Flaxseed – is it the new superfood?

Find out what flaxseed is all about and why it’s a super food.

Flaxseed is one of the most powerful foods. It is becoming a popular addition to a healthy diet due to its many benefits that are packed in these tiny seeds. Some of these benefits include that it may help prevent heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.

Flaxseed was cultivated as early as 3000 B.C. in the Mediterranean Sea and in the Middle East. The value of flaxseed was both culinary and domestic, since flax fibers were used in producing linen to manufacture clothing and other textile related products. In the eighth century, King Charlemagne believed so strongly in the health benefits of flaxseed that he passed laws requiring his people to consume it.

Flaxseed is becoming more available these days on the shelves at local grocery stores. You can find added flaxseed in crackers, bread, oatmeal and many other foods. Flaxseed can be found in different forms. They can be found as whole seeds or ground, which is also called flaxseed meal or powder.

Flaxseed has many properties that can contribute to better health due to the content of Omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are good fats, and have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. In addition to its antioxidant properties, flaxseed also contains both soluble and insoluble fiber.

It is recommended to consume ground flaxseed (meal) or ground the seeds yourself before adding to your food to make digestion easier, since the seeds are hard to chew. Also, when the seeds are whole, they are more likely to pass through the intestinal tract without the ability of your body to absorb all the benefits. Michigan State University Extension recommends adding flaxseed to your morning smoothies, pancakes, muffins and even to meat loaf.

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