Flax Seed (Linseed): Benefits, Nutrition, Side Effects and Facts

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Great Plains Golden Flax Seeds
Too much flaxseed can lead to:. In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikispecies. I followed the recipe exactly. They can only be obtained by eating the right foods, as the human body does not produce them. The effect of flaxseed powder on insulin resistance indices and blood pressure in prediabetic individuals: Retrieved 21 February

Flaxseed Isn't a Magic Bullet

The Benefits of Flaxseed

It is then stored by farmers before extracting the fibers. Threshing is the process of removing the seeds from the rest of the plant. Flax processing is divided into two parts: This can be performed by three machines: The second part of the process brings the flax into a state for the very finest purposes, such as lace , cambric , damask , and very fine linen. This second part is performed by a refining machine. Before the flax fibers can be spun into linen, they must be separated from the rest of the stalk.

The first step in this process is retting , which is the process of rotting away the inner stalk, leaving the outer parts intact. At this point, straw, or coarse outer stem cortex and epidermis , is still remaining.

To remove this, the flax is "broken", the straw is broken up into small, short bits, while the actual fiber is left unharmed.

Scutching scrapes the outer straw from the fiber. The stems are then pulled through "hackles", which act like combs to remove the straw and some shorter fibers out of the long fiber. Several methods are used for retting flax. It can be retted in a pond, stream, field, or tank. When the retting is complete, the bundles of flax feel soft and slimy, and quite a few fibers are standing out from the stalks.

When wrapped around a finger, the inner woody part springs away from the fibers. Pond retting is the fastest. It consists of placing the flax in a pool of water which will not evaporate. It generally takes place in a shallow pool which will warm up dramatically in the sun; the process may take from a few days to a few weeks. Pond-retted flax is traditionally considered of lower quality, possibly because the product can become dirty, and is easily over-retted, damaging the fiber.

This form of retting also produces quite an odor. Stream retting is similar to pool retting, but the flax is submerged in bundles in a stream or river. This generally takes two or three weeks longer than pond retting, but the end product is less likely to be dirty, does not smell as bad, and because the water is cooler, is less likely to be over-retted.

Both pond and stream retting were traditionally used less because they pollute the waters used for the process. In field retting, the flax is laid out in a large field, and dew is allowed to collect on it. This process normally takes a month or more, but is generally considered to provide the highest quality flax fibers, [ citation needed ] and it produces the least pollution.

Retting can also be done in a plastic trash can or any type of water-tight container of wood, concrete, earthenware, or plastic. Metal containers will not work, as an acid is produced when retting, and it would corrode the metal. If the water is any colder, it takes longer. Scum collects at the top, and an odor is given off the same as in pond retting.

Dressing the flax is the process of removing the straw from the fibers. Dressing consists of three steps: The breaking breaks up the straw. Some of the straw is scraped from the fibers in the scutching process, and finally, the fiber is pulled through heckles to remove the last bits of straw.

In September , it was reported that Canadian flax exports had been contaminated by a deregistered genetically modified cultivar called 'Triffid' that had food and feed safety approval in Canada and the U. In a coronet, it appeared on the reverse of the British one-pound coin to represent Northern Ireland on coins minted in , , and Flax also represents Northern Ireland on the badge of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom and on various logos associated with it.

In early versions of the Sleeping Beauty tale, such as " Sun, Moon, and Talia " by Giambattista Basile , the princess pricks her finger, not on a spindle, but on a sliver of flax, which later is sucked out by her children conceived as she sleeps.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Flax disambiguation. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. February Learn how and when to remove this template message. List of flax diseases. Retrieved 2 October Theoretical and Applied Genetics. Archived from the original on 5 April Archived from the original on Science , Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. Princeton University Press, p. Growing Plants for Natural Dyes and Fibers". Courier Dover Publications, p.

Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry. Last updated on February 16, , Flaxseed and flaxseed oil Linum usitatissimum ". Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society.

Their history, culture and character, Samuel Noah Kramer , pg. Archived PDF from the original on The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Food and Drug Administration. Archived from the original on 17 June Retrieved 1 June Trop Med Int Health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. Archived from the original on 11 May Retrieved 21 February Industrial Crops and Products.

Archived from the original on 17 February Retrieved 11 January Archived PDF from the original on 14 October Archived from the original on 1 February Glass Carbon Tenax Basalt Metallic. Chinese herbology Indian herbology Islamic herbology Japanese herbology Korean herbology.

List of plants used in herbalism. Retrieved from " https: Some of the other components in flaxseed also have antioxidant properties, which may contribute to protection against cancer and heart disease.

Research suggests that plant omega-3s help the cardiovascular system through several different mechanisms, including anti-inflammatory action and normalizing the heartbeat. Fitzpatrick says new research also suggests significant blood pressure -lowering effects of flaxseed. Those effects may be due to both the omega-3 fatty acids as well as the amino acid groups found in flaxseed.

More research is needed on this. Eating flaxseed daily may also help your cholesterol levels. The level of LDL or "bad" cholesterol in the bloodstream has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease , obesity , diabetes , and metabolic syndrome. A study of menopausal women showed a decrease in LDL level after the women ate 4 tablespoons of ground flaxseed each day for a year.

Fitzpatrick says the cholesterol -lowering effects of flaxseed are the result of the combined benefits of the omega-3 ALA, fiber, and lignans. Preliminary research also suggests that daily intake of the lignans in flaxseed may modestly improve blood sugar as measured by hemoglobin A1c blood tests in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Two components in flaxseed, ALA and lignans, may reduce the inflammation that accompanies certain illnesses such as Parkinson's disease and asthma by helping block the release of certain pro-inflammatory agents, Fitzpatrick says. ALA has been shown to decrease inflammatory reactions in humans.

And studies in animals have found that lignans can decrease levels of several pro-inflammatory agents. Reducing inflammation associated with plaque buildup in the arteries may be another way flaxseed helps prevent heart attack and strokes. One study of menopausal women, published in , reported that 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed mixed into cereal, juice, or yogurt twice a day cut their hot flashes in half.

The women noticed a difference after taking the daily flaxseed for just one week and achieved the maximum benefit within two weeks. But another study reported no significant reduction in hot flashes between postmenopausal women and breast cancer patients eating a bar containing milligrams of phytoestrogens from ground flaxseed and women eating a placebo bar.

The results, says Thompson, are consistent with other studies that have shown no siginifcant difference in the effect on hot flashes between flaxseed and placebo. It's tempting to think of flaxseed as a super food because of its many potential health benefits. But keep in mind there is no magic food or nutrient that guarantees improved health. What matters is consistently making great dietary choices as part of an overall healthy lifestyle.

Until more is known, Thompson says, pregnant women and possibly breastfeeding mothers should not supplement their diets with ground flaxseed. But a study of another investigator showed the opposite effect," Thompson says.

Many experts believe it's better to consume flaxseed than flax oil which contains just part of the seed so you get all the components. But stay tuned as researchers continue to investigate. Thompson says, "Ground flaxseed, in general, is a great first choice, but there may be specific situations where flax oil or the lignans taken in amounts naturally found in flaxseed might be as good.

How much flaxseed do you need? The optimum dose to obtain health benefits is not yet known. But 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed a day is currently the suggested dose, according to the Flax Council of Canada. Ready to try flaxseed? Her opinions and conclusions are her own.

Although flaxseed contains all sorts of healthy components, it owes its primary healthy reputation to three of them: Omega-3 essential fatty acids , "good" fats that have been shown to have heart -healthy effects.

Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1. Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75 to times more lignans than other plant foods. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types. Cancer Recent studies have suggested that flaxseed may have a protective effect against breast cancer , prostate cancer , and colon cancer.

Continued The lignans in flaxseed may provide some protection against cancers that are sensitive to hormones without interfering with the breast cancer drug tamoxifen. Cardiovascular Disease Research suggests that plant omega-3s help the cardiovascular system through several different mechanisms, including anti-inflammatory action and normalizing the heartbeat. Diabetes Preliminary research also suggests that daily intake of the lignans in flaxseed may modestly improve blood sugar as measured by hemoglobin A1c blood tests in adults with type 2 diabetes.

Continued Inflammation Two components in flaxseed, ALA and lignans, may reduce the inflammation that accompanies certain illnesses such as Parkinson's disease and asthma by helping block the release of certain pro-inflammatory agents, Fitzpatrick says.

Hot Flashes One study of menopausal women, published in , reported that 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed mixed into cereal, juice, or yogurt twice a day cut their hot flashes in half. The results, says Thompson, are consistent with other studies that have shown no siginifcant difference in the effect on hot flashes between flaxseed and placebo Flaxseed Isn't a Magic Bullet It's tempting to think of flaxseed as a super food because of its many potential health benefits.

Tips for Using Flaxseed Many experts believe it's better to consume flaxseed than flax oil which contains just part of the seed so you get all the components. Continued Thompson says, "Ground flaxseed, in general, is a great first choice, but there may be specific situations where flax oil or the lignans taken in amounts naturally found in flaxseed might be as good.

Here are more tips for using, buying, and storing flaxseed: Buy it ground or grind it yourself. Flaxseed, when eaten whole, is more likely to pass through the intestinal tract undigested, which means your body doesn't get all the healthful components. If you want to grind flaxseed yourself, those little electric coffee grinders seem to work best.

Milled or ground flaxseed is the same thing as flax meal. Buy either brown or golden flaxseed.

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