Flaxseed Nutrition Facts: How Healthy Are They Really?

Nährwerte von Leinsamen: Wie gesund sind sie wirklich?

The questions: What nutritional values ​​are contained in flaxseed? What benefits do they bring? And are they still healthy? We will clarify all of them in this article. There is a great demand for alternatives with similar nutritional values ​​and health-promoting properties.

In this article you will find out the most important information about flaxseed and its nutritional values ​​and against which health problems it is particularly effective. We will also show you some alternatives to bring more variety into your diet.

the essentials in brief

  • Linseed is a valuable food due to its high content of omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, fiber and micronutrients.
  • Because of its nutritional value, flaxseeds bring many positive health benefits. Among other things, they lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels and are helpful for many other diseases such as e.g. B. Cardiovascular diseases.
  • There are some foods that would be an alternative to flaxseed. For example chia seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds or psyllium husks. They all have many health benefits as well and can be a nice change of pace.

Flaxseed nutritional values: What you should know

Linseed, or Linum usitatissimum as it is called in the botanical lexicon, is the oldest cultivated plant in Germany and is considered a local superfood. It is also called flax plants or flax seed and is known for its high omega-3 fatty acid content. (1)

What are the nutritional values ​​of flaxseed?

Flaxseeds are rich in nutritional values ​​and ingredients. They contain approx. 40% fat, are rich in proteins, fibre, mucilage and micronutrients such as vitamins (B1, B2, B6, E, nicotinic, folic and pantothenic acid), minerals (iron, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium). (2)

Flax seeds are the richest plant source of omega-3.

The nutritional values ​​of flaxseed definitely have many health benefits. It is the richest vegetable source of omega-3 fatty acids (α-linolenic acid) and the phytohormone lignans. This is a particularly important source of protein and fiber. (3)

How many nutritional values ​​are in 100 g of flaxseed?

To give you a good overview of the nutritional values ​​of 100 g of flaxseed, we have presented tables with the relevant information for you here.

nutritional values per 100g
calories 488 calories
carbohydrates 7.7g
fiber 22.7g
egg white / protein 22.3g
Fat 36.5g
of which Omega 3 16.7g

To show you how rich flaxseed is in vitamins, we have created another table that provides you with all the important information. The values ​​always refer to 100 g of linseed.

vitamins per 100g
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) 0.46 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.15 mg
Vitamin B3 (nicotinic acid) 0.819 mg
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) 0.489 mg
Vitamin B6 0.43 mg
Vitamin B9 (folic acid) 0.01mg
vitamin E 16.00 mg

Flaxseed nutritional values ​​also contain various minerals and trace elements. Iron, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium are all rich compounds found in flaxseed. The table below gives you an overview of the minerals and trace elements in flaxseed. (4)

minerals / trace elements per 100g
iron 6.75 mg
zinc 4.17 mg
copper 1.2 mg
manganese 2.26 mg
magnesium 323.00 mg
phosphorus 533.00 mg
potassium 731.00 mg
calcium 206.00 mg

Due to their high calorie content of 488 kcal, flaxseeds are not among the energy lightweights. However, they provide an important amount of fiber, protein and unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids from a tablespoon portion of approx. 10 g. (5)

How healthy are flaxseeds?

Due to its high nutritional content, flaxseeds bring various health benefits. For example, they are particularly helpful against cardiovascular diseases. The high proportion of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) has a positive effect on these diseases. (6)

Flaxseed is also a helpful remedy for high blood pressure because it improves or lowers blood pressure levels, thereby reducing the risk of strokes and heart attacks.(7)

Flaxseeds lower cholesterol levels.

They also improve digestion and lower blood cholesterol levels . (8) The flaxseed can contribute to the reduction of various diseases such as diabetes mellitus, arteriosclerosis and cancer. (3)

However, flaxseeds also contain the plant compound cyanogenic glycosides. This substance releases hydrocyanic acid when consumed. But the proportion is small, so there are no risks from a health point of view and consumption is harmless. (9)

During pregnancy, you should be careful with flaxseed oil and flaxseed, as it can increase the risk of premature birth. You should speak to your gynecologist before consuming products of this type. (10)

When should you eat the nutritious flaxseeds?

With their nutritional values, flaxseeds are a useful source of energy, especially early in the morning. They fill you up thanks to the high levels of protein, unsaturated fatty acids and fiber . The seeds swell with water in the intestines and thus create a feeling of satiety, as they increase the volume of the intestinal contents. Flaxseeds are particularly effective for constipation.


Flaxseeds are a good source of energy for the day, especially at breakfast. (Image source: PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay)

However, digestion can only be improved if you drink enough. You should consume liquids of at least 1.5 liters so that the flaxseed can work properly and the mucilage of the flaxseed does not stick together. In the worst case, this can lead to an intestinal obstruction.

Flaxseeds are only helpful after two to three days and you should only consume 15 g per meal so that no hydrocyanic acid can develop. If you take medication, make sure that you have a time interval of at least two to three hours. Because flaxseed can impede the absorption of medicines from the intestines. (11)

Can Flaxseed Nutrition Facts Help You Lose Weight?

The nutritious flaxseeds can indirectly help you lose weight. But not just by taking it. Despite their high calorie content, they can support you in your weight loss success and a wholesome diet. The high proportion of fiber gives you a longer feeling of satiety, which means that you eat less food and still have a feeling of fullness.

Your appetite and weight decrease despite less food intake. But here, too, it is important to enjoy everything in moderation and not to overdo it, otherwise you will not be successful. To lose weight, you should always eat a healthy, balanced diet and get plenty of exercise.

What alternatives are there to flaxseed with the same nutritional values?

To add some variety to your diet, we would like to introduce you to alternatives to flaxseed that have similar nutritional values ​​and positive effects on your health. You can use the following alternatives to flaxseed instead:

  • Chia seeds: Incorporated into the diet by the Mayas and the Aztecs and originating in Mexico. They are also called Salvia hispanica. Chia seeds now come from South America, Australia and Southeast Asia.
  • Hemp Seeds: No longer have any psychotropic or intoxicating effects and have many health benefits. The seed is one of the most sought-after parts of the hemp plant in the food industry. Hemp seeds are produced in France, Canada, China, Spain, Austria, Australia and Great Britain.
  • Sesame seeds: Have been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. Today, however, they are often used as an ingredient or topping for a wide variety of dishes.
  • Flea seed shells: originally come from medicine and were often used in India in particular. As you can guess from the name, these are the husks of flea seeds.

In the following part, the individual alternatives will be discussed in more detail to give you a better overview of their nutritional values.

Chia seeds

Like flaxseed, chia seeds have a high nutritional potential. Unsaturated fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6, fiber, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals such as calcium, zinc and iron are present in the seeds. Chia seeds are used to prevent certain non-infectious diseases. These are diseases such as: cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and cancer. (1.12)


Chia seeds are very suitable as a topping for e.g. B. mueslis, porridges or salads. (Image Source: Susan Wilkinson / Unsplash)

Like linseed, chia seeds create a feeling of satiety due to their high fiber content. This is particularly beneficial for digestion. But here, too, it is important to drink enough, as chia seeds can bind water. People with a blood clotting disorder or taking blood-thinning medicines should consult a doctor beforehand to clarify whether they can eat chia seeds, as they have a blood-thinning effect. (13)

hemp seeds

The nutritional values ​​of hemp seeds are characterized by their high content of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, protein (24.8 g per 100 g), numerous vitamins E, B1, B2 and B6 and minerals such as iron, zinc and sodium , potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium. They have a very high calorie content of 567 kcal per 100 g.

They can be used individually as a topping for a wide variety of salads, soups, desserts or mueslis. Hemp is also gluten- and lactose-free and particularly suitable for vegans in its form as a hemp protein. The nutrients have a positive effect on our cardiovascular health. (14.15)

Sesame seeds

Sesame seeds are rich in omega-6 fatty acids (50% of 100g), protein (18g), fiber (11.4g), minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamins E, B1, B2 and B6. They have 560 kcal per 100 g and are therefore very high in calories.

However, they have some health benefits due to their multitude of healthy minerals and nutritional values. For example, they can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and relieve strain on the heart. Digestive problems or strengthening bones are all possible properties of sesame seeds. (16)

psyllium husks

Psyllium husks are a lower-calorie alternative to flaxseed. They have 186 kcal per 100 g and are therefore ideal for losing weight. However, the proportion of dietary fiber is much higher in comparison. 85 g to 100 g of psyllium husk can ensure good digestion by increasing the volume of the stool and giving the signal to void.

Their fat (0.2g) and protein (1.6g) content is quite low compared to flaxseed. Because of this property, psyllium husks are used for diseases such as diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, haemorrhoids, diabetes mellitus (type 2) and increased blood lipid levels. (17)


Flaxseeds have many healthy nutrients that are particularly useful sources of energy for your body. In addition to the high proportion of roughage and the positive effect of long-term satiety, they provide many important components, especially in the health sector. Diseases and risks such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and improving cholesterol levels can be reduced with the consumption of flaxseed.

Under certain circumstances, however, you should be careful when eating the seeds and consult a doctor if necessary. You don't have to eat flaxseed every day for your diet, but you can also use any number of alternatives that are also very good or have similar nutritional values ​​and health-promoting benefits. For example, you could choose chia seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, or psyllium husks instead.


    Ecodemy.de: Local superfoods instead of exotics - linseed instead of chia seeds, Isabel Bernhauser, February 7th, 2020 Source Michael Carus et al.: Study on the market and competitive situation for natural fibers and natural fiber materials (Germany and the EU). Gülzow Expert Talks 26, ed. by the Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e. V., Gülzow 2008, p. 234f Source Giada Mde L. Food applications for flaxseed and its components: products and processing. Recent Pat Food Nutr Agric. 2010 Nov;2(3):181-6. PMID: 20858193. Source Ernaehrung.de: DEBInet German nutritional advice and information network, linseed source Eatsmarter.de: 10 reasons: That's why linseed is healthy, Kira Tessel with expert advice from Prof. Dr. Heiner Greten, 05/21/2019 Source Rodriguez-Leyva D, Dupasquier CM, McCullough R, Pierce GN. The cardiovascular effects of flaxseed and its omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid. Can J Cardiol. 2010;26(9):489-496. doi:10.1016/s0828-282x(10)70455-4 source Carido Vasc, Linseed for high blood pressure, 2012 December, doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s15027-012-0313-y Source Wirths W, Berglar T, Dieckhues A, Bauer G. Fiber-rich snacks with reference to their effect on the digestive activity and blood lipids of the elderly. Z Gerontol. 1985 Mar-Apr;18(2):107-10. German. PMID: 2988223. Source Abraham, K., Buhrke, T. & Lampen, A. Bioavailability of cyanide after consumption of a single meal of foods containing high levels of cyanogenic glycosides: a crossover study in humans. Arch Toxicol 90, 559-574 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00204-015-1479-8 source Janet CL Tou, Jianmin Chen, Lilian U. Thompson, Flaxseed and Its Lignan Precursor, Secoisolariciresinol Diglycoside, Affect Pregnancy Outcome and Reproductive Development in Rats, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 128, Issue 11, November 1998, Pages 1861-1868, https https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/128.11.1861Source Apotheken-umschau.de: Linseed, Dr. Martina Melzer, 05/19/2017 Source Marcinek K, Krejpcio Z. Chia seeds (Salvia hispanica): health promoting properties and therapeutic applications - a review. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2017;68(2):123-129. PMID: 28646829. Source Apotheken-umschau.de: Chia seeds: really a superfood?, Dr. Roland Mühlbauer, 05/24/2018 Source Rodriguez-Leyva, D., Pierce, GN. The cardiac and haemostatic effects of dietary hempseed. Nutr Metab (Lond) 7, 32 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1186/1743-7075-7-32 Source Bzfe.de: Hemp, Rüdiger Lobitz, Eva Neumann, 12/16/2020 Source Eatsmarter.de: 5 reasons: why sesame is healthy, Julia Gerbeth with expert advice from Prof. Dr. Stephan C. Bischoff, 06/05/2019 Source Care.care: Flea seed shells - Everything about the use, intake and effects of dietary fiber, Dr. medical Andre SommerSource
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