Flax (common)

Linum usitatissimum

Also known as linseed.

The story…

Flax has been grown in the Fertile Crescent since the Neolithic period. It is historically one of the first species cultivated in Asia, along with barley, lentils, peas and starch. Even before the beginning of agriculture, wild linen was used to make clothing; its cultivation then became one of the foundations of the economy of ancient Egypt. It prefers slightly acidic, deep and well-structured soils, and can reach 60 cm in height. Its fibres are used in the textile industry and in construction.

Uses

Transit and blood sugar

Linseeds are very rich in dietary fiber (30% of the mass), essential to the functioning of the intestinal transit and the satiating effect. These fibers also help to regulate blood sugar levels.

Cholesterol and nutritional intake

Flax seeds (like the oil) are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which protect the heart by regulating blood pressure and the elasticity of blood vessels. They increase the amount of “good cholesterol”, while fibres reduce the amount of “bad cholesterol”; they are low in omega-6, which tend to be too present in our diet. They also contain significant amounts of vitamin B1, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.

Preparation

Seeds: Consume 1 tablespoon of seeds per day, sprinkled on a salad, mixed with cereal or yogurt, or in bread. To improve transit: soak 5 to 10 g of crushed seeds in a glass of water for 30 minutes.

Oil: Consume 1 to 2 spoonfuls of oil per day as seasoning; do not heat. The oil oxidizes quickly and should not be used if it has a rancid smell.

Precautions

Not suitable for people with diverticula or ostomy. For people with a low-fiber diet, it is advisable to introduce linseed gradually. In case of persistent symptoms or if you have any doubts, consult a doctor.

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