Already in the Neolithic Age, flax was not only cultivated as a useful plant and processed into linen cloth, but was also seen as a remedy even then. Today flaxseeds can play an important role in a healthy and balanced diet. They can also have positive effects with regard to a number of different diseases. This seems to be mainly due to the relatively high content of the following three ingredients:

  • Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid: Alphalinolenic acid (ALA)
  • dietary fibres
  • Phytoestrogens: Lignans

The consumption of foods high in omega-3 fatty acids could be associated with reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and maintaining cognitive abilities. The fiber in flaxseed has a positive effect on digestion. With a sufficient fluid intake (water and other unsweetened drinks) they have a digestive effect. The lignans are phytochemicals that belong to the group of phytoestrogens. They can have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial and neuroprotective effects.

Leinsamen – die kleinen Alleskönner

Studies [1] have shown that the consumption of flaxseed was associated with blood pressure regulating effects as well as positive complementary effects in breast cancer therapy. The skin of the flaxsees – the little all-rounders protects the important ingredients – even the heat-sensitive omega-3 fatty acids can withstand high temperatures. However, we cannot absorb the valuable substances in the whole flaxseed. Because the flax seeds are often not sufficiently crushed by thorough chewing, it is recommended to grind the seeds. It would be best to buy the intact, i.e. the whole flaxseeds  and grind or crush them at home. The Salzburger Masterflaker is perfectly suited for this. Under no circumstances should the seeds be ground with a Salzburg grain mill: the high oil content makes the millstones smear! It is best to store the ground flaxseeds in a container in the refrigerator for a longer period of time without any loss of quality. It is recommended to consume 1-3 tablespoons of ground linseed daily. Do not forget to drink enough. Since the seeds have a somewhat nutty taste but are still neutral, they can be added to any food. For example over mueslis, spicy dishes, in salads, but also baked in bread or used to thicken sauces.

References

Münzing-Ruef, I. (2000): Kursbuch gesunde Ernährung. Die Küche als Apotheke der Natur. München: Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, 459-461

Rittenau, N. (2019): Vegan-Klischee ade! Wissenschaftliche Antworten auf kritische Fragen zu veganer Ernährung. Mainz: Ventil Verlag UG & Co. KG,  335-337

https://www.dge.de/wissenschaft/weitere-publikationen/fachinformationen/sekundaere-pflanzenstoffe-und-ihre-wirkung/#c1697

[1] https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.113.02094 and https://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/11/10/3828

That was: Flaxseeds – the little all-rounders