Flax or linseed as it is commonly known is a member of the genus Linum in the Linaceae family. It is found in the region stretching from the eastern Mediterranean to India and is among the first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent.

While the plant is used to make fabric, dye, paper, medicines, fishing nets, hair gels, and soap, its seed is considered a goldmine of good health. There are two varieties of flaxseeds – brown and golden yellow. Both varieties contain omega-3 fatty acids.

A person consuming 100 grams of ground flax seed garners about 450 kilocalories, 41 grams of fat, 28 grams of fiber, and 20 grams of protein. Given below is a list of five top benefits of including the benefits of flax seed:

1. Flax seeds are rich in alpha linolenic acids (ALA). ALA is an omega 3 fatty acid that can cut total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. ALA in flax seeds can also help lower blood triglyceride and blood pressure. It may also keep platelets from becoming sticky therefore reducing the risk of a heart attack.

2. Alpha linolenic acids keep muscle cells healthy. Since it can prevents inflammation of joints flax seed oils can be of great help to many people with arthritis. Flaxseed oil can help reduce the need for arthritis medication and other supplements.

3. Lignan, another powerful antioxidant found in flax seeds is shown to have a possible role in cancer prevention especially breast cancer. Studies also suggest flax seed oil is beneficial in Crohn’s disease too.

4. Flax seed oil can heal the inner lining of inflamed intestines. The fiber in flax seeds can also prevent diseases related to unhealthy bacteria in the bowel flora. Consuming flax seed oil every day is found effective to deal with constipation in many people.

5. Flax seed oil is an affordable and safe supplement. You can mix flax seed oils in cereals, salads, and other foods.