Flax is a blue-flowered plant that grows in the cool, northern climates of the western Canadian prairies and northern U.S. This powerful plant is primarily
known for an array of health benefits and can be consumed in whole seed, milled or oil form.
Although it may look unassuming, flax is a powerhouse of disease-fighting compounds, most important of which are omega-3s from alpha-linolenic acids (ALAs), fiber, and lignans (powerful antioxidants).
Researchers have found that omega-3 fatty acids from flax help prevent heart disease and inflammatory disorders. Flax's high content of lignans helps prevent certain cancers, and its high fiber content helps reduce cholesterol and type-2 diabetes. When consumed, the ALAs in flax allow nutrients to enter the body's cells and aid in the removal of toxins which makes them "essential to life." However, the body can't produce these omega-3 fatty acids on its own, and they must be obtained from sources like flax and fish.
Flax is easy to incorporate into a daily diet. Flax is an ideal, functional food ingredient added to many products on today's grocery shelves, like breads, energy bars, cookies, crackers, and pastas. Whether whole seed or milled, its mild, nutty flavor and texture are a great bonus to the health boost from the omega-3 fats, lignans, and fiber in flax. Adding flax to your favorite foods is an easy way to add nutrition and flavor - turning every recipe into a tasty and meaningful meal!
Humans now have been eating flax for more than 5,000 years. One of the first domesticated plants, flax was valued in ancient and early modern times as both a food and medicine. As researchers continue to investigate the ever-growing health benefits and disease-fighting properties of this little seed, we'll continue to see flax as an ingredient in more and more food products.