Flaxseed - How the super plant becomes a superfood
Facts and benefits of the plant behind the flaxseed
Flaxseeds: History and Origin
Flaxseeds are a true superfood and are obtained from the common flax, an ancient crop also known as linseed, hair lens, or flax. This annual plant belongs to the flax family (Linaceae) and has been known for millennia. The ancient Egyptians already appreciated the valuable seeds as food and medicine. The common flax has also been cultivated and used in Europe since the Middle Ages. Today, flaxseeds are very popular due to their valuable ingredients and versatile uses. They can be used in many dishes and are also available as a dietary supplement. They are excellent as an ingredient in bread, muesli, or smoothies and can also serve as a plant-based substitute for eggs. Flaxseeds are also a popular ingredient in low-carb diets as they contain few carbohydrates and are rich in fiber.
Flaxseeds: Production and Use
The production of flaxseeds is simple: the seeds are obtained from the capsule fruits of the common flax, which form after flowering. Each pollinated flower produces a capsule fruit with 10 flaxseeds. The seeds are then cleaned and can be used either whole or ground. Flaxseeds are a versatile ingredient and can be used in various ways. For example, they can be used as an ingredient in bread and pastries, giving them a special flavor. Flaxseeds are also great in muesli and smoothies, providing an extra portion of nutrients. As a plant-based substitute for eggs, they are also suitable because they develop a slimy consistency when soaked, which serves as a binding agent. In addition, they can also be used as a binding agent in sauces and soups.
Flaxseeds: Nutritional Value and Health Benefits
Flaxseeds contain a variety of valuable nutrients, including fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. These ingredients have a positive effect on health and can help, among other things, to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The fiber in flaxseeds is also very important for digestion and can help prevent constipation. Flaxseeds also contain lignans, which act as antioxidants and can help prevent cancer. In addition, studies have shown that flaxseeds can help in the treatment of diabetes and obesity, as they stabilize blood sugar levels and have a satiating effect. For these reasons, flaxseeds are a popular ingredient in low-carb diets.
Flaxseeds and a Low-Carb Diet
Flaxseeds are also popular in a low-carb diet as they have a high fiber content and can therefore increase the feeling of fullness. Fiber is also important for good digestion and can help stabilize blood sugar levels. Flaxseeds also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and are important for good brain function.
Integrating Flaxseeds into Daily Life
Flaxseeds can be integrated into the diet in various ways. For example, they can be added to smoothies, muesli, or yogurt. Flaxseeds are also excellent as a replacement for eggs in vegan baking recipes.
CO2 Footprint of Flaxseeds
Flaxseeds have a good CO2 footprint because they release relatively few greenhouse gases during production. During the growth phase, the plant absorbs carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air to build organic compounds through photosynthesis. Since common flax is a fast-growing annual plant, it takes less time to reach its full size than many other crops, resulting in lower CO2 emissions during the growth phase overall. In addition, flaxseeds are often grown in regions with favorable climate conditions, where they can be cultivated with little added fertilizers and pesticides. This reduces the emission of CO2 equivalents that can result from the energy consumption of producing fertilizers and pesticides. Another advantage of flaxseeds is that they are often grown in rotation with other crops. By changing the crops grown, the soil is kept healthy, reducing the need for fertilizers and pesticides as well.
Flaxseeds are a nutrient-rich addition to a balanced diet. They are high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants and can be integrated into the diet in many ways. Although there is no magical ingredient that guarantees weight loss, flaxseeds can help increase satiety and possibly reduce calorie consumption. However, if you want to add flaxseeds to your diet, make sure to drink enough fluids, as fiber can bind water. Drinking plenty of fluids should ideally be a given.