Suffering From Diabetes? Then Give The Lignans A Try

The lignans are a group of phytonutrients (non-essential, health boosting compounds that can be found in plants) that can be found in seeds (particularly flaxseeds), fruits and vegetables. Although they are not classed as essential nutrients, they can fight free radicals, regulate estrogen levels and more. In this article I will be providing a full breakdown of the lignans and their main health benefits.


There are 2 types of lignans; plant (which are found naturally in plants) and mammalian (which are created by your body from plant lignans).


People were aware of these phytonutrients as early as the 11th century when the roots of wild Chervil were used to treat cancer but they were not discovered until many years later in 1956.


The lignans are all potent antioxidants that can protect your body’s cells against harmful free radicals (dangerous by-products that are released into your body’s cells during oxygen related reactions). They are also powerful phytoestrogens (substances that control estrogen levels within your body) which can prevent cancer (a health disorder where your body’s cells start to grow in a rapid, out of control way), heart disease and osteoporosis (reduced bone mineral density)..

Early evidence indicates that the lignans may also have additional health benefits. For starters, they may prevent atherosclerosis (a condition where hard plaques form in the artery walls, restrict the flow of blood and increase your heart disease risk), diabetes (a disease where your blood glucose levels become extremely high) and hyperlipidemia (a health disorder where the concentration of fats or lipids in your blood becomes abnormally high). Additionally, they may act as anti-inflammatories (substances that regulate unnecessary inflammation), lower blood levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (a type of cholesterol that blocks the arteries and increases your heart disease risk) and lower high blood pressure.


Lignans do not have an official RDA but most sources suggest consuming between 25 milligrams (mg) and 50mg of these phytonutrients each day to unlock their health benefits.


Flaxseeds are the best lignan food and contain an notable 301.59mg per 100 grams (g). Apricots (1.4mg per 100g), broccoli (2.12mg per 100g), Brussels sprouts (1.06mg per 100g), cabbage (1.06mg per 100g), curly kale (2.82mg per 100g) and sesame seeds (39.51mg per 100g) are also very good food sources.


Consuming high levels of lignans has no reported side effects. However, pregnant women and people suffering from cancer are advised to check with their doctor before consuming these phytonutrients. Additionally, consuming high amounts of flaxseeds (the main food source of these phytonutrients) can sometimes increase the risk of bleeding for people with blood disorders and cause gastrointestinal (GI) blockages.

Tom Parker owns Free Fitness Tips – a fantastic source of free, impartial fitness advice. You can learn more about the lignans by visiting Free Fitness Tips.


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