Flax seeds are small, brown or gold shaped seeds of the Linum usitatissium plant. Flax seeds may be sold roasted or raw, and are used for their nutty flavor and nutritional profile in the food industry.

Health considerations

Flax seeds are 29% carbohydrate, 27% fiber, 18% protein, and 42% fat. Flax seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, many B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. Flax is also a source of lignans. Flax seed has been associated with reduced cholesterol, improved blood sugar regulation, bowel movement regularity, and lowered blood pressure, among other effects. Evidence is not conclusive, however. See: Flax oil; Lignans; Dietary fiber; Omega-3 fatty acids; Alpha-linolenic acid

Keep in mind

It is possible that the fatty acids present in flax seed may be hard for the body to access when flax is consumed whole rather than milled.

May be found in

Breads, baked goods, cakes, cookies, biscuits, granola, granola bars, energy bars, ground flax


Swanson Health Products
Nutrition Reviews
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Self Nutrition Data

Alternative Spellings and Names

Flax seed, flaxseed, linseed

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