You may have seen, read, or heard about Flaxseed but, you might not exactly know what it is and what it does for our bodies. Well, you’ve come to the right place. This article will discuss how Flaxseed is very beneficial to your health as well as ways to consume it.
But first, a brief history lesson …
This teeny tiny seed has been a part of the nutrition world since 3000 B.C. Surprised? Flaxseed has been a superfood for a very long time. In fact, in the 800s the king Charlemagne ruler of the Franks was so impressed by the health benefits of Flaxseed that he passed a law that required his subjects to consume it daily.
In Egypt, Pharaohs valued the high nutritional content of ground Flaxseed. They ate it ritually and Egyptians carried the seeds with them in case of emergencies.
Flaxseed was known to relieve abdominal pain and constipation. Even, Roman soldiers carried Flaxseed as food rations when they were at war.
As a matter of fact, the word flax comes from the Latin phrase, “of great use.”
Ground Flaxseed Contains Many Health Benefits Including:
- Reduces blood pressure
- Promotes bone health
- Promotes heart health
- Supports blood flow
- Helps autoimmunity
- Supports the digestive system
- Helps clear your arteries from fatty deposits
- Supports weight loss
Why Ground Flaxseed?
Our bodies can’t absorb the nutrients from Flaxseed UNLESS it’s ground or meal. Eating the whole seed will not help you in any way. The golden-brown Flaxseed meal tastes nutty and bitter if you try it by itself.
- Flaxseed is a significant source of lignans which are polyphenols. Lignans provide fiber and antioxidant benefits.
- Flaxseeds is rich in the anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic (ALA).
- Flaxseeds also contains mucilage, which provides special support to the intestinal tract.
The combination of these nutrient compounds is a key factor as why Flaxseeds has unique health benefits.
Ground Flaxseed also contains vitamins and minerals like:
- Vitamin B6
The Best Way to Store Flaxseed
At your local supermarket, you will find ground or meal Flaxseed in the dry section. Once you open the package, the best way to store the Flaxseed is in your refrigerator since they are highly prone to oxidation and spoilage.
If you buy Flaxseed oil, it should always be refrigerated. Due to the most delicate part of the chemistry of Flaxseed oil being Omega-3 fatty acids, refrigeration is important to help protect it from oxidative rancidity.
You can also find Flaxseed milk at certain supermarkets. Store as you would with regular milk, in the refrigerator.
Whole Flaxseeds should be stored in an airtight container in a dark cool place such as your fridge. They will keep fresh for about 6-12 months. But remember, you must grind the seeds before consuming them.
Three Unique Features of Flaxseed
High Fiber Content:
As mentioned before, flaxseeds contain a high content of mucilage. Mucilage is a water- soluble, gel-forming fiber which promotes gut health. Mucilage aids to absorb nutrients better so your body can get more of what it needs and helps delay gastric emptying. These dietary fibers like mucilage can help you clean out your colon, which will also help you lose weight.
Omega- 3 Fatty Acids:
Flaxseeds are rich in plant-based Omega-3 fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA can be helpful to the cardiovascular system by helping protect the blood vessels from inflammatory damage. Studies have shown the ability of increased intake of Omega-3 can help regulate blood pressure and help reduce blood pressure in persons who have been diagnosed with hypertension.
Also, Flaxseed can make a great moisturizer for your skin and hair. You can mix it up with various essential oils and use it topically as an effective skin moisturizer. The B-vitamins in flaxseed’s omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce flakiness of skin.
The ALA in Flaxseeds can support the well-being of your gut lining and help regulate your gastrointestinal health. Flaxseeds can help lower your blood cholesterol and may help potentially play a role in maintaining energy levels.
Rich in Lignans:
The high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of Flaxseeds also make them a logical candidate for cancer prevention. Evidence of risk reduction for Flaxseeds is strongest for breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer.
The high lignan content may help to reduce risk of hormone-related cancers and can help deactivate toxins in the body. This support of the detox process may help prevent accumulation of toxins that might otherwise act as carcinogens and increase cancer risk.
The lignans also offer blood vessel protection from inflammatory and oxidative stress damage.
10 Great Ways to Enjoy Ground Flaxseeds
Ground Flaxseed is a great addition to many recipes. Flaxseeds can compliment nearly anything.
- Make your favorite salad dressing using Flaxseed oil instead of olive oil
- Sprinkle ground Flaxseeds on your fruit or vegetables.
- Add ground Flaxseed to your cereal
- Add ground Flaxseeds to pancake batter
- Add up to 3 tablespoons of ground Flaxseed or 1 tablespoon Flaxseed oil to your smoothie
- Mix a tablespoon in with your goat milk yogurt.
- Spread peanut butter on apple slices and dip in ground Flaxseeds
- Spread almond, cashew, or peanut butter on celery sticks and dip in ground Flaxseeds
- Mix ground Flaxseed into your omelets and scrambles.
- Throw a few teaspoons of ground Flaxseed into almost any recipe. Flaxseed is great for giving your soups a little texture, your salads a bit of a crunch, and it even adds some texture to crusted fish, chicken and beef dishes.
The best way to get your Flaxseed is ground up or meal. If you eat them whole, your body will usually pass them undigested. So, make sure you buy ground flax or flax meal so you can access all of the healthy nutrient’s flax has to offer.
If you do purchase whole seeds, grind them first before consuming, using a coffee grinder. Best way to store ground Flaxseed or oil is in the fridge.
Flaxseed is very rich in fiber content and can bind water. So, it’s important to drink plenty of water when adding Flaxseed to your diet.
What’s your favorite way to eat ground Flaxseed?