Flaxseed

Alternate Names

  • Linseed

Uses

Principal Proposed Uses

Other Proposed Uses

Flaxseeds are the hard, tiny seeds of Linum usitatissimum , the flax plant, which has been widely used for thousands of years as a source of food and clothing. There are at least three flaxseed components with potential health benefits. The first is fiber, valuable in treating constipation . Flaxseed also contains alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fatty acid similar to the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil, but significantly different in other ways, and perhaps offering some of the same benefits. Finally, substances called lignans in flaxseed have phytoestrogenic properties making them somewhat similar to the isoflavones in soy. The oil made from flaxseed has no appreciable amounts of lignans, but it does contain alpha-linolenic acid. See the articles on Flaxseed Oil and Lignans for more information on these substances.

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