Flaxseeds are a source of many vitamins including folate, thiamin, niacin and vitamin B-6. The vitamin content of flaxseed isn't the only health benefit, because flaxseed also contains significant amounts of minerals and beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Sprinkle flaxseed on cereal, or add to shakes or smoothies for an extra nutrient boost.
Basic Nutrition Information
Two tablespoons of ground flaxseed have 75 calories, 2.6 g protein, 5.9 g fat, 4 g carbohydrate and 3.8 g fiber. The high fiber content of ground flaxseed can make it helpful for regulating digestion. In addition, ground flaxseed has significant amounts of calcium and magnesium, important minerals for bone health.
Folate is an essential B-vitamin that helps to prevent neural tube defects when taken in adequate amounts by pregnant women. Additionally, folate may help to prevent certain types of cancer, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Two tablespoons of ground flaxseed contain 12 micrograms of folate, while the daily requirement for adult men and non-pregnant women is 400 mcg. Pregnant women require 600 mcg of folate daily.
The daily requirement for thiamin for adults is 1.2 mg for men and 1.1 mg for women. Two tablespoons of ground flaxseed provide 0.23 mg thiamin or about 19 to 21 percent of the daily requirement. Thiamin is needed by your body to produce energy from the food you eat. This important vitamin also plays a role in the synthesis of DNA, which is the genetic material of all the cells of your body.
Along with thiamin, niacin is also needed for energy production from food in addition to its potential role in the prevention of some types of cancer. Nicotinic acid, which is a form of niacin, can be used to lower cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol under the direction of a physician. Two tablespoons of ground flaxseed provide 0.43 mg of niacin, while the daily requirement for adults is 16 mg for men and 14 mg for women.
Two tablespoons of ground flaxseed provide 0.066 mg of vitamin B-6, while the daily requirement for adults is 1.3 mg until age 50. After age 50, the daily requirement is 1.7 mg for men and 1.5 mg for women. Vitamin B-6 performs a variety of functions in your body including the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, formation of red blood cells, and the synthesis of DNA, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.
- USDA Food and Nutrient Database: Seeds, flaxseed
- Linus Pauling Institute: Folic Acid; Jane Higdon, Ph.D., et al.; September 2007
- Linus Pauling Institute: Thiamin; Jane Higdon, Ph.D., et al.;June 2007
- Linus Pauling Institute: Niacin; Jane Higdon, Ph.D., et al.;June 2007
- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin B6; Jane Higdon, Ph.D., et al.; November 2007