Facts on Flax
Flax seeds are barely larger than sesame seeds. They may be eaten whole, but can pass through your system without their nutrients being absorbed because they are so small. Grinding the seeds or extracting the oil is the best way to capture flax's nutrients. Flax seeds can be ground and sprinkled on cereal, mixed into salads, put into pancakes or on your morning oatmeal.
Flax contains omega-3 fatty acids, known to reduce inflammation associated with asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches and osteoporosis. Omega-3's also have cholesterol-lowering effects and may reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and certain cancers.
Flax is also a good source of dietary fiber, folate, vitamin B6 and the minerals magnesium, manganese, phosphorous and copper. Flax also contains lignan (which decreases insulin resistance and may help reduce the chance of a type of post-menopausal breast cancer).
Flax has a mild, nutty flavor and a deep, warm, mocha coloring. Two tablespoons contain 3.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids—enough to provide almost 150% of your daily requirements.