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Health Benefits of Flaxseed, the Super Seed that supersedes all.

Flaxseed is one of the oldest cultivations in the history of time dating back to the neolithic era and Bronze Age.  The Ancient Egyptians loved its versatility and used it as a food source, and medicine.  It even became the basis for making the linen cloth they used to wrap the mummies in.

Its Latin name,  linum usitatissimum, quite literally means: most useful, and most useful it is.

So much so that laws were passed requiring people to consume linseed (flax) for its health benefits by King Charlemagne in the 8th century.

Flaxseed was also one of the original medicines, used by Hippocrates the Greek physician, as a relief to intestinal and abdominal pains, and more recently Mahatma Gandhi quoted "Wherever linseed (Flaxseed) becomes a popular food item amongst the people, there will be better health"!

Photo by Vie Studio

Flaxseeds Health Benefits Galore.

So why do we know so little about this superfood? 

What are the health benefits of incorporating it into your diet?

And how can we consume more of it?

Flaxseed most definitely deserves the status of Superseed.  It offers a wide range of health benefits due to its rich nutritional profile. It can be easily incorporated into your daily eating habits to provide you with a fantastic nutrient-rich source of goodness. Michael Greger, MD, author and advocate for a plant-based diet says that Flaxseed is “super healthy” which is why a tablespoon of ground flaxseed every day gets its own spot on the Daily Dozen checklist he created to help inspire people to incorporate some of the healthiest foods into your daily routine.

So, What is Flaxseed?

Flaxseed is a flowering plant with delicate light blue flowers.  Whilst today Canada grows 40% of the world's flax production it is native to West Asia and the Mediterranean coastal lands.

Flaxseed field : Delicate blue flowers

How do you use it?

In plant-based cooking its main application is as a “flax” egg.  First, we grind the flaxseeds into a powder (we use a food processor or hand-held mixer for this onboard).  To make 1 “egg” you take a tablespoon of the ground flax and add it to three tablespoons of water added to water the flax absorbs the water and forms a gel-like substance.  It acts as a binding agent in baking to replace eggs.  At Small Vegan Kitchen we use flaxseeds in our baking and one of our favourite recipes to use flaxseed is in a Vegan Carrot Cake.  You can find out how to make this delicious cake here.

1 tbsp of ground flaxseed 3 tbsp of water added to the flax After 5 mins, 1 "flax egg"

6 Good Reasons to Incorporate Flaxseed in Your Diet?

1. Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Flaxseeds are one of the best plant-based sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and are essential for heart health, brain function, and overall well-being.

2. High in Fibre

Flaxseeds are an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fibre. This fibre content helps promote digestive health by supporting regular bowel movements, preventing constipation, and reducing the risk of digestive disorders like diverticulitis.

3. Lignans

Flaxseeds are rich in lignans, which are phytochemicals with antioxidant properties. Lignans have been associated with various health benefits, including reducing the risk of certain cancers, such as breast, prostate, and colon cancer.

4. Heart Health

The omega-3 fatty acids and fibre in flaxseeds can help lower blood pressure, reduce LDL cholesterol levels (the "bad" cholesterol), and improve overall heart health.

5. Blood Sugar Control

Some research suggests that flaxseeds may help improve blood sugar control, making them beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing diabetes. The soluble fibre in flaxseeds helps slow down the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream, which can help stabilize blood sugar levels.

7. Skin and Hair Health

The omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidant Vitamin E in flaxseeds contribute to healthy skin and hair by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.

Feeling inspired?  Why not try out our Vegan Carrot Cake recipe here.

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