Flax: The Wonder Seeds

Last Update: September 28, 2022

At first glance, flaxseeds are pretty unassuming. The brown, slightly shiny seeds are tiny—less than 1/4 of an inch long—and have a neutral, slightly nutty flavor.

They aren’t exactly screaming ‘eat me,’ but if you care about your health, that’s just what you should be doing.

What’s all the fuss about? The seeds, which are sometimes called lindseeds, are a great source of dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA. These fatty acids are considered “good fats” that are beneficial for the heart. Flaxseeds are also full of lignans, an estrogen-like chemical compound with antioxidant qualities.

Flaxseeds aren’t just rich in nutrients — they’re rich in history. Flax has been cultivated for thousands of years, dating back to ancient Egypt and early China. King Charlemagne was such a big flaxseed fan that he passed a law requiring all his subjects to eat flaxseeds in the 8th century.

Since flax has become popular as a health food, emerging research has begun to suggest medical uses for the little seed. Some evidence suggests that flaxseeds can also help lower the risk and decrease the severity of cancer, combat diabetes, and boost heart health.

Other studies have indicated that flaxseeds may also protect skin tissue from radiation. A study published in the Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology suggested that dietary intake of flaxseed can decrease the frequency of hot flashes among postmenopausal women.

To reap the most benefits from flax seeds, eat the seeds ground. Whole flaxseed can sometimes pass through the digestive tract undigested. Flaxseed oil (often labeled as linseed oil) is also a great choice to get the most out of your flax consumption.

Photo credit: via Flickr

Share this article

Magda Rod

Magda Freedom Rod is a certified yoga instructor, health & lifestyle guide and founder of Visionary Lifestyle and Conscious Eating 101. She helps people activate their highest potential through conscious eating, yoga and sustainable lifestyle guidance. Visit today to join her mailing list and receive recipes and healthy lifestyle tips!

Download the app for easy shopping on the go

By providing your mobile number, you agree to receive marketing text messages from Thrive Market. Consent not a condition to purchase. Msg & data rates apply. Msg frequency varies. Reply HELP for help and STOP to cancel.

If you are visually-impaired and having difficulty with our website, call us at 1‑855‑997‑2315

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

© Thrive Market 2024 All rights reserved.