma, osteoarthritis, migraines and osteoporosis are also similarly benefited.
Omega-3 fats reduce the formation of blood clots so will reduce risk of heart attack and stroke. They are also important in producing soft cell membranes which means cells are more likely to be able to take in insulin produced by the body. Diets rich in Omega-3 fats will reduce the impact of type 2 diabetes where cells don’t absorb sugars correctly.
Omega-3 fats are also beneficial in the colon where they are shown to help colon cells reduce the volume of cancer causing toxins they produce.
High blood pressure is a major health condition in western society and linseed helps to stop the condition arising and is effective in reducing it. A study of 2,238 people not using any dietary supplements or medications for blood pressure showed as a 1.01 reduction in systolic and a 0.98 reduction in diastolic blood pressure.
Western diet is very high in LDL cholesterol whist not being high enough in HDL cholesterol. A 40 patient study showed that hose eating linseed, consuming 20g daily, saw similar reductions in LDL cholesterol to a similar group taking statins after a 60 day period.
Linseed has also been shown to have a beneficial impact on prostate cancers. A study of 40 man showed that taking 30g linseed daily saw significant reductions in though rate of cancer growth.
In women, linseed meal and flour have been seen to be beneficial in managing the risk of breast cancer by increasing the amount of 2-hydroxestrone which plays a role in managing estrogens to be of less risk. A similar study of 29 post menopausal women showed that 40g of linseed reduced the incidence of hot flushes by 50% after six weeks.
Dry Eye Syndrome is a condition affecting many people and studies have indicated that linseed can impact the incidence of the condition more than the consumption of oily fish such as tuna.
LINSEED – Product History
Linseed is the seed produced by the flax plant Linum Usitatissium. The plant originates from a region crossing the Mediterranean countries, the Middle East and India.
There is evidence that it has been cultivated for thousands of years in Ancient Egypt and in The Republic of Georgia where evidence of its use as a fibre dates back 30,000 years.
The seeds are available today in tow forms, brown flax and golden flax. Brown flax tends to be used in animal fodder whilst golden flax, with a different mineral and fat content tends to be for human consumption.
Canada is the most significant producer of linseed, producing 633,500 metric tons in 2007. Russia, Ukraine, France and Argentina are next, each producing much smaller crops of between 34,000 and 48,000 metric tons.