Category: 

What are the Benefits of Organic Flaxseed?

Article Details
  • Written By: J.S. Metzker Erdemir
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 22 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

Organic flaxseed contains oils that are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These acids are considered essential to health, and they help prevent inflammation, heart disease, and cancer. Flaxseed is also linked to lower levels of harmful cholesterol. Organic flaxseed has the added benefit of being grown without the use of harmful chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Flaxseed can be sold as whole seeds, though it may also be sold as oil pressed from the seeds.

Dating back to the Stone Age, flaxseed is a very old food source. It was used in Mesopotamia as a healing oil, and it's first recorded culinary use can be traced to the ancient Greeks. The plant is also useful for its strong fibers. Organic flaxseed resembles sesame seeds in size and shape, but flaxseeds are usually dark yellow or light brown. They have a nutty flavor and are slightly crunchy. Organic flaxseed is highly perishable and must be kept refrigerated and out of the light.

Ad

The benefits of organic flaxseed are similar to those of fish oil, and they are often used as a fish oil substitute by vegetarians and vegans. In addition to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, flaxseed oil is a rich source of ALA, or alpha linolenic acid. ALA possibly converts into omega-3 acid in the body, though some people's bodies seem to convert it more efficiently than others'. Insufficient omega-3 in the diet is linked to inflammatory and chronic diseases such as arthritis and heart disease. Organic flaxseed is also a rich source of vitamins B, C, and E. It contains essential trace minerals including zinc, iron, and magnesium.

Organic flaxseed may be eaten whole, crushed into meal, or taken as an oil. The oil may also be made into capsules for use as a dietary supplement. Both the seeds and the oil contain the vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. Whole flaxseeds, however, have more benefits to health than the oil because they contain more protein and soluble fiber. The high fiber and oil content of whole flaxseeds make it an effective laxative.

Whole flaxseeds are an extremely rich source of lignans, which is a group of chemicals found in foods such as legumes, kale, and nuts. Lignans are a type of phytoestrogen, a naturally occurring hormone in some plants. Early clinical studies suggest that lignans may help fight breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer as well as cardiovascular disease.

Ad

Recommended

Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email