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Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds also known as Linseeds are one of the best sources of plant based Omega3 fatty acid for vegetarians. They are rich in both alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and linolenic acid (LA).


Although, flaxseeds are loaded with nutrients but they are popular for their 3 major components:

  1. Omega-3

  2. Lignans

  3. Fiber

Though, they are available in the form of seeds, oils, powder, tablets, capsules and flour but the best way to consume it is in ground form.


Whole flaxseeds - When flaxseeds are consumed whole, you get benefits of fiber and lignans.


Flaxseed holds mucilage located in outer layers of the seed which is hard for the digestion by body; hence flaxseeds passes through the gut and the nutrients are not absorbed by the body. So it’s important to remove outer layer of the seeds by various methods like crushing, grinding etc. This process will eliminate most of the mucilage and crude fiber and allow body to absorb maximum nutrients. So it’s important to grind the seeds well to get omega-3 from flaxseeds.


Ground flaxseeds - When flaxseeds are consumed ground, you can get omega 3-fatty acids, fibre, and lignans, all the benefits of flaxseeds. There is approximately 1.6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids in 1 tbsp of ground flaxseeds.


Flax oil - Flax oil contain high amount of omega-3 compared to other forms, but it does not contain lignans or fiber as it get removed in the process of oil extraction. There is approximately 7.2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids in 1 tbsp of flax oil.


Nutrition

Nutritional value per 100 g

















A 100g of ground flaxseed gives about 534 calories, 42g of fat, 28g of fiber and 18g of protein. Flaxseeds are especially rich in thiamine (b1), magnesium and phosphorus.


Benefits

Fatty acids are termed as essential because both are required by body but our body cannot produce it so we need to add it in our diet. They are anti-inflammatory and help inflammation with lungs, kidney, skin, gastrointestinal and various other inflammations. They contain highest amount of linolenic acid followed by soybeans and mustard oil, while sunflower and safflower oils contain large amount of linoleic acid which may trigger various diseases. Omega-6s fatty acids are pro-inflammatory while omega-3s are anti-inflammatory.


They are also good source of both soluble (one-third) and insoluble fibers (two-third). Insoluble fibers does not dissolve in water and remain in digestive tract after eating, and there it absorbs water and add bulks which helps in constipation.


Flaxseeds also help to reduce joint pain, improve blood sugar. Lignans found in flaxseeds helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases, slowing down the growth of tumor cells.


Which type of Flaxseeds is good?

There is not much difference between Carbs, protein and fat content in Golden Flaxseeds compared to brown flaxseeds. Yellow variety is low in Omega-3 fatty acids and the main difference is the type of fat available in both. Golden flaxseeds are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids and less in monounsaturated fatty acids compared to brown flaxseeds.


Daily Recommended Dose

DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) says the adequate intake for the ALA found in flaxseeds is 1.6 grams per day for men and 1.1 grams per day for women.


Tips to add Flaxseeds to daily routine

  1. You can add 1 tbsp of ground flaxseeds to your Yogurt, Smoothies, Parathas, Soups, Salad, Chutney, Raita, ladoo, Homemade Bread, Cookies, Pancakes, Sandwiches, Muffins or just add powdered jaggery in ground flaxseeds and replace it with your sugar cravings. Comment down for the recipes.

  2. Though taseer (nature of the food on body when consumed) of these seeds are warm, to consume it in summer, you can soak 1/2 tsp of flaxseeds in 1 glass of water with ½ tsp of chia seeds, let it sit for 30 min, boil it for 2-3 minute and drain the seeds, let it cool down, consume gel like water and it won’t give body heat (do not consume seeds).

Ground Flaxseeds must be store in the Fridge or Freezer for not more than 3 months once opened.


Who should not consume

  1. People who have thyroid problems should avoid having high amounts of flaxseed.

  2. People who are not having sufficient minerals like iron or zinc or follow and imbalanced diet, as flaxseeds contain phytic acid which is anti-nutrient and reduces the absorption of minerals.

  3. People who are not used to have enough fiber may get bloating, nausea, gas, abdominal pain. You can start with small portions and gradually increase it.

  4. Avoid raw flaxseeds, as they may contain toxic compounds.

  5. High doses of omega-3 may cause blood thinning. Consult your doctor if you are taking any blood thinning or other medicines.

Consult your doctor or gynecologist if pregnant or lactating.

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