Jul 102020
What is a Flaxseed? The Complete Guide
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Welcome to my post on 'What is a Flaxseed?'

First of all, I must congratulate you for taking the time to do your research on this topic of green living. Flaxseed is available in a list of several different forms; seeds, oils, powder, tablets, capsules, and flour. Flax was grown as a crop in ancient Egypt and China.

People use it as a dietary supplement to stop constipation, diabetes, high cholesterol, a heart condition, cancer, and a number of other conditions. It is nutritional and contains healthy fats, antioxidants, and fiber. The nutrients in flaxseed include lignans, antioxidants, fiber, protein, and polyunsaturated fatty acids like omega-3 fatty acid (ALA), or omega-3. Consuming these nutrients may help lower the danger of varied conditions.

As a qualified teacher, I am passionate about education and the impact it can have on bettering our future. It is down to us individuals to do our research and make small changes to the way we live our lives. 

These small changes are easy to make and can have a big impact on our health, the health of our family and our environment. This website is designed for everyday people looking to make these changes. Here you will learn a legitimate way to go green. 

Let me be completely transparent with you, I am not here to pitch or sell anything to you. I am here to reveal and to assist you on your journey of going green! 

What is Flaxseed?

These are a type of seed that is commonly cultivated from a plant called Linum usitatissimum. There are several different names for the seed of this plant. They are most commonly known as flaxseed or linseed, but many people simplify their names to flax. In addition to referring to the plant, the term "flax" can refer to the unspun fibers of the flax plant. 

As with all seeds, it is a part of the plant used for the process of reproduction. It is an embryonic plant enclosed in a protective outer covering. 

Flax-flowers

What is Linum Usitatissimum?

Linum Usitatissimum is. member of the genus Linum and a part of the Linaceae plant family. This is a family of flowering plants of about 2050 different species. There are two subfamilies - Linoideae and Hugonioideae. The two can be identified by the differences in their leaves and flowers. Linaceae has simple leaves, with a variety of arrangements - alternate, opposite or whorled.

The cultivated flax plant grows up to 1.2 m or 3 ft 11 inches tall. It has long slender stems. The flowers are a pale blue all over, measuring 15–25 mm in diameter, with a total of five petals.

Where Does it Grow?

It's a crop used for food and fiber which is cultivated in cooler regions of the planet with longer daylight periods. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides a data map and further information on the plant. The oil created in known as linseed oil. 

The plant species is understood to be cultivated and was domesticated from one wild species; Linum Bienne (commonly referred to as pale flax. However, the flax plant in New Zealand are members of a different plat family called Phormium.

In the North American region, it is specially grown for commercial purposes. The production of flax in the U.S occurs mainly in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana. For the last two years, the total production of flax in the U.S was 3.84 million bushels.

In the U.S, farmers planted 229,000 acres of flax in North Dakota state, averaging at 14.1 bushels an acre. According to NASS, 2018, flax production in North Dakota is over three million bushels.

Canada is also one of the largest producers of flaxseed in the world, representing about 45% of flaxseed production in the world. 

Some places grow this crop organically and other places use conventional methods. Each method has impacts on our health and the health of our environment.

How is the Flax Plant Used?

In general, there are two reasons to grow flax – i.e. for fiber and seeds. The textiles created from the fiber of its plant are called lined in Western countries. 

This fabric is used for clothing, bedding, and cloth. Linen is a wonderful fabric; comfortable, allows for airflow, keeps you dry and cool. I particularly like it because it is sustainable.

How is Flaxseed Used?

Flaxseed has a wide range of both domestic and industrial applications. Companies in Canada grow flax on prairies mainly to produce the seeds. Form the seeds they create linseed oil, which is used in varnishes and paints as a drying component. It is also used in different products like printing and linoleum inks. 

However, relatively recent research demonstrates that flaxseeds are also very beneficial for our health when included in our diet. Traditionally, flax has not been used in this way and more and more people are now taking advantage of these health benefits of this plant. 

Commercial Uses of Flax...


  • Flax as a food product such as snacks, pasta, waffles, pet food, oil mixes, meal, energy bars, crackers, cereals, and bread.
  • Commercial recipes like cookbooks, orzo, flax soup, lentil, meatloaf, orange bran flax muffins, farmland flax cookies, two-hour bund, and flax rice.
  • Animal and poultry feeds such as cattle rations, equine feeds, hog rations, and pet foods. 
  • Linseed oil for the protection of wood
  • Paint, varnishes, inks, etc.
  • Health supplements for healthy heart, diabetes, weight loss, and fitness.
Freshly-Baked-Bread

What was flax traditionally used for?


Flax is one of the oldest crops. People have been growing flaxseed since the beginning of human civilization. This cultivated crop is native to the region – from the eastern Mediterranean region to India. It was the first cultivated crop or product used in Fertile Crescent.

Flax was primarily grown for use in linens. Linen is a popular textile product known in the Western hemisphere – is made from flax, which was traditionally used for underclothes, bed sheets, and table linen.

Benefits of Flaxseed...

 

When consumed, there is a wide range of benefits provided by flaxseed. The seeds are highly rich in fiber, antioxidants, and healthy fats. The seeds also contain protein, essential fatty acids like omega-3 and alpha-linolenic acid, as well as lignans.

Flax has been proven to help reduce the risks of cancer, diabetes, heart disorders, and other chronic ailments.

Flaxseeds are also a rich source of protein. When you consume a small number of flaxseeds (1 teaspoon) daily, it will provide your body with protein and fiber content that suppresses your appetite significantly and this supports weight loss. 

In this way, you will feel full and thus won’t eat more food. The basic purpose is to prevent people from overeating. So, it is a great natural supplement to lose weight since it contains low-calories starch and sugar.

Nutritional Information...

Nutritional Information - light 

In a ten-gram serving of flaxseed, there will be one gram of water-soluble fiber and three grams of insoluble fiber. Water-soluble fiber is known for lowering blood cholesterol. Insoluble fiber can prevent constipation.

Flaxseed contains high levels of protein, fiber, different B vitamins, and a selection of minerals. Flaxseed is rich in thiamine, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids (over 50%).

According to Self Nutrition Data, one tablespoon of ground flax seeds contains the following:

  • Calories: 37
  • Protein: 1.3 grams
  • Carbs: 2 grams
  • Fiber: 1.9 grams
  • Total fat: 3 grams
  • Saturated fat: 0.3 grams
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0.5 grams
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2.0 grams
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: 1,597 mg
  • Vitamin B1: 8% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 2% of the RDI
  • Folate: 2% of the RDI
  • Calcium: 2% of the RDI
  • Iron: 2% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 7% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 4% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 2% of the RDI

Health Benefits...

Health Benefits - light 

Research suggests that consuming flaxseed may reduce some types of cholesterol in the blood. When consuming 30 grams daily for more than 12 weeks, some people have reported a loss of weight, reduced body mass index (BMI), and reductions in blood pressure. 

  • Flax Seeds are Loaded with Nutrients
  • High in Omega-3 Fats
  • Contain High-Quality Protein
  • May Reduce Cancer Risk
  • Rich in Dietary Fiber
  • Improve Cholesterol
  • Lowers your vital sign
  • Help Control blood sugar
  • May Aid Weight Control
  • Optimal Visual Health
Woman-Measuring-Waist

Heals Skin...

Heals Skin - light

Linseed oil can be used on the skin to treat chronic skin conditions, like rosacea, acne, dermatitis, eczema or psoriasis, the fatty acids act to balance out the skin’s oils and reduce any inflammation, helping the skin to repair.

Is Flax Safe to Use?

 

Flaxseed and its oil is nontoxic and are recognized as safe for human consumption. Similarly, with many other foods, flax contains small amounts of cyanogenic glycoside, which is nontoxic when consumed in small amounts.

However, when consumed in large quantities can become toxic to our bodies. It is important to note that you would have to be eating an awful lot of flaxseed to experience these effects.

What Is a Flaxseed? The Final Verdict!

 

The flax plant has been used for thousands of years for clothing and in more recent years it is being recognized for its serious health advantages. Eating the seeds or applying the oil made from the seeds to your skin has many benefits we can take advantage of. Just remember that this food is best used to boost your diet and not as a substitute for fish.

If you have any comments or questions, please reach out to me in the space provided to you below and I will get back to you soon.


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Reader Comments

  1. Wow I will have to try out eating a tablespoon a day. I tend to overeat and I can tell I’m starting to put on some pounds:( I think that this would be a good way for me to curb my eating naturally!

  2. Great post! I knew that flaxseed has many health and other benefits, but I wasn’t aware there are so many. Like for example, and that’s the best one in my mind, that it’ rich in protein and fiber and one teaspoon can help to lose weight in the long run — another great solution from our Mother Nature. I learned a lot from your post! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Hi Ivan, there really are a lot of benefits that can come from consuming flax. People spend so much money on the latest diet fads when there is such a simple natural solution available. You are welcome, have a great day.

  3. Great job with this post! I never realized how healthy flaxseed is. My dad has been having issues with his cholesterol level so I’ll make sure to mention this to him. Keep up the good work!

  4. Hi Catherine, as a vegetarian I always look for great nutrition to replace meat and fish. You then run the risk of becoming deficient in vitamins and fats. When I look at the qualities that Flaxseed has, I believe it would be welcomed by my body 🙂
    I think this should be on my shopping list! Thanks for the complete explanation.

    Loes

  5. Great article, I have come across flaxseed, when working on my organic diet. I’ve only consumed it in vitamins and oil. I would be really interested in seeing the benefits when it is used in skincare. Generally, most preservatives used in Ancient Egypt are youthful and purifying, I’m happy to explore flaxseed a lot more, really informative, I enjoyed reading this article. Thanks

    1. Hi, Yes it is used commonly these days by people on a range of healthy diets.

      I personally really enjoy using flaxseed oil on my skin.

      All the very best.

  6. Wow, the fact that this has a lot of fiber is pretty impressive. Me and my wife are trying to go as healthy as we can. I really love your site and how helpful this article was for both of us. How much should we take of this a day for fiber intake you think?

  7. Wow! It is amazing to see how much nutrients just one tablespoon of flaxseeds contain. Definitely a must-add to my daily food. I am also amazed at how pretty the flowers are for this plant and I am glad you shared the information on its growth. I recently started a herb garden, and while this may not be considered a herb, I am thinking of planting some seeds just to see how it turns out. Awesome post! Thanks for sharing.

    1. These are some wonderful ideas. Yes is very beneficial and would make a lovely contribution to a garden.

      This would be a very cost-effective way to have access to this wonderful plant.

      All the very best!

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