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Flax Seed

Nutritional Information

1 cup whole, flax seed

  • Calories 897
  • Calories from Fat 637.47
  • Amount%DV
  • Total Fat 70.83g109%
  • Saturated Fat 6.154g31%
  • Monounsaturated Fat 12.645g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 48.266g
  • Cholestreol 0mg0%
  • Sodium 50mg2%
  • Potassium 1366mg39%
  • Total Carbohydrate 48.52g16%
  • Dietary Fiber 45.9g184%
  • Sugars 2.6g
  • Protein 30.73g61%
  • Calcium 43mg4%
  • Iron 54mg300%
  • Vitamin A 0%
  • Vitamin C 2%

When In Season:

    North Dakota: July (early) - September (late)

Flax Seed Cooking Considerations:

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Flax Seed Storage Considerations:

Should be stored in the freezer and not ground until the day it is to be used. A coffee bean grinder works well.

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Flax Seed Substitutions:

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Flax Seed on Wikipedia:

For other uses, see Flax (disambiguation). Flax The flax plant Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae Division: Magnoliophyta Class: Magnoliopsida Order: Malpighiales Family: Linaceae Genus: Linum Species: L. usitatissimum Binomial name Linum usitatissimum Linnaeus. Capsules

Flax (also known as common flax or linseed) (binomial name: Linum usitatissimum) is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent. This is called as Agasi/Akshi in Kannada, Jawas/Javas (जवस) or Alashi (अळशी) in Marathi.[1] Flax was extensively cultivated in ancient Egypt. Dyed flax fibers have been found in the Republic of Georgia in a prehistoric cave that date to 34,000 BC.[2][3] New Zealand flax is not related to flax, but was named after it as both plants are used to produce fibers.

Flax is an erect annual plant growing to 1.2 m (3 ft 11 in) tall, with slender stems. The leaves are glaucous green, slender lanceolate, 20–40 mm long and 3 mm broad. The flowers are pure pale blue, 15–25 mm diameter, with five petals; they can also be bright red. The fruit is a round, dry capsule 5–9 mm diameter, containing several glossy brown seeds shaped like an apple pip, 4–7 mm long.

In addition to referring to the plant itself, the word ``flax`` may refer to the unspun fibers of the flax plant.



Flax is grown both for its seeds and for its fibers. Various parts of the plant have been used to make fabric, dye, paper, medicines, fishing nets, hair gels, and soap. It is also grown as an ornamental plant in gardens.[citation needed]

Flax seed

Brown Flax Seeds Flax seed Flax seed Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz) Energy 2,234 kJ (534 kcal) Carbohydrates 28.88 g Sugars 1.55 g Dietary fiber 27.3 g Fat 42.16 g Protein 18.29 g Thiamine (Vit. B1) 1.644 mg (126%) Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.161 mg (11%) Niacin (Vit. B3) 3.08 mg (21%) Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.985 mg (20%) Vitamin B6 0.473 mg (36%) Folate (Vit. B9) 0 μg (0%) Vitamin C 0.6 mg (1%) Calcium 255 mg (26%) Iron 5.73 mg (46%) Magnesium 392 mg (106%) Phosphorus 642 mg (92%) Potassium 813 mg (17%) Zinc 4.34 mg (43%) Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults. Source: USDA Nutrient database

Flax seeds come in two basic varieties: (1) brown; and (2) yellow or golden. Most types have similar nutritional characteristics and equal amounts of short-chain omega-3 fatty acids. The exception is a type of yellow flax called Linola or solin, which has a completely different oil profile and is very low in omega-3. Although brown flax can be consumed as readily as yellow, and has been for thousands of years, it is better known as an ingredient in paints, fiber and cattle feed. Flax seeds produce a vegetable oil known as flaxseed or linseed oil, which is one of the oldest commercial oils and solvent-processed flax seed oil has been used for centuries as a drying oil in painting and varnishing.[citation needed]

One hundred grams of ground flax seed supplies about 450 kilo-calories, 41 grams of fat, 28 grams of fiber, and 20 grams of protein.[4]

One tablespoon of ground flax seeds and three tablespoons of water may serve as a replacement for one egg in baking by binding the other ingredients together. Ground flax seeds can also be mixed in with oatmeal, yogurt or any other food item where a nutty flavor is appropriate. Flax seed sprouts are edible, with a slightly spicy flavor. Excessive consumption of flax seeds with inadequate water can cause bowel obstruction.[5] Flaxseed is called 'Tisi' in northern India, particularly in the Bihar region.[citation needed] Roasted 'Tisi' is powdered and eaten with boiled rice, a little water, and a little salt since ancient times in the villages.[citation needed] It is aromatic and considered soothing for the stomach, useful as a laxative, and good for health.[citation needed]

Flax seeds are chemically stable while whole, and milled flax seed can be stored at least 4 months at room temperature with minimal or no changes in taste, smell, or chemical markers of rancidity.[6] Ground flaxseed can go rancid at room temperature in as little as one week.[7] Refrigeration and storage in sealed containers will keep ground flax from becoming rancid for a longer period of time.[citation needed]

Medical effect

Main article: Linseed oil

Flax seeds contain high levels of lignans and Omega-3 fatty acids. Lignans may benefit the heart, possess anti-cancer properties and studies performed on mice found reduced growth in specific types of tumors. Flax seed may also lower cholesterol levels, especially in women.[8] Initial studies suggest that flaxseed taken in the diet may benefit individuals with certain types of breast[9][10] and prostate cancers.[11] However, the Mayo Clinic [12] reports that the alpha linolenic acid in flaxseed may be associated with higher risk of prostate cancer, and cautions that those with, or at risk for, prostate cancer should not take flaxseed. This has been contraverted by a study done at Duke which shows benefit for prostate [13]. A recent meta-analysis found the evidence on this point to be mixed and inconclusive (Am J Clin Nutr (March 25, 2009). doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.26736Ev1). Flax may also lessen the severity of diabetes by stabilizing blood-sugar levels.[14] There is some support for the use of flax seed as a laxative due to its dietary fiber content[5] though excessive consumption without liquid can result in intestinal blockage.[15] Consuming large amounts of flax seed can impair the effectiveness of certain oral medications, due to its fiber content.[15]

Flax fibers

A Heckling Shop in Irvine, Ayrshire used to prepare flax fibers.

Flax fibers are amongst the oldest fiber crops in the world. The use of flax for the production of linen goes back at least 5000 years. Dyed flax fibers found in a cave in Dzudzuana (prehistoric Georgia) have been dated to 30,000 years ago.[16] Pictures on tombs and temple walls at Thebes depict flowering flax plants. The use of flax fiber in the manufacturing of cloth in northern Europe dates back to Neolithic times. In North America, flax was introduced by the Puritans. Currently most flax produced in the USA and Canada are seed flax types for the production of linseed oil or flax seeds for human nutrition.[citation needed]

Flax fiber is extracted from the bast or skin of the stem of the flax plant. Flax fiber is soft, lustrous and flexible; bundles of fiber have the appearance of blonde hair, hence the description ``flaxen``. It is stronger than cotton fiber but less elastic. The best grades are used for linen fabrics such as damasks, lace and sheeting. Coarser grades are used for the manufacturing of twine and rope. Flax fiber is also a raw material for the high-quality paper industry for the use of printed banknotes and rolling paper for cigarettes. Flax mills for spinning flaxen yarn were invented by John Kendrew and Thomas Porthouse of Darlington in 1787.[17]


Linseed output in 2005

The significant linseed producing countries are Canada (~34%), China (~25.5%) and India (~9%), though there is also production in USA (~8%), Ethiopia (~3.5%) and throughout Europe. In the United States, three states, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota, raise nearly 100% of this plant.[citation needed]

Top ten linseed producers — 2007 Country Production (Tonnes) Footnote  Canada 633,500