There is a lot of talk about flax seeds. So why are these little guys getting all of the lime light? Let us tell you. 

What are flax seeds?

As the name suggests, flax seeds are the seeds of the flax plant. Flaxseed is one of the most concentrated plant sources of omega-3 fats. Flaxseeds contain 50 to 60 per cent omega-3 fatty acids in the form of alpha linolenic acid. Flaxseeds are also rich in antioxidants, B vitamins, dietary fibre, a group of phytoestrogens called lignans, protein and potassium.

What are the health benefits?

The seeds high fibre makeup is beneficial for heart health, and the fact that they are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids can help lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure. Findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the seeds (not the oil) can reduce total and LDL (bad) cholesterol by a significant amount, particularly in post-menopausal women. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that ground flaxseeds slow the growth of prostate cancer tumour.

How do I eat them?

Flaxseeds are an ideal way for those who don't eat sufficient oily fish to ensure they get enough omega-3. Ideally, buy the seeds whole and grind them to make 'meal'. Flaxseed meal can also be used as a binder or egg substitute in baked goods for people who are allergic to eggs. The seeds or meal can be sprinkled on fruit, vegies, cereal and yoghurt. This way you increase your omega-3 levels and fibre intake at the same time.