Flax (common flax, linseed, and flaxseed) is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. Flax is a natural fiber-rich food and each tablespoon contains about 8 grams of fiber. It’s a natural plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential fatty acids that must be consumed as our bodies cannot make them. Flax contains a short chain omega-3 called ALA alpha linoleic acid.
Flax also contains lignans which have been linked to the safe metabolism of estrogens.
It is grown as both a food crop and a fiber crop in cooler regions of the world. Flax fibers are taken from the stem of the plant and are two to three times as strong as those of cotton. As well, flax fibers are naturally smooth and straight. Europe and North America depended on flax for cloth until the nineteenth century, when cotton overtook flax as the most common plant used for making linen paper.