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The Benefits of Flaxseed Bread

By Sandi Busch

Some people describe flaxseed as having a pleasant nutty taste; others have a difficult time tolerating it. Adding flaxseed to whole wheat bread creates a palatable way to obtain its nutritional benefits. The combination of whole wheat bread and flaxseed offers a rich source of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. A bread recipe that includes ½ cup of flaxseed and produces 12 slices, results in 7g (1 tbsp.) of ground flaxseed per slice.

Vitamins, Minerals and Protein

Just one slice of whole wheat bread (46g) combined with 1 tbsp. of flaxseed, provides 5.2g of protein. This represents 11 percent of the recommended daily value (DV) for protein based on a 2000 calorie a day diet. One slice provides 17 percent DV of thiamin and 3 to 9 percent of all the other B vitamins except B12. Flaxseed bread is an excellent source of selenium (28 percent) and manganese (52 percent DV). It also supplies iron (10 percent), potassium (6 percent), phosphorus (13 percent) and magnesium (16 percent).


A slice of whole wheat flaxseed bread supplies 5g of total dietary fiber, with 3g from the bread and 2g from flaxseed. Whole grain bread is primarily insoluble fiber, but flaxseed breaks down to about half soluble and half insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease by reducing levels of bad LDL cholesterol and insoluble fiber promotes regularity, according to the American Heart Association.

Essential Fatty Acids

The essential fatty acids—omega-3 and omega-6—help lower cholesterol levels, ensure normal functioning of the eye and nervous system and support the structure of cells. Information from the Linus Pauling Institute (LPI) states that “each 1 g/day increase in omega-3 is associated with a 16 percent reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease.” Flaxseed is the best plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. One tbsp. provides 1.6g, which represents 100 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and 145 percent for women. Adding the omega-3 from 1 slice of whole wheat bread increases the percentages to 109 percent (men) and 159 percent (women). Also a good source of omega-6 fatty acids, flaxseed bread supplies 9.5 percent of the recommended intake for men and 13.5 percent for women, with the bread supplying about 2/3 of the total amount.


Phytoestrogens called lignans work as antioxidants, and they’re converted into estrogen-like substances in the body. Mixed research results indicate that lignans may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as ovarian and breast cancer, according to LPI. Flaxseeds contain 85.5 mg of lignans for every 1 oz. of seeds, compared with sesame seeds, which are the next highest source but only contain 11.2 mg per ounce. One slice of flaxseed bread provides 21.4 mg of lignans.

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