Flax seeds come in two basic varieties, brown and yellow or golden, with most types having similar nutritional values and equal amounts of short-chain omega-3 fatty acids. The exception is a type of yellow flax called Linola or solin, which has a completely different oil profile and is very low in omega-3. Although brown flax can be consumed as readily as yellow, and has been for thousands of years, it is better known as an ingredient in paints, fiber and cattle feed. They produce a vegetable oil known as flaxseed or linseed oil; it is one of the oldest commercial oils and solvent-processed this oil has been used for centuries as a drying oil in painting and varnishing.
Flax is grown both for its seeds and for its fibers. Various parts of the plant have been used to make fabric, dye, paper, medicines, fishing nets and soap. It is also grown as an ornamental plant in gardens. One hundred grams of ground flax seed supplies about 450 kilo-calories, 41 grams of fat, 28 grams of fiber, and 20 grams of protein. One tablespoon of ground this and three tablespoons of water may serve as a replacement for one egg in baking by binding the other ingredients together. These that are grown into the ground can also be mixed in with oatmeal, yogurt, wafer (similar to Metamucil), or any other food item where a nutty flavour is appropriate. This sprouts are edible, with a slightly spicy flavour. Excessive consumption of flax seeds can cause diarrhea.
Flax seeds contain high levels of lignans and Omega-3 fatty acids. Lignans may benefit the heart, possess anti-cancer properties and studies performed on mice found reduced growth in specific types of tumors. Initial studies suggest that flaxseed taken in the diet may benefit individuals with certain types of breast and prostate cancers. Flax may also lessen the severity of diabetes by stabilizing blood-sugar levels. There is some support for the use of flax seed as a laxative due to its dietary fiber content though excessive consumption without liquid can result in intestinal blockage. Consuming large amounts of this can impair the effectiveness of certain oral medications, due to its fiber content.
Its high content of alpha linolenic acids has made the ancient flax seed become our modern miracle food. Alpha linolenic acid is a type of plant-derived omega 3 fatty acid, similar to those found in fish such as salmon. Benefits of flax seed as shown in many studies include lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the Bad cholesterol) levels. Other benefits show that flax seed may also help lower blood triglyceride and blood pressure. It may also keep platelets from becoming sticky therefore reducing the risk of a heart attack. Aside from alpha linolenic acid, flax seed is rich in lignan. Lignan is a type phytoestrogen and also provides fiber. Researches reveal that lignan in this shows a lot of promise in fighting disease -- including a possible role in cancer prevention especially breast cancer.