The use of flax in making linen extends back to ancient Egypt. Pictures of flax plants were drawn on the walls of tombs and temples. It is among the oldest fiber crops in the world; dyed flax fibers were found in a cave used 30,000 years ago.
In early versions of the classic fairytale Sleeping Beauty, the princess pricked her finger on a sliver of flax not on a spindle demonstrating how important flax fiber was at that time.
Flaxseed comes from common flax, an annual plant found nearly everywhere around the world. It comes in two basic varieties brown or yellow and both have similar nutritional characteristics including omega-3 fatty acids.
Although brown flax has been consumed just as often as the yellow variety for thousands of years, it remains better known as an ingredient in other products. Flax seeds are used to produce flaxseed oil (a vegetable oil also known as linseed oil) which has been used for centuries for varnishing wood.
Equally valuable is flax fiber found in the stem of the plant. It is extremely soft and flexible so much so that bundles of it have the appearance of blond hair. In fact that's where the description "flaxen" for blond hair comes from.
- Flaxseed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Flaxseed oil promotes heart health.
- Flaxseed oil is important for healthy skin.
- Flaxseed oil supports immune health.
- Flaxseed oil is one of the best plant sources of alpha-linolenic acid available.
- Flaxseed oil provides Oleic Acid, an omega-9 fatty acid.
- Flaxseed oil is a source of lignans phytochemicals which play a part in the well-being of the body.
- Flaxseed oil is an edible oil derived from the seeds of the flax plant.
- The natural constituents in flaxseed oil may help to balance the production of prostaglandins.
- Flax seeds contain a high level of dietary fiber found primarily in the seed coat, plus an abundance of other micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed and its oil are rich sources of the essential fatty acid ALA alpha-linolenic acid the biologic precursor to omega-3 fatty acids.
- In addition to fiber and fatty acids, flaxseed contains protein, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6. It also offers minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and potassium.
- Flaxseeds are a popular diet item and can be sprinkled on salads, cereals, desserts, and casseroles. Ground flax boosts the nutritional content of baked goods, and flaxseed can also be mixed with water in a blender and used as an egg substitute. For easier digestion, the seeds should be ground up before using.
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