For something so small, flaxseed has big benefits. Recent studies have shown that flaxseed, known to the world for thousands of years, may aid in lowering cholesterol, stabilizing blood sugar, reducing bone loss, promoting weight loss, increasing immunity, and fighting cancer.
Flaxseed is high in:
- Vitamins and minerals, including most of the B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese
- Fiber, both soluble and insoluble
- Phytochemicals, including many powerful antioxidants such as lignans. In fact, because it’s a plant, flaxseed is one of the best sources of lignans around, Metsovas says.
- Omega-3 fatty acids, key to fighting inflammation. Flaxseed is a mega-source of the plant version of omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Flaxseed oil is about 50 percent ALA — five times more than walnut oil or canola oil, which are the next highest sources of ALA.