I’ve always read that flaxseeds are super healthy for you, but it wasn’t until a few days ago that I started consuming them. I bought flaxseed meal about a week ago and have been using it ever since. Why flaxseed meal? It’s best to either buy flaxseed meal or to ground the whole flaxseeds because grinding them makes it easier for the body to digest and allows the body to more fully absorb their nutrients. However, note that ground flaxseeds go rancid more quickly than whole flaxseeds, so for best results, the ground mixture should be kept refrigerated.
Flaxseeds are particularly beneficial for vegetarians, as they provide an excellent plant-based source of omega-3s. One serving contains 2400 mg of omega-3s. About 57% of the oil in flaxseeds is alpha-linolenic acid, meaning omega-3. Flaxseeds also have a much higher amount of omega-3s as compared to omega-6s, which is particularly beneficial in the Western diet of which tends to be overloaded with omega-6s (this can cause health problems).
Flaxseeds are also an exceptional source of protein. As little as two tablespoons of flaxseeds provides as much fiber as 1-1/2 cups of cooked oatmeal. Fiber helps to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), and studies have shown that flaxseeds are beneficial in doing so. Additionally, these little seeds pack a whole lot of lignans, a natural antioxidant known for helping to prevent certain types of cancer, such as breast and colon cancer. It is said that flaxseeds have 75 times the amount of lignans as most other plants. Bob’s Red Mill Organic Flaxseed Meal boasts that it would take 30 cups of fresh broccoli to get the amount of lignans you’d get from consuming just one serving (2 tablespoons) of flaxseeds.
While I’ve heard that flaxseeds can taste a tad fishy, I really didn’t notice a big difference when I added them to my oatmeal, other than that they made the texture a little more gummy. If anything, I thought they added a bit of a nutty flavor, but for the most part they went unnoticed. Simply add a tablespoon or two to your normal oatmeal concotions for a nice health boost to your morning meal. Flaxseed can also be sprinkled on yogurt, salads, or added to smoothies. I’ll be making this a staple ingredient in my diet to boost my intake of natural fiber and omega-3s!