Since the beginning of civilization humans have consumed flaxseed. Before 5000 BC, Egyptians carried flaxseed in their medical bags.
Later on in history, written by Hippocrates stated flaxseed was used for the relief of abdominal pains in some of his writings. For 8,000 years flaxseed has been used as a source for sustaining energy.
During the eighth century, King Charlemagne passed laws requiring the consumption of flaxseed by his subjects to ensure their good health. Over more recent centuries, flaxseed use has grown across Europe, Africa and now to North America. In spite of all this history, flaxseed is still a mystery to many. It, along with soy, is just starting to gain in popularity in the world of nutrition.
There are many health threats that appear to be helped with the consumption of flaxseed. Among them are cardiovascular health and digestion, the inhibiting of tumor formation, a decrease in the symptoms of menopause, and increase in stamina, the reduction of the inflammation of arthritis and even the production of silky smooth skin and shiny hair. And these are just for starters.
The flaxseed has a nutty, butter flavor and contains a virtual powerhouse of nutrients. It is one of the richest sources of alpha-linoleic acid, one type of fatty acid in the omega-3 family, considered super-unsaturated fat or a "good" fat. The Omega-3 fatty acids, also found in salmon, leafy vegetables and nuts, help reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering elevated blood fat (serum triglycerides) and reducing blood pressure. Flaxseed is also a great source of insoluble and soluble fiber, which helps reduce cholesterol levels.
Along with the all-important Omega-3 fatty acids and added fiber, flaxseed also contains a phytoestrogen, a naturally occurring plant estrogen called lignans. Lignans also have many health benefits including prevention of bone loss, reduced risk of colon cancer and estrogen-related breast cancer, and diminished symptoms of menopause. Both flaxseeds and soybeans are two of the richest food sources for plant estrogens.
As a dietary supplement, flaxseed and flax oil can be found in 100% Golden Flax Oil form, or in Organic Flaxseed Oil Softgel form. You can also usually find many sources of ready-to-eat foods containing flaxseed. The seeds and the oil both have benefits, but most prefer to use the seeds for the additional high fiber and lignan content.
Add flaxseed to your own recipes! The pleasant, nutty flavor of flaxseed is very easy to work with and much more pleasant to use than soybean products. A good idea is to grind the flaxseed prior to use. You can mill them with a food processor or a blender or coffee grinder.
Available in food form, is dry roasted organic flaxSeed. Roasted flaxseeds can be enjoyed direct from the bag, or sprinkled on cereal, yogurt and other foods, or used in baking. Add it any number of food categories including baked goods, smoothies, casseroles, burgers and meat loaf. If you decide to give flaxseed a try, it is important to note you should ease it into your diet slowly. There is 30g of fiber for every 100g of dry seed - this is a very high level of fiber.
One of the newest flaxseed products is flax and soy based granola by Zoe Foods, called Flax and Soy Clusters. Tori Stuart had begun to make her own granola using flaxseed, soy and other natural ingredients believed to help manage menopause and she did, indeed, find relief from her concoction. From the personal experience of Tori's mother came the idea for Zoe Foods.
Start out using half of a tablespoon per serving and slowly increase from there. As there is no precise recommended daily amount determined at this time, it is best to use flaxseed in moderation. Current studies indicate that tremendous health benefits, especially to the cardiovascular system, can be gained by adding two tablespoons a day to your diet.