What’s the deal with Flax?

You’ve probably heard of flax seeds by now.  They’re popping up in ingredient labels on cereal, granola bars and breads.  So why are food companies adding this seed to their product?

What are Flax Seeds?

  • Also called linseed
  • A brown or golden seed that comes from the fruit of the flax plant
  • Each seed is 4-7 mm long

What’s so great about Flax?

  • Heart Health: Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, specifically ALA (Alpha-linolenic Acid).
  • Reducing Cancer Risk: They are rich in lignans.
  • GI motility: They are also rich in dietary fiber.

Nutrition Facts: 2 Tablespoon of Ground Flax Meal

  • 60 calories, 4.5 grams fat (0.5 grams saturated fat), 4 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber and 3 grams protein.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Flax seed oil does not contain dietary fiber or lignans.
  • Whole flax seed cannot be fully digested by our GI system, so it is preferable to consume it ground (called flax meal).
  • Whole flax seed can be stored in room temperature for up to one year.
  • Ground flax seed (flax meal) should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • It’s best to buy whole flax seed and grind it as needed in a coffee grinder or mini food processor.

Ways to Use Flax:

  • Sprinkle flaxseed on cereal, oatmeal or yogurt.
  • Top salads with ground flaxseed.
  • Add to homemade baked goods.
  • Replace eggs in baking.  For 1 egg use 1 TB ground flax and 2-3 TB water.  Whisk and let sit until thickened.  This will not work for meringues or custard like preparations.

Do you use flax seed?  What’s your favorite way to consume it?

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2 Responses

  1. I use flax oil on salads.

  2. Is it true that the GLA contained in Flaxseed and Evening Primrose would help eczema? I used to have a history of eczema, but now it’s only on my face. Thank goodness I have my fingerprints back now.

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