The seeds come from flax, one of the oldest fiber crops in the world - known to have been cultivated in ancient Egypt and China. King Charlemagne of the 8th century believed so strongly in the health benefits of flaxseed that he demanded his loyal subjects eat the seeds and passed laws to make sure of it. Flaxseeds (also called linseeds) are a rich source of micronutrients, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3.

What are they?

The seeds come from flax, one of the oldest fiber crops in the world - known to have been cultivated in ancient Egypt and China. King Charlemagne of the 8th century believed so strongly in the health benefits of flaxseed that he demanded his loyal subjects eat the seeds and passed laws to make sure of it. Flaxseeds (also called linseeds) are a rich source of micronutrients, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3.

Flaxseed is a source of healthy fat, antioxidants, and fiber; modern research has found evidence to suggest that flaxseed can also help lower the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Why they’re great for you?
Protects against cancer

Consuming flaxseed may help protect against prostate, colon and breast cancers. Flaxseed is thought to prevent the growth of cancerous cells because its omega-3 fatty acids disrupt malignant cells from clinging onto other body cells. In addition, the lignans in flaxseed have antiangiogenic properties - they stop tumours from forming new blood vessels.

Lowers Cholesterol

Are you suffering from high cholesterol? Left untreated, your arteries could become clogged leading to a heart attack or stroke. f you’re looking for a drug-free, relatively inexpensive way to treat your problem, consider taking flaxseed lignan tablets or sprinkling some ground flaxseed overtop of your meals. 

Prevents hot flashes

A study published in the Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology suggests that a dietary intake of flaxseed can decrease the risk of hot flashes among postmenopausal women. Not only does flaxseed seem to alleviate hot flashes, but it appears to have overall health and psychological benefits as well.

Improving blood sugar

There is strong evidence to suggest that consuming flaxseed every day improves glycemic control in obese men and women with pre-diabetes4, according to a study published in Nutrition Research.

Hypertension

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly one in three Americans (68 million) has high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. A normal blood pressure reading is 120 over 80. If you consistently exceed these numbers, visit your physician. According to Greek researchers, flaxseed oil should also be able to help. In their 12-week study of 59 middle-aged men, they discovered that flaxseed oil consumption resulted in significantly lowered blood pressure readings. Consider adding flaxseed oil to your diet and you may be saving yourself –literally– from the headaches associated with hypertension.

Depression

It’s true: Depression hurts. It has the potential to impact on every moment of your day. There are plenty of antidepressants that doctors may prescribe, but according to a Japanese study, a simple dietary addition may also prove useful. Their study found that patients with significant depression levels also suffered from lower levels of docosahexaenoic and eicosapentanoic acids that are found in various foods including fish, walnuts, and flax. If you’re depressed and haven’t yet investigated the effects your diet maybe having on you, there’s no time like the present.

Liver Disease

Are you living a healthy and fit lifestyle, yet still can’t shake the alcohol consumption? Just like any self-destructive behaviour, you may be putting yourself at great risk. One very serious possibility is liver disease. Fortunately, for those who can’t seem to help themselves, there may be a way to decrease the risk factors involved with liver disease. Recent research conducted on 30 men found that those receiving flaxseed lignan capsules effectively reduced their liver disease risk factors. They concluded that 100 mg supplementation could be beneficial. Of course, a better idea would be to stop drinking.

How should I consume them?

To reap the most benefits from flaxseeds, they should be bought in ground form or ground before consumption as whole flaxseeds can sometimes pass through the digestive tract undigested.

Where can I get myself some?