Linen seeds (coming from the Linum usitatissimum plant) are well known for their high mineral content and their protective and emollient properties. In the beauty sphere, they are very widely used in hair care products; and they are also highly effective in combating cystitis and constipation.
Flax has its origins in the areas comprising the Persian Gulf, the Caspian Sea, and the Black Sea. The Finns first imported it to northern Europe; it then spread across the entire continent.
Its cultivation dates back to Egypt, to at least five thousand years ago, and continued consistently throughout the Middle Ages. Then, in the 1700s, flax experienced a period of decline, mostly caused by the increased cultivation of other fiber plants.
WHY IT SHOULD BE EATEN
Linen seeds are low in sugar and sodium, and they are a source of protein, calcium, iron, and zinc. They contain a good supply of fiber and high amounts of essential fatty acids, particularly Omega-3 and Omega-6, which have anti-inflammatory properties. They help prevent cardiovascular issues and support the immune system.
They have a high mucilage content, substances of vegetable origin which have a laxative effect. Because of this, they are widely used in herbal preparations.
Linen seeds are flavorless, and do not impart any particular taste to recipes, but using it in the kitchen is an easy way to make use of its valuable healing properties.
You can add them to salads and cooked vegetables, to hearty and light soups, in sweet or savory doughs, in smoothies and in breakfast granola, in omelets or in the preparation of decoctions that prevent the inflammation of the mouth and the intestines.
If you prefer, before use, you can crush them in a mortar so as not to discern the grain. Their great thickening power makes them a good egg substitute, just grind them and soak them in water before adding to recipes. Careful, though. This characteristic should be kept in mind in the kitchen, or it could ruin the dishes to which they are added.
Linen seeds are easily perishable, and it is therefore best to store them in the refrigerator once the package is opened. After opening, they last for no longer than 1-2 months.
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