Over the centuries, flax seeds have been cultivated around the world. Flax is world’s most important nutritious superfood out there today. The largest producer of Flax seeds is Canada followed by India. Flax seeds are cultivated for years but people are getting aware of these seeds in recent time due to its nutritional facts and health benefits.
In India, these seeds are also known by the different names “alsi” in Hindi, “jawas” in Marathi, “akshi” in Kannada, “cheruchana vithu” in Malayalam, “ali vidai” in Tamil and “pesi” Oriya.
These tear-shaped seeds have a hard shell which usually is smooth and shiny. The color of seeds varies from light brown to dark reddish brown. The most important feature of flax is its high Omega-3 fatty acid content, very much essential for our overall health.
Flax plant produces fiber with which linen is woven as well as an edible seed from which flax oil is extracted. Flax seed oil is the common ingredient and mostly used in paints, varnishes. Indian flax has long been known for its use in linen clothing’s, and now it is gaining popularity as a key food supplement which not only helps to reduce the heart disease but also helps to fight cancer.
Flaxseed contains 41% fat, 20% protein, 28% total dietary fibre, 7.7% moisture and 3.4% ash. Like other vegetable oils, flax oil is a mixture of fatty acids. It is highest source of polyunsaturated fatty acid called alpha-linolenic or ALA.
ALA is the member of omega-3 fatty acid family. Human body is incapable of producing these essential fatty acids but have to be consumed from diet for normal growth and development. Therefore, these nutrients are termed as ‘essential fatty acid’. Hundreds of studies have shown that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids reduce risk of heart attacks, strokes, abnormal heart rhythms and regulates your cholesterol triglyceride levels. Omega-3 fatty acids is also present in egg which is also one of the rich source.
Due to its wonderful health benefits and international market demand, flax seed cultivation is drastically picking up in India with good crop management practices. Today, one can definitely expect high returns in the flax seed farming.