Have you ever heard that flaxseed is among the world’s oldest crops? It is an incredibly versatile ingredient having a mild, nutty flavor and crisp, crunchy texture that may improve the taste and texture of nearly any recipe.
What Is Flaxseed?
Flax (Linum usitassimum) ¾ belongs to the family Lineaceae ¾, a perennial herb with blue blossoms. It yields small, flat, yellowish, or brownish seeds.
It is a significantly grown crop in the world’s temperate zones for its edible seeds and fiber.
What Are The Uses Of Flaxseed?
Nutty-flavored flaxseeds can be eaten raw, ground up, and cold-pressed to extract oil. Flaxseeds have been used in paints, textiles, and cattle feed for thousands of years.
Flaxseed is an incredibly versatile superfood for anyone looking to include more nutrient-dense foods. Some of the most common uses for flaxseed include:
1. Adding a nutritional boost to smoothies and juices: Adding flaxseed to juices and smoothies is one of the easiest ways to enjoy it. Not only it tastes great but it is also full of nutrients.
2. Baking with flaxseed meal: Flaxseed meal is ground-up flaxseeds, which makes it easier to incorporate into baking recipes like muffins, pancakes, and more.
3. Cooking with flaxseed oil: Flaxseed oil is an excellent choice for cooking as it is a healthy alternative to other oils and has a nutty flavor that can add depth to dishes without overpowering them.
4. Sprinkling on salads or granola: Adding ground-up flaxseeds to salads or granola is an easy way to increase nutrient content without sacrificing flavor.
5. Adding to yogurt: Ground flaxseed can easily be added to yogurt for a nutritional boost and adds great texture and crunch.
Moreover, having learned about the crop’s various health benefits, people are increasingly using it as an ingredient in a wide range of dishes (such as bread, smoothies, cereals, cakes, etc.) or as a supplement.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Flaxseed?
Firstly, flaxseed is an excellent source of numerous nutrients, like fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, copper, and thiamine, all associated with several health benefits.
It is rich in ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and ¾ omega-3 fatty acid ¾, which may help improve cardiovascular health.
Flaxseed’s high fiber content may equally benefit cholesterol reduction, heart health improvement, blood sugar control, regular bowel movements, digestive health improvement, and weight management.
What Makes Flaxseed An Anti-Cancer Food?
Flaxseed contains a high concentration of lignans, plant compounds with promising anti-cancer properties. Interestingly, compared to other plant foods, this seed contains 75–800 times more lignans.
In addition, a PubMed study reported that eating flaxseed may lower breast cancer risks, predominantly in post-menopausal women.
Another study published in MDPI found that ethanol flaxseed extract has antiproliferative action against specific ovarian and endometrial cancer cells and EAC. This is because phenols have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities.
Furthermore, various animal and test-tube studies have shown that flaxseed may protect against skin, colorectal, lung, and blood cancer.