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Flaxseeds are one of the few plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are linked to decreased rates of heart disease, stroke, and depression. Flaxseeds also contain lignans, a phytoestrogen (a plant estrogen that mimics estrogen in your body) that's thought to improve cholesterol profiles. A recent clinical trial found that postmenopausal women who ate 40 g of ground flaxseeds daily for three months lowered their total cholesterol by 6 percent. The study was published in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

(Source: Natural Health magazine, March 2003.)

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