By Kai Bragg

Recognized as a high-quality food source, dietary supplement, and medicine for thousands of years, flaxseed has long been cultivated for its beneficial qualities. With applications in everything from woodworking to ayurvedic medicine, it is easy to see the importance this crop holds to human health and development. Found at most supermarkets, this ancient super food is easily accessible to the average health-conscious consumer.

Flaxseed is truly a super food. It’s soybean-like nutritional profile is rich in amino acids and contains compounds that reduce inflammation. It’s a great source of dietary fiber, omega-3s and other essential fatty acids. It’s packed with protein, vitamins, minerals and lignans. With omega-3s being known to support heart health, and lignans showing evidence of exhibiting anti-cancer properties, it’s easy to see why flaxseed makes a great addition to a healthy diet.

For dietary purposes, flaxseed is sold in two basic varieties: golden and brown. Having little nutritional difference, golden flaxseed is generally considered the tastier choice. You may decide to use whole seed, ground, or oil preparations, depending on the preferred method of ingestion and the desired health benefits. The whole seed or ground form is generally considered best. Occasionally taken as a part of a digestive cleanse, if ingested in large quantities whole flaxseed may upset your stomach. Supplementing with flaxseed oil can often be the most effective way to incorporate large amounts of the beneficial compounds into your diet. With many options on the market, take some time to consider which form is right for you.

Flaxseed is delicious. Its subtle sweet and nutty flavor and texture lends itself well to breads and baked goods. Finding new recipes to try out may end up being the favorite part of your supplement regimen. Used in everything from pasta to smoothies, flaxseed can provide a nutritious, flavorful addition to any meal. Consider adding it to granola, sprinkling over stir-fry, or even topping a cake with toasted candied flaxseed! With a flavor profile that adapts well to savory or sweet dishes, and a nutritional profile full of beneficial nutrients, flaxseed is easily one of the top choices in health foods

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