Flaxseed

Flaxseeds are brown or yellow/golden seeds that come from the blue-flowered flax plant. Flax has been used by humans for thousands of years and was first cultivated in ancient Ethiopia, Egypt, and the Republic of Georgia in 30,000 BC. Today flax crops are mainly grown in the cool, northern climates of the western Canadian prairies and China. Farming flax requires few fertilizers or pesticides and the health benefits of this sustainable renewable resource are tremendous as some have labeled it “The Super Food”.

        
Flax Flower                                                                         Flax Field

Flax seeds contain an abundance of omega-3 essential fatty acids, micronutrients, and lignans, as well as high levels of dietary fibre.

Essential fatty acids (EFA) are fatty acids that humans and animals must ingest through food sources because the body requires them for good health but cannot produce them naturally. Almost all the polyunsaturated fat in the human diet is from EFA. Polyunsaturated fat is a good fat and should be regularly consumed and always substituted for saturated and trans fats.

One main component of flax is lignan. Lignans are a group of chemical compounds or phytoestrogens that also act as antioxidants. In addition, lignans provide fibre and help fight against diseases including the prevention of certain cancer, such as breast cancer. Flax contains up to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods contain.

Flaxseeds assist in the lowering of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, and help reduced the risk of a heart attack.

One hundred grams of ground flax seed supplies about 450 kilocalories, 41 grams of fat, 28 grams of fiber, and 20 grams of protein.

    
Brown Flax Seeds                                   Yellown/Golden Flax Seeds

 

Flax seeds are edible, with a slightly spicy and nutty flavor.