Through the ages flaxseed has been used for all
kinds of illness except as food. Flax is one of the
oldest fiber used in the making of linen. Its seed also known as
linseed is used in making paint. In
the modern world the closest it has come to food is feeding livestock.
Today research has shown that flaxseed is good for our health. It has
shown to help fight heart disease and cancer. It is a great source of
compounds called lignans. You would have to eat sixty cups of broccoli
to get the same amount of lignans that are in one quarter cup of
This is important because lignans may have powerful antioxidant
properties that can help block bad effects harmful oxygen molecules
called free radicals. These molecules are thought to cause changes in
the body that can lead to cancer. Flaxseed is very high in fiber.
Three table spoons give you twelve percent of the daily value which is
great for your intestines. It helps move your bowels more quickly
making them less likely to do harm.
Flaxseed also appears to lower levels of dangerous low density
lipoprotein cholesterol the kind that can cause heart disease. I a
study people who ate five table spoons of flaxseed a day lowered their
cholesterol by eight percent.
Laboratory research has shown the lignans in flaxseed may have bacteria and fungus fighting abilities
which mean it can help in fighting infections. Lignans can help subdue
cancerous changes once they have occurred in research studies. It has
been shown that the omega 3 fatty acids the it contains appear to
reduce the incidence of blood clotting that can increase the risk of
heart disease and stroke.
Remember flaxseed is protected by a tough outer shell. It is not like
pumpkin or sun flower seeds it is usually used in other foods. You can
soak them in water over night to soften the shell to eat. You can add
them to a whole grain cereal for breakfast. Sources for flaxseed are
in the health food departments and should be bought whole and not in
oil forms. You should buy the cracked or milled forms and can be
eating out of the package or sprinkled on salads or food. You can
ground the seed in a coffee grinder and add to muffins, bread, or
other baked goods. You can also buy flax flour and you won't notice
any change in the taste.