Flax seeds (Linum usitatissimum) — also known as common flax or linseeds — are small oil seeds that originated in the Middle East thousands of years ago.

Lately, they have gained popularity as a health food. This is due to their high content of heart-healthy omega-3 fats, fiber, and other unique plant compounds (1, 2, 3).

Flax seeds have been linked to health benefits, such as improved digestion and a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

They’re easily incorporated into your diet — grinding them is the best way to make the most of their health benefits.

Flax seeds are usually brown or yellow. They’re sold whole, ground/milled, or roasted — and are often processed into flaxseed oil.

This article tells you everything you need to know about flax seeds.