Customers always ask me about flaxseed. Should they eat it whole? or ground? Or they have no idea how to eat or store them. They just know it is good for them and they should be eating it. Do you flirt with flaxseed or are you a constant user?
Do you eat your flaxseed whole or ground?
Flaxseed is chock full of good for you nutrients. It is rich in ALA (alpha-linoleic acid) a plant form of Omega-3 Fatty Acid. We need Omega-3s Fatty Acids. They are an essential fat that we need to get from our diets. Also, flaxseed is one way for vegans, and vegetarians to get healthy fat into their diets. Adding this type of healthy fat to our meals each day can help reduce inflammation in our bodies.
Here are some of the nutrients found in one tablespoon of ground flaxseed: 1.8g of Omega-3 Fatty Acid, 3g of fiber, 3g of protein, 4g of poly- and mono- unsaturated fats,
Flaxseed (the seed not the oil) contains a bioactive compound called lignans. Lignans are phytoestrogens similar to what is found in soy foods (soy isoflavones are phytoestrogens) Studies show that the lignans in flaxseed may be protective against some cancers including breast cancer.
All about the estrogen
Phytoestrogen, which is a week form of the hormone estrogen, binds to estrogen receptors in our bodies and block the hormone estrogen from binding to its receptors. This effect may be protective against some cancers. Research continues to be ongoing in this area.
Did you know?
How we use these compounds depends on our gut microbes. Our bodies’ gut microbes determine how we metabolize these compounds and their health effects.
So how much should I eat?
The suggested intake is one to two tablespoons of ground flaxseeds per day. Why ground? If you eat the seeds whole they will pass through your body undigested. When you grind them the oils and compounds are made available to your body. A coffee bean grinder works perfect for this job and they are not too expensive and you can pick up one at your local grocery store or online.
Once the seeds are ground the oil is now exposed. So only ground what you need. If you grind more than you need, store the excess in the freezer. Light and heat can cause spoilage.
What about flaxseed oil?
You can use flaxseed oil on your salad but don’t cook with it. It has a low smoke point so it’s not suitable for cooking.
You can also take flaxseed oil supplements.
Mix one Tbsp. of ground flaxseed with three Tbsp. of water. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes.
Mix three Tbsp. of ground flaxseed with one Tbsp. of water and let sit for 5 minutes. Use this mixture to replace ½ the fat NOT all of the fat.
How do you use flaxseed? In a smoothie? Or on your Oatmeal?
Have you ever used it as an egg replace? Let me know in the comments below.
Healthy & Healing
an. L. The Benefits of Flaxseed. Available at https://www.ars.usda.gov/plains-area/gfnd/gfhnrc/docs/news-2012/the-benefits-of-flaxseed/
Flax Council of Canada. Available at https://flaxcouncil.ca/resources/nutrition/general-nutrition-information/flax-in-a-vegetarian-diet/forms-of-flax/flax-meal/
National Center for Complementary And Integrative Health. Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil. Available at https://nccih.nih.gov/health/flaxseed/ataglance.htm
Lignans. Oregon University. available at http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/lignans
Wang LQ. Mammalian phytoestrogens: enterodiol and enterolactone. J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2002;777(1-2):289-309. (PubMed)
Vanharanta M, Voutilainen S, Rissanen TH, Adlercreutz H, Salonen JT. Risk of cardiovascular disease-related and all-cause death according to serum concentrations of enterolactone: Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(9):1099-1104. (PubMed)
National Cancer Institute. Understanding Estrogen Receptors/SERMs. National Cancer Institute. January, 2005. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/understandingcancer/estrogenreceptors. Accessed 1/15/10.
Bob’s Red Mill . https://www.bobsredmill.com/blog/recipes/how-to-replace-eggs-and-fat-in-recipes-with-flax-and-chia/