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Benefits of Flax Seed

Published 5/16/13

What Is Flax Seed?

Flaxseed is the seed coming from the flax plant. Flax is a plant native to the eastern Mediterranean region all the way to India but is now grown around the world. Flax has many uses including producing fibers to make linen, producing nutritional flax oil, and as an ingredient of many wood finishing products. Flax seeds come in two common varieties, brown flax and yellow/golden flax.

Flaxseed Nutrition

The main nutritional value that flaxseed has to offer is a result of its Omega-3 essential fatty acids, lignans, and fibers. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are considered a heart-friendly type of fat. Lignans boast a combination of plant estrogen and antioxidant characteristics. Both soluble and insoluble fibers are found within flaxseed.

Flax Seed Health Benefits

Flaxseed has shown ability to lower the risks of certain types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and lung disease. The powerful duo of Omega-3 essential fatty acids and lignans may prevent breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer. Omega-3 essential fatty acids also help fight cardiovascular disease by reducing inflammation and blood pressure. This decrease in inflammation and blood pressure prevents the arteries from hardening along with preventing plaque deposits from building within the arteries. The omega-3’s not only reduce inflammation within arteries, they also help combat the inflammatory response throughout the entire body.

Flax Seed Tips

When consumed whole, it is hard for the body to fully digest it. It is recommend grinding the flaxseed in order to take advantage of all the health benefits that it has to offer. Don’t let the names milled flaxseed, ground flaxseed, or flax meal confuse you. They may sound like three different types of flaxseed but they are all the same exact thing. When storing whole flaxseed, it is best to keep it in a dark, cool place until there is a need to grind it down. The nutrition found within flaxseed is better protected when stored for a long period of time in a whole state rather than a grounded state. When stored properly, whole flaxseed can be stored for up to a full calendar year. When storing ground flaxseed, it is best to store it in the freezer. The freezing temperature will prevent the flaxseed from oxidizing and slowly lose its nutritional value. Ground flaxseed can go rancid within one week’s time if not consumed or stored properly. 

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