Flaxseed One of Nature’s Miracles

Benefits of Flaxseed

Flaxseed, known as common flax (or linseed)is in the family of Linaceae, which comes from a family of flowering plants. It’s native to the eastern Mediterranean to India. It is an erect annual plant typically 3-11 ft. tall with slender stems. The plant itself and the un-spun fibers of the plant are both referred to as flax.

Flax seed benefits are numerous as it’s really a modern miracle food due to its high content of Alpha linolenic acid which is a type of plant derived omega 3 fatty acid. Omega3 typically comes from fish, such as salmon. Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown through medical trials to improve cardiovascular outcomes but lowering lipids (triglycerides in blood). Flaxseed is high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and phytochemicals.

USDA Nutirent Database From Wickipedia

Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)

Energy 2,234 kJ (534 kcal)

Carbohydrates 28.88 g Sugars 1.55 g

Dietary fiber 27.3 g Fat 42.16 g

Protein 18.29 g

Thiamine (Vit. B1) 1.644 mg (126%)

Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.161 mg (11%)

Niacin (Vit. B3) 3.08 mg (21%)

Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.985 mg (20%)

Vitamin B6 0.473 mg (36%)

Folate (Vit. B9) 0 μg (0%)

Vitamin C 0.6 mg (1%)

Calcium 255 mg (26%)

Iron 5.73 mg (46%)

Phosphorus 642 mg (92%)

Potassium 813 mg (17%)

Zinc 4.34 mg (43%)

Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database

Purchasing Seed or Oil

According to Mayo Clinic ground flax seed is healthier than whole seeds as you may not digest the seeds as well; however, whole flaxseed has a longer shelf life. It comes in prepackaged containers and it can be found in bulk bins, particularly in health food stores, like Whole Foods. If you buy whole seed from a bulk bin, make sure the bin is covered and it is best if the store is busy with a quick product turnover so you can get a fresh product. Once you have the flaxseed, store it in atight container in a dark, cool place where it will stay fresh for several months. Ground seed is available refrigerated and non-refrigerated. It is best if you purchase the ground seed in a vacuum sealed bag. You can also buy whole seed and grind it at home, but keep it sealed in a tight container.

Flax seed oil contains only thealpha-linolenic acid component of flaxseed and not the fiber or lignan components. Therefore, the oil may not lower the lipids (fat) in the blood and does not have many of the benefits of the seeds, plus it treats some specific diseases.

Flaxseed oil has some other benefits. It comes in capsule form. There are some benefits to taking flax seed oil which include the dry eye syndrome the Sjogren syndrome patients experience. It may be helpful for high blood pressure and heart disease, but the flaxseed is the better choice. There is some evidence that flaxseed oil helps with menopausal symptoms reducing hot flashes by about 60%. There is some evidence that the oil will help treat ulcerative colitis, Chron’s disease and other inflammatory bowel diseases as it reduces inflammation.

Flax Seed

Flaxseed - Brown

Photo Courtesy of Wickmedia
Photo Courtesy of Wickmedia

Flaxseed- golden

Photo Courtesy of Wickimedia
Photo Courtesy of Wickimedia

Using Flaxseed

Easy ways to add flaxseed to you diet is to sprinkle it on your cereal (either hot or cold) and salads. Substitute flax seed mixture for eggs in home baking in muffins, cookies or pancakes (1 tbsp. milled flax seed, plus 3 tbsp water for 1 egg). Include in other recipes when you want a nutty flavor. You can also add flaxseed to a breakfast shake or a smoothie. Put a little on cooked vegetables for a nutty flavor. About 2 tbsp. is considered a good safe amount to eat daily.

Some people do have flatulence or bloating when they first start using flaxseed, so if this is a problem try starting with just a teaspoon and work your way up to a higher dose. When you increase your fiber intake in any way it is a good idea to increase you liquid intake, particularly water. Women who are pregnant should consult with their doctors about taking flaxseed if they are taking high amounts.

Flaxseed is Nature's Miracle

Flaxseed possesses laxative properties as well, but a large amount of water is necessary to avoid a bowel obstruction. Besides heart disease and hypertension, flaxseed has also been shown in one study to help with ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder). It is also helpful with diabetic patients, and some studies show relief from menstrual breast pain. It is useful in treating obesity, but it should not be used by patients with prostate cancer. However, it has been shown to help prevent some other cancers, such as stomach cancer.

Summary

The flaxseed and flaxseed oil are quite amazing at the positive effect on a great number of diseases. There is a lot of research being done today since so many recent studies have been positive. It is always preferable to treat a disease naturally than with artificial medication in my opinion. I use flaxseed and I’ve had no problems with it. I think it helps with some medical problems I have, but my findings are hardly a scientific study. I hope you will try it if you haven’t as it’s easy to use, and it’s tough to argue with all these physical benefits.

Flaxseed Poll

Are you taking flaxseed now or have you ever tried it?

  • I take flaxseed regularly and find it helpful.
  • I am thinking about trying flaxseed after reading this hub.
  • I tried flaxseed but didn't like it.
  • It doesn't sounds like something I want to try.
See results without voting

© 2010 Pamela Oglesby

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Comments 28 comments

Kay Creates profile image

Kay Creates 6 years ago from Ohio

You've made a great case for flaxseed. I really should be using this as I don't eat the types of fish that have the concentration of Omega 3s.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago

The health benefits of flaxseed are well-known and you've made a very strong case for trying it out. Thanks for sharing and rated it up for u.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Kay, Thank you for your comment. I think if you try it you'll find it doesn't tasted bad and its easy to blend a little into cereal or sprinkle it on salads.

Anginwu, Thank you so much for your comments.


Amber Allen profile image

Amber Allen 6 years ago

Hi Pam

An excellent hub and the guy in the vidoe wasn't bad either! I've not tried flaxseed before but you've put forward an excellent case.

Amber:)


HealthyHanna profile image

HealthyHanna 6 years ago from Utah

Omegas are hard to get enough of. I have seen studies that show our children are so deficient in Omega 3 that it doesn't even show up in their blood tests! It is linked to ADHD and learning disabilities. ...very important for parents to know.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Amber, Thank you for your comments. I thought the guy in the video was an excellent example of a healthy male.

Hanna, I think we don't eat nearly enough fish in this country and flaxseed is at least a way to get the omega 3. Good nutrition is so important to child development.


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 6 years ago from Texas

Great hub, Pam! I just started using ground flaxseed a month ago for the Omega 3 benefits, and it is suppose to improve the overall health of your hair, according to Dr. Oz. I really like how it's beginning to make me feel and its good to know that it does so much more. Thanks for sharing, rating up! :)


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND

Pamela - great hub - lots of great info. I like to add ground flaxseed in my fruit smoothies. I do notice a difference when I have it on a regular basis.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Money Glitch, Thank you for your comments. I actually started about 6 months ago when I read about it and I think it helps also.

Cari, Thank you for your comments. That is a good idea to use the seed in your smoothies. I am going to try that. Thanks.


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

You know I love flaxseed and take it everyday, great stuff this flaxseed. :)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Katiem, Yes, I like it too. Thanks for your comments.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

Totally agree and have been eating this along with my Greek yogurt every day - super hub!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Akirchner, Thanks for your comments. I would like to try some Greek yogurt.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for such an informative hub. Will try it.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

I take flaxseed oil daily. I also use the ground seeds for pie crust with low-carb pies! Great hub!


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 6 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

I have some in my cupboard. Thanks for reminding me.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Hello, Thanks for your comment.

Habee, I use flaxseed regularly also as it is so healthy. Thanks for your comments.

Sandy, Thanks for your comments.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Useful information here. I liked it. Thanks for sharing.

Love and peace

Tony


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

wow, excellent source of omega 3, Nice hub, Maita


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Tony, Thank you so much for your comment.

Miata, Thank you very much for your comment.


nancy_30 profile image

nancy_30 6 years ago from Georgia

Great hub. I learned a lot from it. I had heard of flaxseed before, but I didn't really know what it was. Thanks for the information.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Nancy, I am glad you know about flaxseed now as it is so healthy for you. Thank you for your comments.


Support Med. profile image

Support Med. 6 years ago from Michigan

Between you and katiem2, I have learned a lot about flaxseed. Really enjoyed reading about its help for dry eyes (a must try for me). Voted-up/rated!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

Support Med, Thank you for your comments.


bayoulady profile image

bayoulady 6 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

Great breakdown of nutritional information.I LOVE using flaxseed. My newest favorite way to include it in cooking is in meatloaf or ground beef patties.I use very lean (93/7) ground beef, and the added flaxseed (4 T a lb)gives a moister product.

Works well in cornbread,too.(3 T per cup)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States Author

hbayoulady, Thanks for the suggestion. I will try that also. I appreciate your comments.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

In my home I'm known as the Flaxseed Fairy. I purchase the seeds, grind them once a week and store the ground seeds in the freezer to retain strength and freshness and use as needed straight from the freezer. I sprinkle on 3 meals a day. Even pizza. I've been doing this for about 5 years now. I'm an addict. I began using it because I have a family history of colon cancer and so far 2 colonoscopies and I'm good to go. The fiber in the seeds is very beneficial something the oil doesn't offer. Thanks for the hub Pam...Flaxseed deserves the shout-out!:)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States Author

Sunshine, I grind my own flaxseed also. They are very healthy and I appreciate your comments.

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