Lignans are a class of nutrient in plants. They are particularly commonly found in the fibrous parts of plants and being very high in fibre linseed is very rich in lignans.
Lots of plants contain lignans, linseed is by far the richest food source of lignans.
Linseed lignans have been found to have lots of health benefits and scientists have been taking interest in them and discovering more unexpected benefits. Dr. Johanna Budwig recommended ground linseed for its amazing health properties as part of the famous Budwig Diet as long ago as the 1950s. The diet is still popular and effective today.
Lignans were probably more common in the food we evolved to eat because in naturel fruits and vegetables tend to be more fibrous than the soft, succulent, that the varieties we get at the supermarket or even grow in our own gardens. So lignans are part of our nutritional heritage and something to consider as part of a healthy diet Eating linseed can help replace something missing from modern diets.
Lignans are super antioxidants. They are approximately 800 times more potent than vitamin E which means they are really good at mopping up and nutralising harmful free radicals in the body.
Natural hormone balance
The main reason people eat linseed for its lignan content is to balance hormones. Unlike lignans’, other properties, which we know are good for you it’s so good at balancing hormones people can actually notice the benefit in as little as a few days. These lignans are mildly phyto-oestrogenic and are often used for their natural hormone balancing properties and can be particularly beneficial at certain times of the month and a certain stage of ladies’ lives when their hormones start to decline.
Linseed lignans are also recommended on the Budwig Diet for their hormone buffering and antioxidant properties for both men and women,
How much linseed flax do you need to get enough lignans?
Most of the scientific studies into lignans where they have been shown to positively help have been incorporating approximately 45g per day of ground linseed. This is about 2 heaped tablespoons twice a day,. It is easy to incorporate into food as it almost dissolves and has a very mild flavour. Just stir into juice or sprinkle into food. See recipes.