Flax seeds are tiny seeds that pack a punch with their numerous nutritional benefits, making them a popular choice for those who are looking to add a boost of health to their diet. Let’s dive in and explore the incredible benefits of flax seeds.
What Are Flax Seeds?
Flax seeds, also known as linseeds, come from the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum) and have been used for thousands of years as both a food and a fibre source. They are available in two main varieties: brown and golden. With their nutty flavour and crunchy texture, flax seeds can easily be incorporated into various dishes to boost their nutritional value.
Top Health Benefits of Flax Seeds
1. Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Flax seeds are an excellent plant-based source of Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Omega-3s are essential for maintaining heart health, reducing inflammation, and supporting brain function.
2. High in Dietary Fiber:
Flax seeds are packed with both soluble and insoluble fibre, which aid in digestion, promote regular bowel movements, and help maintain a healthy gut microbiome.
3. Lowers Cholesterol Levels:
The soluble fibre in flax seeds can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by binding to it and preventing its absorption in the bloodstream. This, in turn, reduces the risk of heart disease.
4. Supports Weight Loss:
The fibre content in flax seeds helps you feel fuller for longer, reducing hunger discomforts and aiding in weight loss.
5. Abundant in Proteins:
Flaxseeds are an abundant source of proteins. They have a superior protein quality score (82%) and a well-balanced amino acid profile compared to soybeans. The favourable lysine-to-arginine ratio in flaxseeds indicates reduced chances of high blood lipid levels and plaque formation in the arteries, making them beneficial for heart health. 1
6. Rich in Lignans:
Flax seeds are an abundant source of lignans, a type of phytoestrogen with antioxidant properties. These antioxidants help protect the body from free radicals and oxidative stress, contributing to overall health and well-being.
7. Improves Blood Sugar Control:
The soluble fibre in flax seeds can slow down the digestion of carbohydrates, leading to a more gradual release of glucose into the bloodstream. This helps regulate blood sugar levels and is particularly beneficial for individuals with diabetes.
How to Incorporate Flax Seeds into Your Diet
Flax seeds can be easily added to your daily meals in various ways:
- Sprinkle ground flax seeds over your morning cereal, yoghurt, or smoothie.
- Mix them into your favourite baked goods, like muffins, bread, crackers, or cookies.
- Use flax seeds as a replacement for eggs in vegan recipes (1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water equals one egg).
- Add them to homemade granola bars, energy bites, or trail mix.
- Incorporate flax seeds into your salad dressings, sauces, or dips.
How to eat flaxseed?
It’s best to consume ground flax seeds, as whole seeds might pass through the digestive system undigested, making it harder for the body to absorb their nutrients.
Flax Seeds for Babies: Nutritious Food for Starting Solids
Introducing flax seeds into your baby’s diet can provide numerous health benefits, thanks to their high nutritional value.
Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fibre, and essential minerals, flax seeds can support your little one’s brain development, digestion, and overall growth.
However, it’s crucial to know the appropriate age and method to introduce flax seeds into your baby’s diet. Generally, flax seeds can be safely added to your baby’s meals once they are around 6-8 months old and have started consuming solid foods.
Make sure to use ground flax seeds, as they are easier to digest and allow for better absorption of nutrients.
You can mix a small amount of ground flax seeds into purees, grains, or yoghurt to create a nutrient-dense meal for your baby.
Flaxseed-Infused Oats & Banana Bars: A Healthy and Delicious Baby-Led Weaning Snack
Incorporate flax seeds in your baby oats-banana bars by adding 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds and 1 tablespoon of coconut chips to create these tasty and healthy bars. Find the full recipe for banana oats bars in this post: Tasty & Nutritious Baby-Led Weaning Finger Food: Oat & Banana Bars.
I found this video about growing, harvesting and using flax seeds for linen and food.
Flax seeds are a versatile and nutrient-dense addition to any diet. With their impressive health benefits, including heart health support, improved digestion, and cancer risk reduction, it’s no wonder they’ve earned their status as a superfood. So, go ahead and unlock the incredible power of flax seeds by incorporating them into your daily meals. Your body will thank you!