What are they?
Flax seeds, also known as linseeds are small “oil” seeds that are super nutritious! They are considered a functional food due to its high content of omega-3 fats, fiber and other unique plant compounds that may help prevent or combat disease.
Possible nutrition and health benefits
Flaxseed contains a plant-based type of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, which has anti-inflammatory effects that may help combat pms-related pain and inflammation. Flaxseeds also have a handful of nutrients like magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, copper and thiamin to offer your body with numerous benefits from strong and healthy bones to aiding in stress relief and better sleep quality.
Flaxseed is a top source of particularly health-protective antioxidants called polyphenols. These antioxidants are thought to protect against heart disease and cancer, as well as cell-damaging oxidative stress.
Flaxseed contains both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps soften stool, so it can pass through the GI tracts and be eliminated more easily. Insoluble fiber helps stimulate the digestive system to move waste through the gut and promote bowel regularity. The two types of fiber work together to support digestive health. Also, flax seeds may lower blood sugar due to their insoluble fiber content. They can be a great addition to the eating routine of people with diabetes.
Flaxseeds has an array of beneficial nutrients like lignans, a plant nutrient which can help rid excess estrogen in the body when needed, which may be helpful for those with pms, fibroids, have irregular periods, pcos or lack of ovulation. Based on what the body needs, lignans in flaxseeds can either block or encourage estrogen absorption — for a better balance.
How do you use them?
Flax seeds are versatile and can be easily added to your eating routine. They have a nutty flavor that can be easily incorporated into a variety of your favorite foods. Here are some fun ways to enjoy them!
- Add to pancake or waffle batter
- Sprinkle flaxseeds on hot or cold cereals
- Add them to baked goods, like muffins!
- Try them in smoothies
- Sprinkle flaxseeds on your soups or salads
- Add them to your grain bowls or rice dishes
- Mix them in yogurt
Ground or whole?
Ground flaxseed might be easier to digest in the body. Whole flaxseed may pass through your intestine undigested, which means you won’t get all the wonderful benefits. If you have whole flaxseeds, you can use a blender or food processer to grind! Some brands of flaxseed may recommend storing their flax product in the refrigerator or freezer to preserve freshness.
Talk with your healthcare provider before adding flaxseeds to your regular eating routine as they may interfere with the absorption of some medications. As always, seek help from your doctor or registered dietitian to manage any health conditions or concerns you have.
How do you enjoy flaxseeds? Share in the comments below!