Flaxseed comes from the flax plant. It was first cultivated in Egypt but soon spread rapidly to other parts of the world. Long before flax seeds were used as nutritional supplements, they were woven into linen and used in textile industries.
Flaxseeds: Key Nutrients and Health Benefits
Over time, people became conscious of the health benefits that flaxseeds offered. Hence, they slowly made the shift from being textile-based crops to nutritionally based ones.
Flaxseed was commonly used in cereal or bread, but its versatility and health benefits became known only recently. The seeds can be eaten on their own or cold-pressed to release flaxseed oil.
Flaxseeds are rich in proteins, glutamic acid, arginine, amino acids, and aspartic acids. Some flax seeds benefits are as follows,
● The fiber content in flaxseeds can promote weight loss.
● Flaxseeds contain more omega-3 fatty acids.
● Flaxseed oil may help increase insulin sensitivity, and hence, effectively fight against type 2 diabetes.
● Flaxseeds contain lignans, which are plant compounds with antioxidant properties and can help lower the risk of cancer and improve health.
● It can help boost digestive health due to fiber content.
● Flaxseeds can help lower total blood cholesterol levels.
Incorporating Flaxseed in Your Daily Diet: A Simple Guide
While flaxseed offers several nutritional benefits, nutritionists recommend that you grind flaxseed to a more digestible form, such as a powder, to get maximum benefits. If consumed whole, flaxseed can pass through the digestive tract without absorbing essential nutrients, as the outer shell is tough.
Flaxseeds are quite a versatile ingredient. They can get incorporated into various dishes and snacks based on cuisine. Flaxseed nutrition is best absorbed with an intake of one tablespoon a day, resulting in an adequate amount of nutrients.
Flaxseeds are available at most stores in the whole, ground, and oil forms. You can also grind flax seeds for storage. Flaxseeds are sensitive to heat and sunlight and should be stored in a cool and dark place or refrigerator to prevent spoilage. Ground flaxseeds can be stored in an airtight container.
Some ways to incorporate flaxseed in your daily diet include the following-
● As an ingredient in breakfast, oatmeal or overnight oats
● As an ingredient in energy bars and oatmeal bars
● As for garnishing on bread
● As a form of protein powder in the ground form
● As an addition to peanut butter in sandwiches
● As an ingredient in your morning smoothies
● Flaxseed roasted then ground to create crackers
● As an ingredient in muffins, pancakes, and waffles
● As an ingredient in regular cakes, cheesecakes, scones, and biscuits
● For garnishing yogurt bowls
● As a component of dips and sauces in the oil form
How to Consume Flaxseeds?
Flaxseeds can be incorporated to follow a healthy diet. It is usually safe to consume flaxseed in limited amounts. However, you should limit your intake to five teaspoons a day, as an excess could cause adverse effects such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
Flaxseeds can also get consumed at any time of the day. However, when consumed before a meal, they reduce hunger due to the fiber content of the flaxseed.
It is advised to roast, use ground flaxseed, or extract oil from flax seeds rather than raw flax seeds. It is because raw flaxseeds may contain toxins that are eliminated when they are roasted or ground. Further, it is crucial to adjust your intake of water to the flaxseeds’ higher fiber content. Post intake, it is advised to increase your intake of water.
We recommend consulting a doctor regarding the intake of flaxseeds regularly. It will help identify possible interactions with current medications and allergic reactions.