What Everyone Ought to Know About Flaxseed

Flaxseed is touted as one of the world’s healthiest food. It’s rich with nutrients and there’s evidence that it may help lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other cardiovascular issues. Let’s explore this tiny seed and discover why it should be added to your diet!

Flaxseed Health Benefits

  1. The Omega-3 essential fatty acids in flaxseed are heart-healthy good fats that can help lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation (approximately 1.8 grams per tablespoon of flaxseed).
  2. Fiber in flaxseed helps keep you full and relieve constipation.
  3. Lignans found in flaxseed have antioxidant properties and may help protect against some cancers (specifically breast, prostate, and colon) by interfering with the growth of tumor cells.

Other Important Tidbits

  1. Aim to consume 1-2 tablespoons of flaxseed each day to fully receive its benefits.
  2. Ground flaxseed is easier to digest and ensures you’ll absorb its nutrients. It can be purchased ground or you can grind the seeds yourself using a coffee grinder.
  3. Flaxseed color doesn’t really matter; the brown and golden varieties are nutritionally very similar.
  4. Look for flaxseed in the flour or grain aisle at your grocery store. It can also be purchased online!

Flaxseed Uses

  • Add a couple of tablespoons to your oatmeal, smoothies, soups, yogurt, sauces, stews, meatballs, and burgers.
  • Add when baking breads, muffins, and pancakes.
  • Combine 1 Tbsp ground flax with 3 Tbsp water to make a flax egg as an egg replacement when baking.

Shelf Life and Storage

  • Store ground flaxseed in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer to keep the oils from oxidizing.
  • Store whole flaxseeds in a cool dark place until ground.
  • Flaxseed will last 1 year in the fridge.
  • Flax meal will last 1-2 months in the fridge.
  • If your seeds have a bitter taste, they may have gone bad and should be disposed.

Flaxseed Recipes

  1. Strawberry Egg Crepes
  2. Molten Chocolate Pudding Loaf
  3. Blueberry Maple Muffins
  4. Spicy Baked Flaxseed Tortilla Chips
  5. Almond Flax Crusted Chicken
  6. Berry Flaxseed Smoothie

Flaxseed veterans: What is your favorite use or recipe?

Photo credit: Life Of A Happy Blonde

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Lindsay is Registered Dietitian and writes about food and fitness at The Lean Green Bean. She shares healthy recipes, fun workouts, and snapshots of her life. She lives with her husband in Ohio and enjoys traveling and spending time outside with her dogs.