Flax Seed Info — What’s all the Flax about Golden Flax Seeds
Flax is an oil seed that has been used as a food product for thousands of years. Flax, also known as linseed, is an ancient crop that has its origin traced back to 3,000 B.C. when cultivated by the Babylonians. It has been grown all over the world, with its higher production as a field crop noted in fertile river valleys. Around 650 B.C. Hippocrates wrote about the soothing nature of eating flax to relieve abdominal pains.Civic and religious leaders during these times continued to relay messages about the qualities of flax to use for fibers in weaving and promoting the addition of the harvested seed to their diets. There are two types of flax seed. One type is grown for the seed use and considered an oil seed variety.
The other is grown specifically for fiber production to be utilized in the textile industry. In North America, it is primarily the oil seed varieties which are produced commercially. Much of the world flax production occurs in Canada and the United States. The US production is centered in North and South Dakota. A University research project led to the creation of a new variety of flax seed called Omega. This new variety was created primarily as a food source and has a pleasant nutty flavor and has a much higher level of the beneficial Omega-3 oil. In fact, the composition of the flax seeds (and the related health benefits) can vary significantly between the flax seed varieties. The golden flax seed products sold in health food stores generally originate in Canada and do not contain the same organic composition as the Omega flax seed. All golden flax seed is not alike!
Golden flax seed contains:
- Omega-3 oils. Also known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
- Fiber, both soluble and insoluble
Each of these components contributes health benefits to regular flax seed users.
Golden Flax is available in a number of forms including whole seeds, flax oils and capsules, and ground flax meal. As whole seeds pass through the body without the shell of the seed breaking down, the healthy contents of the golden flax seed are not absorbed. Flax oil products do not provide the fiber and lignans that are key components of the health benefits of flax. Freshly ground Omega flax seed provides the maximum health benefits associated with both the Omega-3 essential fatty acids, lignans and the fiber in a form that the human body can absorb and process.