The flax plant has fed, clothed and kept people healthy for centuries. In fact, it could be argued that flax was one of the first crops ever cultivated by humans and can date as far back as 8000 B.C. Even the Bible mentions the many uses of this resourceful plant. The flax plant itself had been used for weaving cloth and clothing. The seeds of the plant were either eaten or pressed to make linseed oil used for cooking. According to historical records, linseed oil has been used internally, as a laxative, and externally to soothe and soften the skin. Today this oil is a now an ingredient in paint, varnish and printer-ink!
Recent medical research has confirmed the old beliefs of flax and found that flax has incredible health benefits, such as:
- Stimulates your immune system
- Protects against certain cancers
- Increases the amount of fibre in your diet
- Lowers cholesterol
- Provides omega-3 fatty acids (also found in fish oil)
- Helps kidneys function better
How to add flax seeds to your diet?
It is very easy to get a hold of flax seeds, most health food and grocery stores carry the product for a fair price. Personally I prefer to grind up the seeds in a blender and sprinkle it on my salads, proteins and even cereal in the morning. You can also bake it into muffins and breads and get the same benefits. Flaxseed are very high in fibre and the more fibre you have the better you will digest food.
Other flax options
Many health food stores have a variety of different flax related products. ex. Flaxseed flour, oil and grounded flax. But be careful, flaxseed oil goes bad quick so don’t over stock!
Because of its super high fibre content, it may cause excessive gas until your body adjusts to it (Yuck). Maybe stay at home as much as you can during the first week of adding flax into your diet! If you are diabetic, haemophiliac or have a blood clotting disorder talk to your doctor before adding flaxseed to your diet, because flaxseed may causes changes in your blood which could effect types of medication.