There is considerable interest in the potential health benefits of oil seeds especially regarding cardiovascular disease and cancer. This interest in oil seeds relates to theioilr high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids [particularly -linolenic acid , vegetable protein , soluble fiber , and flavonoids and related compounds , which may possess cholesterol-lowering , antioxidant , and antagonistic activities.

flaxseedFlax Seeds

Flax seeds have a pleasant, nutty flavor and taste good sprinkled on salads, cooked vegetables, or cereals. The oil is quite tasty as well. Its high content of alpha linolenic acids has made the ancient flax seed become our modern miracle food. Alpha linolenic acid is a type of omega 3 fatty acid, similar to those found in fish such as salmon. Benefits of flax seed as shown in many studies include lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the Bad cholesterol) levels. Other benefits show that flax seed may also help lower blood triglyceride. Flaxseed oil is heart-healthy because it contains alpha-linolenic acid. Flaxseed itself (ground or whole) also contains lignans, which may have antioxidant actions and may help protect against certain cancers, though this is far from certain. Skip flaxseed supplements, though.

mustardMustard Seeds
The unique healing properties of mustard seeds can partly be attributed to their home among the Brassica foods found in the cruciferous plant family. Like other Brassicas, mustard seeds contain plentiful amounts of phytonutrients called glucosinolates. The seeds also contain myrosinase enzymes that can break apart the glucosinolates into other phytonutrients called isothiocyanates. The isothiocyanates in mustard seed (and other Brassicas) have been repeatedly studied for their anti-cancer effects. In animal studies – and particularly in studies involving the gastrointestinal tract and colorectal cancer – intake of isothiocyanates has been shown to inhibit growth of existing cancer cells and to be protective against the formation of such cells. Mustard seeds emerged from our food ranking system as a very good source of selenium a nutrient which has been shown to help reduce the severity of asthma, decrease some of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and help prevent cancer. They also qualified as a good source of magnesium. Like selenium, magnesium has been shown to help reduce the severity of asthma, to lower high blood pressure, to restore normal sleep patterns in women having difficulty with the symptoms of menopause, to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks, and to prevent heart attack in patients suffering from atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease. Mustard seeds also qualified as a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as a good source of iron, calcium, zinc, manganese, magnesium, protein, niacin and dietary fiber.

Canola has become a popular oilseed crop. Canola is a specific edible type of rapeseed, developed in the 1970s, which contains about 40 percent oil. The term "canola" is a registered name by the Western Canadian Oilseed Crushers Association. Canola varieties must have an erucic acid content of less than 2 percent and also have less than 30 micromoles of glucosinolates per gram of seed. Canadian and U.S. farmers mostly grow low erucic acid and low glucosinolate varieties. High erucic acid oil rapeseed is grown and used for industrial lubricants. Canola oil is usually blended with other vegetable oils for the production of various solid and liquid cooking oils and salad dressings. Canola oil is high in oleic acid relative to other vegetable oils and has been competitive in price with other cooking oils.

Sun Flower

Sunflower is an oil seed, which has grown primarily in North American regions. Sunflower has become number one oil by preference among consumers and chefs since it has proven to be an excellent vegetable oil both in terms of its healthy characteristics and applicability for a wide variety of uses: Salad Dressings, Frying and Baking.