The field of blue you might see beside the road if you’re travelling in Saskatchewan in late summer is most likely flax! The small brown or yellow flax seeds are health powerhouses—they contain omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, powerful antioxidants and protein. And the strong stalks that support the plant are made of strong fibers that are used to make linens and other natural fiber products.
Saskatchewan Flax Development Commission represents the farmers in our province who grow this crop. SaskFlax manages funding from farmers to advance research, develop and promote flax to domestic and international markets, and to collaborate with others to grow the flax industry. Flax has been consumed for thousands of years. Today, Canadian flax is exported to over 50 countries each year. Saskatchewan, on average, produces about 80% of the flax grown in Canada.
Did you know?
- Flax has flowers that are usually blue. Once the flower is gone, a seed boll begins to form that, once ripe, can contain up to ten shiny, flat, oval seeds that vary from reddish brown to a golden yellow.
- Brown and yellow flax have the same nutritional value.
- Flaxseed has been found to help protect against heart disease, inflammatory disorders and certain cancers.
- To get the maximum health benefit from flaxseed, you need to grind the seeds because whole seeds are not easily digested in your body. You can grind flaxseed using a spice mill, coffee grinder, food processor or blender.
- Flax is also referred to as linseed.