The Origins of Flaxseed
There are several very good reasons why you should be eating flaxseed. But before I get into what those are, let’s learn a little more about this tiny yet mighty seed. The origin of flaxseed are unknown due to the sheer recorded history of their use (going back to 30,000 B.C.) and the wide range of regions where the earliest signs of flax have been found. The Egyptians are said to use linseed oil during the embalming process and the cloth was used to wrap the mummy. The material that is produced from flax is today more commonly known as linen (This one surprised me) and is widely used for bedding, table linen and clothing.
The Nutritional Content of Flaxseeds
So here is why you should be eating ground flaxseeds: To begin, please note I specified ìgroundî flaxseed. This is because it has long been thought that whole flaxseeds are harder to digest than ground. By grinding the seeds you are able to absorb more of the nutrition. Whole flaxseeds are thought to travel straight through the digestive system and out the other end. This would negate the whole benefits of eating flax. Also known as linseed, flaxseeds are a very rich source of antioxidants, dietary fiber and those good for you fats. They are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and plant-based protein, as well as vitamins C and B6 and calcium, potassium and iron. The omega 3 can help lower blood pressure. The rich fiber content and healthy fats can also help with weight loss, and improves the metabolism.
Due to their nutritional content, flaxseeds are believed to aid in lowering the risks of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Flaxseed is most commonly used for digestive health. This is particularly useful for people that tend to suffer with constipation. They are also thought to help reduce LDL or bad cholesterol levels. The high fiber content of flaxseed is reputed to assist in keeping blood sugar levels in check, and help with type-2 diabetes. They are rich in antioxidants that help fight some forms of cancer. Their lignans balance the bodyís hormones and aid in minimizing menopausal symptoms, as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy.
Why Not Eat Flaxseeds?
With all of these helpful health benefits, there really is no good reason to not add flaxseeds or flaxseed oil to your diet. Ground flaxseeds are easy to include in your everyday meals. Stir a tablespoon into a cup of yogurt, sprinkle on your cereals as well as your salads. With their slight nutty flavor flaxseeds can be sprinkled on just about any dish and have no negative effects on flavors. So you see, there really is no reason not to eat flax.