Guest post by Jana from A Doctor and a Nurse
Flaxseed is found in all kinds of food these days (from oatmeal to crackers) so many people have heard of it, yet not everyone knows what it is, how to use it or why they should eat the highly nutritious, ancient seed. Flax is a powerful plant food that can give your current diet a healthy boost and you should start sprinkling it on your eats today!
What Is Flax?
Flax is a seed from a plant and has been used as food for thousands of years. It is popular today for its nutritional and health benefits. Flax can be purchased in seed, oil and flax meal form.
How Do I Use Flax?
Flax is best used in the form of flax meal. Flax meal is simply ground flaxseeds. It is important to use the meal because the seeds and oil do not absorb very well and your benefits will be limited. Flax meal can be found at your local grocery store and can be sprinkled on virtually any food you eat. You can also buy the seeds and grind them yourself. Their nutty flavor is appealing and adds texture, color, flavor and nutrition to the foods you eat and can easily sneak into your meals like chia seeds.
Sprinkle flax on:
- Eggs, omelets and frittatas
What Are The Health Benefits Of Flaxseed?
The health benefits of flax include high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and its high fiber content. Omega-3s have been found to effectively combat many health problems including heart disease, some cancers, cognitive loss, inflammation and even depression.
Flaxseed has also been found to be effective in treating hot flashes in postmenopausal women. Two tablespoons of flax meal daily mixed into foods produced a 57% decrease in hot flashes with almost immediate results. You can also take menopause supplements like Menoquil to treat menopause and vaginal dryness.
Flax Storage Tips
Whole flax seeds can be kept in a cool dry place for up to one year. Some people like to store the seeds in their refrigerator, but they will also keep well at room temperature. Flax meal, however, should be stored in your freezer and discarded after 3 weeks. Freezing prevents damage from oxidative damage, thereby losing its nutritional value.
The health benefits of sprinkling flax are fantastic and the flavor is delicious. So, what is stopping you? Grab a handful and start sprinkling!
Where are you sprinkling your flax? Share your flax experiences below!
Read more from A Doctor and a Nurse.
Awesome post and great timing. I just used Flax seed for the first time today in my Protein Pancakes. I kept seeing it called for in recipes and heard it was good for you, but didn’t really know why. I blindly used it today under that assumption that it was good. Now I know why! Thanks. Wishing you the best.
Hey! Good for you and I am so glad I could help. How did you like your protein pancakes???
It’s also amaazing on peanut butter and jelly! and pretty much baked into everything. ever! =) Love my flax!
OH, that sounds wonderful! I love it on everything too and sprinkle it liberally!
Thank you for this post! Great run down of the almighty flax seed! I use it liberally in EVERYTHING and encourage clients to do so as well. I also sub 1 tbsp. flax : 3 tbsp. water for eggs if I’m running low or need to make a recipe vegan. 🙂
Kristen, thank you so much for that great tip on egg substitution. I can’t wait to try it! Jana
How about flaxseed oil? I replaced olive oil with flaxseed oil in my recipes, and only use a fraction of the amount called for. I wonder if the benefits are equal? Also a reminder for people taking flaxseed capsules-must be taken with food to be absorbed properly.
Hi Amy! Flaxseed oil does indeed have great health benefits. There are some benefits that are the same and some that are different. For example, flaxseed oil has been shown to be effective in calming Crohns and colitis symptoms in sufferers.The oral ingestion of flaxseed oil is also very effective in relieving dry eye symptoms. The heart benefits are the same or similar as eating the entire seed. Of course, the oil does not have the fiber benefits that the seed has. However, adding flaxseed oil to your diet is a healthy alternative to other oils. Other benefits include healthy hair and nail growth, relief of menopause symptoms, and it promotes healthy skin. Thanks for sharing your tips with us Amy.
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I love that flaxseed has the omegas and fiber. It is good sprinkled on just about anything! I’ve never heard of it decreasing hot flashes, I’ll have to remember that for 20 years from now!
Yes, it does help with hot flashes. Always great to stash away some natural remedies for later in life. Hopefully you won’t need them though! Thanks for your comment!
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