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Flax Seed

51nHuvIYE+L._SL500_SS500_Flax seed

The fantastic Flax Seed (also known as Linseed). It may not be big, but it certainly is mighty.
Known to be used as far back as 30,000 B.C, ancient cultures were already aware of the nutritional benefits of this mighty plant. Today it is recognised as a substance that carries one of the widest nutrient payloads of any superfood. It has a similar Vitamin and Mineral profile to that of grains, but has the huge advantage of a much greater ratio of Fibre, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and an excellent Antioxidant profile.

Flax Seed is high in many of the B Vitamins as well as Magnesium and Manganese and also offers an abundance of Micronutrients. Additionally, flax seed is very low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for people who want to limit their intake of starches and sugars.

Flax Seed is renowned for its Omega-3 Fatty Acid profile. Evidence shows that Omega 3 (such as in fish, flax, and walnuts) helps reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is thought to play a part in many chronic diseases including heart disease, arthritis, asthma, diabetes, and even some cancers. Most of the oil found in Flax is Alpha Linolenic Acid, (ALA). ALA is an Essential Fatty Acid, called so because they cannot be produced within the body and must be acquired through diet. It is thought to have numerous positive effects of its own, but is also very useful at helping the Omega 3/6 balance.

Not only is Flax Seed full of a wide range of nutrients and phytochemicals, but it is also known to be high in Lignans.  Lignans are a collection of compounds found in plants, which are estrogen-like chemicals also recognised as good antioxidants due to their ability to scavenge the free radicals that may play a role in some diseases. Recent studies are looking into the effects of Lignans and their ability to bind to oestrogen receptors and interfere with the cancer-promoting effects of oestrogen on certain tissues. The potential positive effects of Lignans has also initiated research into their effects on other types of cancer such as prostate and colon cancer. There is also research being conducted with regards to lignans and their ability to promote fertility, reduce peri-menopausal symptoms, and help prevent Type 2 diabetes.

As many people already know, Flax is full of both soluble and insoluble fibre. This fibre is what is thought to play a role in lowering cholesterol and also helps stabilise blood sugar as well as promoting proper functioning of the intestines.

With regards to the dieters amongst us, it is its combination of healthy fat and high fibre that has got flax the attention for people looking for weight loss and maintenance. Many dieters have found that flax seed has been a key to keeping them feeling satisfied and have achieved some amazing results with their new found healthy lifestyle.