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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Flaxseed nutritional compounds

Flaxseed is mainly considered as oilseed crop. It has been used in various forms such as flour, oil and seed. The whole flaxseed is flat and oval with pointed tips, varies in color from dark to yellow, and measures approximately 2.5 × 5.0× 1.5 mm. Flaxseed contains a seed coat or true hull(also called testa), a thin endosperm, two embryos, and an embryoaxis.

Flaxseed continues to surge forward in its recognition as a functional food, being rich in the essential omega-3 fatty acid, alpha linolenic acid and many phytochemicals. Flaxseed also provides dietary fiber and protein (flax primer) an was singled out as one of six neutraceuticals.

Flaxseed has emerged as a potential functional food being good source of α -linolenic acid (ALA), unsaturated fatty acids (linolenic acid, linoleic acid, oleic acid), soluble flaxseed fiber mucilage (d-Xylose, L-Galactose, LRhamnose, d-galacturonic acid), lignans (secoisolariciresinol diglycoside (SDG)), monoglycerides, triglycerides, free sterols, sterol esters, hydrocarbons (protein), balast, phenylpropane derivatives.

Flaxseed also contains monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), such as oleic acid. ALA and linoleic acid are both essential fatty acids (EFA), meaning they cannot be synthesized by the human body and must be derived from the diet.

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.

Flaxseed is the richest source of plant lignans, which are phytoestrogens and serves as precursors in the production of mammalian lignans. SDG is the predominant lignan in flaxseed with minor amount of pinoresinol and matairesinol. It was suggested that lignans may act to prevent oxygen radical production, thus effectively reducing atherosclerosis. It also may have anticancer property. At some extent, SDG helps in bone development.
Flaxseed nutritional compounds

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