Flaxseed was predominant in antiquity and was first cultivated by the Babylonians. Very soon, the therapeutic qualities of the fruit and the oil were discovered. Apart from the other products it offers, such as threads, fabrics, paints, soap, flax also has very nutritious seeds.
- Flax seeds are a very rich natural source of lignan antioxidants, at a concentration 80 times higher than that in fat fish. Its antioxidant action protects the heart.
- It is gluten-free, and this is why its flour is an ideal choice for people who are gluten intolerant.
- According to a study of the University of Iowa, the consumption of three tablespoonfuls of flax seed every day for three months resulted in almost 10% reduction of cholesterol in men.
- Flax seeds consist of 55% a-linoleic acid, a unsaturated fatty acid of the omega 3 group and, hence, the richest source of the hard to find in nature omega 3, while it also has only traces of omega 6, which are harmful for health.
- They contain natural fibres that enhance bowel function.
- They are a rich source of lignans, often called "natural oestrogens", which are attached to the beta-receptors of oestrogens in the breast, thus offering protection against breast cancer. Scientists of the German Cancer Research Centre in Heidelberg found that women with lower levels of enterolactone - namely, the metabolite in which the plant oestrogens are transformed into at the beginning of their "journey" in the intestine, experienced a 40% lower risk of dying from the disease than others.
- Pesto, bread, in salads, flour as well as in yoghurt, flax seeds offer their beneficial properties.
Did you know that...
"When flax seeds become a daily part of our diets, we shall have better health", Mahatma Gandhi.
Flax seeds are ideal in any cooked food and allow the faster thickening of the sauce, while if soaked in water, they are softened and may be used raw in yoghurt, with cereal and milk and in salads or even plain with honey.