What are lignans?
Plant lignans are natural; compounds found in the fibrous parts of linseed (flax). They are called phyto-oestrogens and are converted in the gut by good bacteria into mammalian lignans (which is the form the human body can make use of), including one called enterolactone. They are mildly oestrogenic and strongly antioxidant.
A natural part of our nutritional heritage
Lignans are a family of more than 20 compounds found in plants. Lignans come into our diet along with fibre so diets short of fibre are will contain little in the way of lignans. The diet we evolved to eat was richer in lignans as wild plants are more fibrous. Modern diets with softer more succulent plant foods are lower in lignans.
Linseed (flaxseed) lignans
The main lignans in linseed
|Linseed (flaxseed) lignans||µg / 100 g|
Linseed (flaxseed) is many times higher in most lignans than other foods. Linseed is approximately contains 10 times more of these lignans than sesame, and over a hundred times more than cruciferous veg and cereal grains.
Food sources of lignans
Lignans from foods made with Flax Farm linseed
- Ground linseed
- Whole linseed (needs to be ground for full benefit)
- Linseed porridge & muesli
- High lignan cold-pressed linseed oil
Lignans are found in fibre of linseeds. The best way to use linseed for lignans is to use either ground linseed or grind whole linseeds yourself. All Flax Farm porridges and muesli contain ground linseed and are a good way to get lignans into your diet.
High Lignan Linseed Oil
Linseed lignans are not oil soluble so ordinary liquid cold-pressed linseed oil and linseed oil capsules contains virtually no lignans. However cold-pressed High Lignan Linseed oil does contain lignans. The lignans-containing portion tends to be dark and settle out at the bottom of the bottle; it is essential therefore that the bottle is shaken well before use.
Lignans: how much linseed do you need?
There is no recommended daily amount for lignans.
Most studies into the benefits of ligans have come from consuming a helping of linseed of 2 heaped dessertspoons ground linseed or around 45g once or twice per day. See our recipes for some great ways to incorporate lignans into your diet.
Flax Farm ready to use foods good for lignans
An easy source of lignans are our ready to eat foods made from our gound linseed. A helping Flax Farm linseed porridge or muesli is a great way to add lignans to your diet and our Flaxjacks® are a tasty source too.