Short answer: Tiny but powerful
Seeds come in a variety of flavors, shapes and colours and all have varying nutrient content but one they all have in common is that they are convenient and healthy. Due to the fact that there is so much information on each of these amazingly healing seeds, this will be a series of posts about seeds and their benefits.
Today we’ll talk about one very powerful and commonly known seed called Flax Seeds (Linseeds).
Flax (Linum usitatissimum) is a plant native to the Mediterranean that has been used as a food for well over 5,000 years. It became widely known throughout Europe after C.E., Charlemagne considered it so important that he passed laws and regulations requiring it’s consumption. It eventually was introduced to Canada in the seventeenth century.
Flax seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids and protein, are high in dietary fiber, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. They are also a good source of minerals phosphorous, iron and copper. Hippocrates wrote about using flax for the relief of abdominal pains.
You might surprised to find out that flax oil has nearly twice the level of omega- 3 fatty acid as compared to fish oils.
Flax contains ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. In fact, data derived from biopsies of breast tissue from women diagnosed with breast cancer compared to benign samples indicated that the women with breast cancer had a 64 percent lower ALA level. Another study concluded that the higher the ALA level in breast tissue, the less likely the cancer was to spread into the lymph nodes of the armpit.
Lowering cholesterol, weight loss, improving memory and brain health, reducing symptoms of Menopause and PMS are also a few of this tiny seeds capability.
What to buy and how to store Flax
Though you can eat them whole it’s much more nutritionally beneficial to grind them into a meal or powder.
I would recommend buying your flax whole if available in packaged form or bulk and preferably refrigerated. Just as you would with any other food if buying from bulk, make sure the bins are covered and that the store has a good turnover rate to ensure maximum freshness.
Look for evidence of any moisture and avoid if you see it.
Store your whole flax seeds in an airtight container in a dark, dry, and cool place, where they will keep fresh for several months.
You can choose to purchase ground flax seeds however, once ground they are much more prone to oxidation and spoilage. Whether you purchase ground flax or grind them your at home, once ground it’s important to store either in the fridge or in the freezer. Ground flax will keep in the fridge for about 6 months and in the freezer for about a year.
If flax seed oil is what you are looking for make sure to purchase only oils that are in a dark bottle and have been stored in the refrigerator. The oil should have a sweet, nutty flavour and you should never use flax seed oil in cooking but are able to add it to foods after they have been cooked.
How can I eat these wonderful seeds and what is a typical serving?
Typical serving size for ground or whole flaxseeds is 1-2 tablespoons. Flax oil can vary, so read the bottle for more information.
Quick serving ideas:
- Sprinkle ground flax onto your hot or cold cereal
- Pump up volume of your smoothies or shakes by adding whole or ground flax
- Use flax seed oil instead of other oils in salad dressings, bread dipping.
- Drizzle oil or sprinkle whole or ground over vegetables, pasta or rice.
Is Flax safe for everyone?
Flaxseeds contain a moderate amount of oxalate. Individual with history of oxalate containing kidney stones should avoid over consumption.
Here is list of other foods high in oxalates:
- 100% pure cocoa
- Beet greens
Thanks for reading everyone and remember if there is anything you would like to see a blog written about please email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Live longer, healthier and happy