So what is flaxseed? Flaxseed was cultivated in Babylon as early as 3000 BC. Some people have suggested it’s the most powerful plant food on the planet. Flax is a blue flowering plant that grows best in cool climates like North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota or Montana. But Canada is the largest producer of flaxseed in the world producing about 40% of the world production. It is sometimes also referred to as Linseed.
Which is better Chia Seeds or Flaxseeds?
The flaxseed is different than Chia Seeds. Both seeds are basically used in the same manner but flaxseeds are better to use as a substitute for flour in baked goods. They also are an excellence source of magnesium and should be ground in the Vitamix before you use it. They are available for purchase ground or whole. You also can substitute flaxseeds for flour by following this: use 1/4 cup of ground flaxseed per 1/4 of flour and then add a 1/4 cup of water. You can also use ground flaxseed to substitute for one egg by adding one tablespoon of flaxseed and 3 tablespoons of water and allow it to rest until it forms a gel.
How do you eat Flaxseeds?
Ground flaxseeds are great added to yogurt, oatmeal or in a smoothie and they have a mild nutty flavor. Ground flaxseeds are easier to digest than whole which is why grinding the flaxseed in a Vitamix is usually recommended. Or buy flaxseed meal all ready to go.
Health Benefits of Flaxseeds
- High in fiber
- Good for digestion
- Helps to regulate blood glucose
- High in healthy fat
- Helps reduce cholesterol level
High in ALA:
Alpha-Linolenic Acid also known as ALA is a plant based Omega-3 fatty acid and is considered the good fats. ALA from flaxseed has shown in studies to prevent heart attack and lower risk of stroke. Lowering inflammation is also a benefit when consuming flaxseed which is gaining popularity as a healthy food.
Lignans and Fiber:
You don’t hear much about Lignans but they are beneficial antioxidants that support the immune system. Lignans have phytonutrients that have both insoluble and soluble fiber. Fiber in the body helps regulate bowel movements and improve digestive health. It also helps to balance hormones in the body. Lignans have proven in studies to lower the risk of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. Proper high fiber intake can also contribute to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and lower blood sugar.
Simple flaxseed recipe:
These are my 2 favorite fruits mixed into a healthy smoothie. Mix 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed, 1 ripe banana (I keep frozen bananas on hand for smoothies), 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, 3/4 cup almond milk, 2 teaspoons honey and add a glass of water or ice as needed and blend in a Vitamix until all ingredients are mixed together.
Nutritional Facts for Flaxseeds *Percent Daily Values
- Amount Per 1 tbsp, ground 7g
- Calories 37
- Total Fat 3 g 4% Saturated fat 0.3g 1%Polyunsaturated fat 2gMonounsaturated fat 0.5g
- Sodium 2mg 0%
- Potassium 57mg 1%
- Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
- Dietary fiber 1.9g 7%
- Sugar 0.1g
- Protein 1.3g 2%
- Calcium 1%
- Iron 2%
- Magnesium 6%*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Flaxseeds are beneficial for anybody that is on the Keto Diet. Learn more here in my article, How Healthy is the Keto Diet.
The health benefits of flaxseeds are great and I hope this has clarified what is a flaxseed. Be sure to keep ground flaxseed refrigerated or if you have whole flaxseed then keep in a cool dry place for up to one year. It’s recommended to include 1-2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed in your daily nutritional intake per day and drink plenty of water. A glass of water is important to drink while consuming flaxseeds so your body can digest the excess fiber properly. Flaxseed can be purchased from your local grocery store or bought online here at Thrive Market. It is available in the form of seeds, oils, powder, tablets or flour. Remember to grind it before you eat it.
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