Flax Seed – What Can It Do For Me?

Flax Seed – What Can It Do For Me? – Flax seed, otherwise known as Linseed, is still not a popular food ingredient in many people’s diets. Many are not sure what it is and if they do know, they do not know what the benefits are by adding it to their diet.
What is flax seed?
Flax seed are small seeds which are available in the form of whole seeds, milled seeds, cold pressed oil and capsules (as a supplement). They are a rich source of important nutrients, some of which are in short supply in our modern diets. They are easy to add into the diet without being particularly noticeable or indeed, repulsive! This makes them a great additive with many health benefits.
What are the nutritional benefits of flax?
Flax has a low glycemic index (32) which is lower than oats, tomatoes, chickpeas and apples. They contain omega-3 and 6 essential fatty acids and have more fibre than branflakes and more soluble fibre than porridge. They are a rich source of lignans and antioxidants and are gluten free, wheat free and nut free. It should be noted that whole flax seeds only add bulk, passing straight through the body, so the nutritional benefits are not gained. Flax seed oil also does not have all the benefits of milled flax seed.
What can flax help with?
Flax is believed to have a range of health benefits including keeping joints supple, balancing cholesterol, healthy digestion, improved immune system, balancing hormones, healthier gut bacteria and stabilising blood sugar which in turn may help prevent Type 2 diabetes.
What is the best way to eat flax?
Milled seeds (meal) can be added to porridge, muesli, cereals, yoghurt, drinks, and fruit and in baking. When baking with milled flax, replace 10-30% of the flour with flax meal. Whole seeds can be added to salads and breads but remember, many of the nutritional benefits are lost with whole seeds. If you soak whole flax in water overnight, the outer shell will be softened making the nutritional benefits easier for the body to extract. Cold pressed flax seed oil can be used in salad dressings instead of, or in addition to olive oil. Flax seed oil should never be heated.
How much flax should be consumed?
Consumption for the milled seed (meal) only needs to be two dessertspoons once or twice a day and for cold pressed oil, 1-3 teaspoons per day for adults.
Are there any important things to note?
Yes! If consuming flax seeds, you MUST drink more water otherwise you will become constipated.
This article is for general education only. Always check with a qualified nutritional practitioner or healthcare professional about individual requirements, and particularly if you are pregnant, have been diagnosed with a condition or are taking medication.