Flax as a regular part of the diet
Prairie flax is a high quality food. It contains the essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids - alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and linoleic acid respectively; fibre; and lignans. Health experts encourage the regular use of flax in the diet for better health.
Omega-3 fatty acid
About 42% of the flax seed is oil, and more than 70% of that oil is of the healthful polyunsaturated fat. Too much of the diet today is composed of saturated and trans fatty acids. The flax seed oil component contains 57% of the important omega-3 fatty acid, ALA. A unique feature of flax is the high ratio of ALA to linoleic acid (omega-6 fatty acid).
Nutritionists consider these two polyunsaturated fatty acids as essential because the body cannot manufacture them from any other substances. This means they must be eaten as a part of the diet. While other plant seeds — corn, sunflower, peanuts — contains the omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid, flax contains much more of the essential omega-3 fatty acid.
Flax seed contains soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre can lower blood cholesterol levels, while insoluble fibre moves the stool through the colon more quickly, helping with regular bowel movements. What makes flax stand out above other whole grains is its mix of fibre. Rather than containing large amounts of one type of fibre, flax seeds contain generous quantities of both soluble and insoluble fibre.