What is Flaxseed ?
Flax seeds contain many essential nutrients for health. Moreover, they add flavor and consistency to a wide variety of foods. Read on to learn more about flax seed and their benefits to health.
What are flaxseeds?
The seeds are flat and oval shaped, slightly larger than sesame seeds. They have a crisp and sticky consistency, with a slightly nutty flavor. Flax seeds can be brown or yellow. The brown flax seed are the ones you usually find in grocery stores.
What are the different types of flax seed?
There are three types of flaxseed:
- Whole flax seeds: they are often added to breads and muffins to modify the consistency and improve their appearance.
- Ground flax seeds: they are added to foods for their taste and nutrients.
- Flaxseed oil: This oil made based on linseed, is often sold in grocery stores or only used in products such as salad dressings.
What kind of flaxseed should I choose: whole, ground or oil form?
The ground flaxseed:
Are the most nutritious. The grinding of the seeds makes them easier to digest and frees nutrients. The best choice is to eat ground flaxseed to take maximum advantage of the benefits they provide.
You can buy ground flax seeds or grind them yourself with the equipment you already have in your kitchen. To do this, you can use a coffee grinder, food processor or blender.
The linseed oil:
Provides the highest alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid amount. However, the linseed oil contains very little fiber and protein. It is best to use in a salad dressing or on vegetables before serving.
The whole flaxseed:
Can circulate in your body undigested.
Flax seeds are nutritious
Flax seeds are rich in essential nutrients. The table below shows the amount of nutrients in one tablespoon (15 ml) of flaxseed:
|Omega-3 fatty acids||2.5 g|
Due to the nutrients present in flaxseeds, they are considered as a functional food. This means that flax provides other health benefits.
Properly store flaxseed to keep them fresh
Because of their rigid hull, whole flaxseed can be stored at room temperature up to one year. The ground flax seed can be placed in the refrigerator in a non-transparent airtight container for up to three months. The flaxseed oil must be kept refrigerated and used before the expiry date. To maximize the benefits of flax seeds, grind them before use.
Adding flaxseed in your diet is a great way to absorb nutrients such as fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. They provide many health benefits and other studies are underway to determine all the benefits of flaxseed. Eat ground flaxseeds and oil flaxseed to enjoy maximum health benefits.