The flaxseed: it’s one of the world’s oldest superfoods. Consumed by humans for roughly 6,000 years, the flaxseed has long established itself as a source of important vitamins and minerals. But it’s only in the last few decades that we’ve really come to grasp the true value of the flaxseed, which is often found in whole grain foods like bread and cereal but can also be obtained all on its own.
So, what, exactly, makes flaxseed a so-called “superfood”? Today, we understand that a big part of its value is related to the presence of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to fight inflammation and help in the functioning of major organs. To learn more about these benefits and others, let’s take a closer look at the flaxseed.
Want diet & nutrition content delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for our exclusive diet & nutrition newsletter!
1. Boost Digestion
Flaxseed is rich in mucilage gum content, a type of fiber that’s water soluble and, as a result, proceeds through the digestive system largely undigested. While that sounds problematic, it’s actually helpful in pushing food through the stomach into the intestines, from there it can be removed from the body. Not only that, but mucilage gum content can assist in preventing food from moving through the system too quickly, meaning the body has more time to absorb its nutrients.
Finally, the kind of fiber available in flaxseed remains intact in such a way that it often doesn’t result in the body absorbing many of its calories, so it can play a helpful role in weight loss. Generally speaking, fiber of this quality is hard to find in foods, which is why flaxseed has become so incredibly popular in recent years.