What are oilseeds?

Oilseeds or Oleaginous are coming from plants or trees whose seeds or fruits are rich in fat.

Oleaginous fruits are, for example, nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios. Oilseeds are the seeds of sunflower, poppy, squash, flax or sesame.

There is a multitude of oleaginous that allow us to diversify our food intake and bring us these “good” fats.

What is the nutritional composition of oilseeds?

All oilseeds are rich in omega 6.
But the richest in Omega 3 are nuts, flaxseeds and sunflower seeds.

These are very high in fat foods and they contain some proteins as well.

Some of these oilseeds are very rich in proteins like lupine seeds, they are known as protein-rich crops.

What are they for?

Heart disease

Several studies have linked regular oilseed consumption with a decrease in the number of cardiovascular diseases in women with diabetes (but not in men with diabetes).

The consumption of oilseeds leads to a reduction of cholesterol and is associated with a balanced diet to a better vascular reactivity, a reduction of the oxidative stress and a decrease of the inflammations within our body.
These benefits could explain the reduced risk of developing a cardiovascular disease.

The prevention of cardiovascular diseases could, therefore, be linked, among other things, to oilseed consumption. The literature has actually shown a link between oilseed consumption and cardiovascular disease reduction thanks to their positive impact on many risk factors for the human organism.

Balanced diet

Consuming only a handful of oilseeds would help regulate an individual’s blood sugar.

Oilseeds, and especially almonds, cause a better feeling of satiety.
So even if they are high in calories and fat foods, their consumption does not lead to weight gain. On the contrary, it has been shown that including oilseeds in one’s diet can reduce the total calorie intake of a day.

Replacing certain foods such as cakes or sweets with oilseeds may prove to be an asset to our diet.
Their consumption would provide macronutrients (lipids, proteins, carbohydrates) and micronutrients of interest to our body and would regulate our food intake and therefore our weight.

Gut microbiota

Oilseeds would have a prebiotic effect on our body (see the article on this blog about it), because of the non-assimilation of some of their compounds such as polymerized polyphenols and polysaccharides.
On the one hand, these compounds become substrates used by the gut microbiota and on the other hand, it also creates new compounds assimilated by our body.
These new compounds, assimilated by our body, would bring beneficial effects to our health.

The consumption of oilseeds would protect the integrity of our intestinal barrier, improve the anti-inflammatory status of our body, and increase the synthesis of byturate (bacterial mediator).
This would keep a gut microbiota in symbiosis. A dysbiosis (contrary to the symbiosis) of the gut microbiota can lead to the development of obesity. Oilseed consumption could, therefore, be used for prevention against obesity.

References :

  • E. 2010. Health benefits of nut consumption. Nutrients
  • E. 2016. Nuts and CVD. The British journal of nutrition
  • Lamuel-Raventos 2017. Prebiotic nut compounds and human microbiota. Critical review in food science and nutrition.
  • Sugisaki CSA. 2018. Potential Prebiotic Properties of Nuts and Edible Seeds and Their Relationship to Obesity.Nutrients.





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