Flaxseed – a nutritional punch

January 1, 2013 Human Health and Nutrition Data 0 Comments

Flaxseed – a nutritional punch

Year: 2013
Authors: Ganorkar, P.M. Jain, R.K.
Publication Name: Inter Food Res J.
Publication Details: Volume 20; No. 2; Pages 519 – 525


Flaxseed is mainly considered as oilseed crop. Moreover, the other nutritional parameters than its oil content, make it more favorable choice for food technologist to develop functional foods. Flaxseed contains good amount of alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA), a omega 3 fatty acid, protein, dietary fiber, lignan, specifically Secoisolariciresinol diglucoside (SDG). Several studies reveal that these components work well for nutritional benefit in human being. ALA is beneficial for infant brain development, reducing blood lipids and cardiovascular diseases. Flaxseed proteins are relatively high in arginine, aspartic acid and glutamic acid whereas lysine, methionine and cystine are limiting amino acid. Flaxseed dietary fiber exhibits positive effect to reduce constipation, to keep better bowel movement and as hypocholestermic agent. SDG have antioxidant activity and free oxygen radical scavenging activity. Consequently, it may have anticancer property. At some extent, SDG helps in bone development. Cyanogenic glycosides and linatine are antinutrients in flaxseed. As compared to soyabean and canola, flaxseed antinutrient effect on human health is very less. Researchers reported that flaxseed incorporated food products can have good consumer acceptability along with its nutritional benefits. (Authors abstract)
This review article originated in India where Flaxseed, or Linseed (Linum Usitatissimmum), is popularly known as Alsi, Jawas, Aksebija. the paper provides a description of the nutritional composition of flaxseed and its health effects. The authors conclude “Flaxseed (Linseed) encompasses the potential health suiting nutritional profile in it. However, many people are still unaware of the potential health benefits of flaxseed and food applications. ALA (omega 3 fatty acid), dietary fiber and Lignan (specifically SDG) content attracts food technologists to explore its abilities at fullest extent in commercial food processing sector. Recently Baking and Pasta companies have incorporated flaxseed into their formulations. General recommendation for daily intake has been 1 to 3 table spoons per day for ground flaxseed or 1 table spoon for flaxseed oil. Flaxseed is emerging as one of the nutritive and functional ingredient in food products. Scientific findings are growing in support of flaxseed consumption. More studies are needed to resolve the conflicting reports regarding the health benefits, in particular the role of ALA and SDG in prostate cancer and cancer in general.” (Editors comments)

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