One of the World’s Healthiest Foods: Flax seed is Good for Your Entire Body!
🎯 Todays Simple Self Care Lifestyle tip:
Add ground flax seed to your day. It’s SIMPLE and provides EXPONENTIAL payoff!
Let’s run down a quick partial list of what research indicates flax seeds are good for:
- Excess (body fat) weight (4)
- Hypertension (2)
- Cancer risk (1)
- Cholesterol (2)
- Bowel Movements
- IBS (3)
- Mood/Anxiety (5)
- Bone health
- Menstrual cycles
- Vaginal dryness
- Serotonin levels
- Iron Metabolism
- Immune health
- Over all CELL FUNCTION which is exactly what we revolve EVERYTHING around here on The Simple Self Care Lifestyle.
Here is an illustration from The Journal of Food Science and Technology showing of the physiological effects of flax seed shared from the study: Flax and flaxseed oil an ancient & modern functional food.
Goyal, Ankit & Sharma, Vivek & Upadhyay, Neelam & Gill, Sandeep & Sihag, Manvesh. (2014). Flax and flaxseed oil: an ancient medicine & modern functional food. Journal of food science and technology. 51. 1633-53. 10.1007/s13197-013-1247-9.
Flax seeds provide one of the Essential Fats we must consume in order for our body to have access to it.
What’s so important about an Essential Fat?
- It is found and needed in all our human cells.
- Higher ALA is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes, and lower serum lipids (1)
- It serves as a good source of the minerals phosphorous , magnesium, calcium.
Flax seeds provide Lignans. As a matter of fact:
researchers now rank flaxseeds as the #1 source of lignans in human diets.
What’s so great about Lignans?
Lignans help protect against cancer by blocking enzymes that are involved in hormone metabolism and interfering with the growth and spread of tumor cells.
How does this work?
After ingestion, plant lignans are metabolized by intestinal bacteria, undergoing transformation to mammalian lignans (enterolactones and enterodiols (Figure 3)) prior to absorption. This apparently considerably decreases the risk of diverse types of cancer, particularly of the colon, prostate and breast.
Flax seeds are loaded with anti-oxidants
flaxseeds belong high up on our list of antioxidant-rich foods.
What does that mean?
It means flaxseeds are high in polyphenol antioxidants.
As a matter of fact, according to The Worlds Healthiest Foods flax seeds are higher than fruits like blueberries or olives when it comes to antioxidants!
The antioxidant benefits of flaxseeds have long been associated with prevention of cardiovascular diseases and have recently also been tied to decreased insulin resistance.
Flax seeds have beneficial mucilage.
A 3rd BIG deal when it comes to flax seeds is the healing mucilage.
It is very beneficial to our intestinal tract.
This mucilage property helps slow down the emptying of our stomach contents into our intestines.
This helps to give more time for nutrient absorption in our small intestines.
It promotes satiety.
Soothes the membranes of the digestive system, stimulates your own gut to secrete more mucus.
This mechanism also protects you against excessive acidity and ulcer formation.
To explore more details in how flax seeds benefit us I’ve linked the above list to research for you.
Plus as always I’ll add linked references below.
This way we can jump to:
How much flax seed?
1 to 3 Tablespoons ground flax is the typical recommendation.
I’ve always encouraged starting with 1 TEASPOON.
After a few days increase to 2 teaspoons and over the first month work up to the daily 2 TABLESPOONS.
What to do with 2 Tablespoons of ground flax?
– Sprinkle some atop your smoothie/fruit bowl.
Or maybe some of the other ways I use ground flax might be appealing:
- Sprinkled on Roasted Veggies
- On Baked Sweet Potato
- Summer Salads (any Salad)
- In my Smoothie drink
- To thicken Stew meal
I also use ground flax seed as a binder for my meatballs.
The ALA in flax seed (not flax oil) has been found to be stable for at least 3 hours of cooking at oven temperatures (approximately 350F)
Flax seeds are good as an Egg Replacement too.
Many with egg intolerance use flax seeds in baking.
You don’t need to have an intolerance. You can use flax seeds in your baking to simply get more flax into your diet.
Flax seeds will gel when mixed with warm water- which is why they can act as an egg replacement.
It is good to keep in perspective that the flax seeds are acting as a thickener/binder and are not actually ‘replacing an egg’ and all the fluff/texture egg has to offer.
Our expectations of what gelled flax seeds can do should be realistic.
How to make the flax seed egg
I personally have always used a 1 to 2 ratio.
Looking on the internet the most often repeated ratio I found was to 1 to 3.
I’d suggest playing around to find what suits your taste buds and texture desires.
Here is the most common directions given:
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed meal with
- 3 tablespoons of warmed water.
Let it sit to gel for 15 min. You can leave it longer without a problem.
The Flax seed Products I use:
All four I have listed below happen to be ground BROWN Flax seeds.
Currently I buy Bob’s Red Mill Certified GF Brown and Golden seeds by the case. Then grab a bag of the sprouted ones here and there.
I actually prefer the sprouted but the supply has been spotty for a long time. Having the flax seeds on hand for our daily use is covered by the Bobs Red Mill Certified GF (because we are a GF household)
I will post another article on best seeds, difference between the golden and brown, as well as how to choose and store them. The below images are linked for you.
I hope you’ll embrace today’s
🎯 Simple Self Care Lifestyle tip:
And play around with incorporating ground flax seeds into your meal plan.
🧡 If you’d please share today’s post especially to Facebook for me (since I do not have access) that would be really appreciated.
References for you:
Body System Specific Research
1. Flaxseeds and breast cancer. Oncology Nutrition DPG. (n.d.). Retrieved May 28, 2022, from https://www.oncologynutrition.org/erfc/healthy-nutrition-now/foods/flaxseeds-and-breast-cancer
2. Xu B, Xu Z, Xu D, Tan X. Effect of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on ischemic heart disease and cardiometabolic risk factors: a two-sample Mendelian randomization study. BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2021 Nov 8;21(1):532. doi: 10.1186/s12872-021-02342-6. PMID: 34749668; PMCID: PMC8576934.
3. Reifen R, Karlinsky A, Stark AH, Berkovich Z, Nyska A. α-Linolenic acid (ALA) is an anti-inflammatory agent in inflammatory bowel disease. J Nutr Biochem. 2015 Dec;26(12):1632-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2015.08.006. Epub 2015 Aug 14. PMID: 26350254.
4. Kucukgoncu, S et al. “Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) as a supplementation for weight loss: results from a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity vol. 18,5 (2017): 594-601. doi:10.1111/obr.12528
5. Poorbaferani, Fariborz & Rouhani, Mohamamd & Heidari, Zahra & Poorbaferani, Maryam & Safavi, Sayyed. (2020). Flaxseed oil supplementation on severity of depression and brain-derived neurotrophic factor: a randomized, double blind placebo controlled clinical trial. International Journal of Food Properties. 23. 1518-6. Dybka-Stępień, Katarzyna et al. “The Renaissance of Plant Mucilage in Health Promotion and Industrial Applications: A Review.” Nutrients vol. 13,10 3354. 24 Sep. 2021, doi:10.3390/nu13103354
General Benefit Research
Goyal A, Sharma V, Upadhyay N, Gill S, Sihag M. Flax and flaxseed oil: an ancient medicine & modern functional food. J Food Sci Technol. 2014 Sep;51(9):1633-53. doi: 10.1007/s13197-013-1247-9. Epub 2014 Jan 10. PMID: 25190822; PMCID: PMC4152533.
Kajla, Priyanka et al. “Flaxseed-a potential functional food source.” Journal of food science and technology vol. 52,4 (2015): 1857-71. doi:10.1007/s13197-014-1293-y
Parikh, Mihir et al. “Dietary Flaxseed as a Strategy for Improving Human Health.” Nutrients vol. 11,5 1171. 25 May. 2019, doi:10.3390/nu11051171
Flaxseeds. (n.d.). Retrieved May 28, 2022, from https://whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=81
Rezaei S, Sasani MR, Akhlaghi M, Kohanmoo A. Flaxseed oil in the context of a weight loss programme ameliorates fatty liver grade in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a randomised double-blind controlled trial. Br J Nutr. 2020 May 14;123(9):994-1002. doi: 10.1017/S0007114520000318. Epub 2020 Jan 29. PMID: 31992372.