Flaxseed

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!

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    Jenna @ Health and Happiness
    January 20, 2010 at 7:29 am

    I LOVE flax seeds. They are comparable to chia, but so much cheaper! So true about needing to ground it though, they definitely don’t get absorbed by the body very well when they’re whole. It’s so yummy in oatmeal, and I add it to my green smoothies as well!

  • Reply
    Lily @ Lily's Health Pad
    January 20, 2010 at 7:31 am

    I love flax seeds! I add them to everything, and I never even notice them now.

  • Reply
    Simply Life
    January 20, 2010 at 7:34 am

    This is great to know! I just got flaxseed in a giveaway I won and figured it’s the perfect time to start trying it! Thanks for the info!

  • Reply
    Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    January 20, 2010 at 9:00 am

    I’ve been using flaxseeds for a couple years, and when I run out or forget to put them in my oatmeal I feel like something’s missing. I miss the nutty flavor. I’d add that since they can go rancid easily, it’s best to choose a container that’s not clear. That lets light in, which can affect the flaxseeds’ freshness. I like Bob’s Red Mill version, too.

  • Reply
    Melinda
    January 20, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I have some at home. I have the whole seed since most often I add to the crust of bread or muffins, but to maximize benefits these can be ground at home which also eliminates rancidity.

  • Reply
    Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce
    January 20, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    thanks for posting this info about flaxseed, i just bought some for the first time the other day to use in a recipe (cinnnamon raisin bread pudding, healthy style) but didn’t know much about it.

  • Reply
    Nicole
    January 20, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Flax is WONDERFUL! Thanks for representing the wonderful superfood! Breakfast looks perfect!

  • Reply
    Teniah Howell
    January 20, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    I have been thinking about starting to include flaxseed in my diet – thanks for the blog, I think this needs to be a new addition for me! =)

  • Reply
    miichaeljames
    January 20, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    Hey Grace,

    Colins friend Michael here.. I started a veggie food blog as well.. it’s in the works but check it out! Your blog is really, really great btw. I always enjoy reading it!

  • Reply
    Gelareh @ Orange Truffle
    January 20, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Great Post… if I may add, Hemp has the same health benefits plus some…

    Apparently there are certain properties in both flax and hemp that are very good for you but over time our bodies build up a certain immunity to the flax so we aren’t able to continue absorbing all the good stuff in it. But with hemp, we don’t build up that resistance.

    So both are good for us in the short term but hemp is better for you in the long run.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    January 20, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    I secretly add Flax to all my baked goods. It adds a little something 🙂

  • Reply
    Andrea@WellnessNotes
    January 20, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    I love flaxseeds, especially in my yogurt. I actually really like the whole seeds, but I know that it’s much better to grind them up… Great info!

  • Reply
    Bekah
    January 20, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    I’ve never actually tried flax seed ground or the whole seed, but my parents buy the flax seed oil and keep it in the fridge. They usually use it on their toast as like a power oil topper. Lol.

  • Reply
    whydeprive
    January 20, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    I love flax! I have it every morning in my green smoothies. Ive had a love affair with it ever since I first got my horse. We used to add ground flax to his food and it made his coat all shiny.

  • Reply
    kbwood
    January 20, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    ive never tried this on oats! it sounds so great tho!

  • Reply
    The Candid RD
    January 20, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Great information about flaxseeds! I’ve been eating flaxseeds (ground) for a while, but only in my granola recipe. I don’t normally add it to anything else, because I take fish oil for my Omega-3, and I get plenty of ALA from other sources. I have a stash of ground flaxseed in my freezer for my granola, which I make at least 4 times a month!

  • Reply
    eatmovelove
    January 20, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    Great post! I’ve always wondered what flaxseeds really “brought”…I like flax bread 😉

  • Reply
    Mari
    January 20, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    I never brought or tried flaxseeds…thanks for the info!

  • Reply
    Naomi (onefitfoodie)
    January 21, 2010 at 5:41 am

    i LOVE flaxsseed! they are great in oats and also bake so well in lots of recipes for an extra omega boost!!

  • Reply
    Ganja
    January 26, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Wieght Lifters have been useing flaxseed for years…I didn’t know this till awhile back and read a story about it. I use I bought FlaxSeed oil. 5oz bottle in vitamin section at wally world
    I add a teaspoon to my meals twice a day.

  • Reply
    Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods Given as A Gift « Food-Fitness-FreshAir
    March 13, 2010 at 6:37 am

    […] products.  Bob’s Red Mill is able to provide me with everything from popcorn, to organic flaxseeds, to those nutty buckwheat groats I blogged about last week.  The company also has a whole line of […]

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