6 Things to Consider When Buying Flax Seeds
And The Reason You Are Buying Flax Seeds ?
So here you are, in the supermarket or health food store searching for Flaxseed. Doctor Oz has confirmed that taking this nutritious grain is good for your heart plus your neighbor takes it regularly to fight off free radicals. And you tell yourself " what the heck, if I don't like it I can always make myself a small flaxseed pillow infused with lavender essential oil."
So you scan the variety of packaged flaxseed arranged on the grocery shelf. You have a choice of dark brown, light brown, red, yellow and golden flaxseed to choose from. And should you buy flaxseed in a box, bag or scoop up a cup or two out of a bin? "
Then, as you are ready to continue with your wise decision an 'expert' dressed in a white tidy apron and huge smile announces that she is here to come to your rescue.
"We have exactly what you want. I just need to ask you a couple of questions to give me an idea of which kind will be best for you. Now why are you buying flax seed and what will you be using the flaxseed for?"
The expert in the white apron suddenly becomes serious. The big smile is gone, the eyebrows now furrow and her voice, once light and airy becomes dark and rehearsed.
"If you are using flax seed as a dye or to make hair gel, soap, fishing nets, medicines, linseed painting oil and fabric, as well as feed for animals. you can use Dark Brown, Light Brown, Red, Yellow, and Golden Flax seed."
"I only want to take it to fight free radicals," you reply. The white-aproned expert continues, " what about your cholesterol and weight loss. Aren't you interested in that?" "No, my cholesterol is fine and so is my weight."
"Well, what about eggs?" she continues. You're beginning to get confused. "What about them?" She smiles with delight and says, "you can replace your eggs with flax seed." Now you're beginning to forget why you came to the store in the first place. "I like eggs," you reply. Now you're wishing she would just leave.
Sensing that you may be getting a little irritated, she displays her big smile, wishes you a great day and leaves. You wonder what has just happened and wish you had read up on flax seed.
Here are 6 things to consider and the reason for buying flax seeds:
Reason #1 Which Kind Of Flax Seed Should I Buy?
You have four different options of flax seed to choose from:
If you're going to whip up some homemade muffins or cookies, why not add a tablespoon or 2 of ground flax seed and give your muffins an extra boost of nutrition, fiber and antioxidants.
You can also sprinkle a couple of tablespoons in your oatmeal or other breakfast cereal. I like to add some to my favorite smoothie. Flax seed has no taste so it's easy to disguise in most food including salads.
This is a convenient way to make sure you get flax seed in your diet. Just grab a tall glass of water and wash down a flax seed capsule as indicated on the bottle. Suggested dosage is 2,000 mg twice a day. Plan to take your capsule with meals.
Consider applying flax seed oil to your skin especially if you tend to have dry skin. I've been experimenting with this for about 8 weeks and have seen quite an improvement in reducing the dryness of my skin.
When you're shopping for flax seed oil, only purchase oil that is bottled in an amber-brown colored container and the darker the better. This will protect the flaxseed from the light which is an enemy to flax seed and so is oxygen. Look for high quality oil, preferably organic.
I have a motto that I use when buying all of my food. " Fresher is better." (Except when loaded with pesticides and chemicals.) This includes flaxseed. So I buy the seeds instead of the already ground and I grind them myself.
All you need is your coffee grinder, although flaxseed grinders are available. Just pour a few seeds into the grinder and there you have it. Nice and fresh and ready to use. And this brings up another consideration. Only Grind the seeds as you need them. This will give you a fresher taste.
I learned this after grinding my seeds in a large quantity and storing them until needed. Once the air hits the flax seed the nutritional value immediately begins to break down. Grind only the amount you'll be using.
Warning: Do not give flax seed to children age 12 and younger without first checking with the pediatrician. Although it is suggested that 1 teaspoon is safe , be sure to get an approval from the doctor.
Reason #2 What Flax Seed Can Do For Your Health
How long do you want to live and how's your heart? Flax seed is chocked full of our friendly buddies, antioxidants. And we need all the friendly nutrients we can find when it comes to protecting the heart.
You see, lurking around our cells are these guys called "free radicals" and they're up to no good. Their sole purpose in your life is to go around damaging the cells in your body. They can cause cancer, heart disease and a grocery list of other problems.
However, waiting in the wings and eager to protect our cells is a mighty and powerful army that goes by the name of omega-fatty acid ALA.
Got arthritis? What about other diseases such as plaque in the arteries, type 2 diabetes? Flax seed can help. And if you'd like extra protection against some cancers such as breast, prostrate and even colon - call out the troops found in flax seed.
And here's a bonus - flax seed is low in carbs and will keep you full. While these are all major benefits there are some precautions that you should be aware of.
Egypt - The Discovery of Flaxseed
Reason #3. How To Store Flax Seed
I keep a small air-tight container (dark color) next to the grinder to store any access. I Simply fill the container with left-over ground seeds then pop the container into the refrigerator, where it's dark, to keep for the next time I need it.
Your Heart Loves Flax Seeds
Reason #4 Precautions - Possible Side Effects
I recommend checking with your doctor before supplementing your diet with flaxseed. Just because it hits a home run with some folks it doesn't mean that you will be spared some side affects.
There was a time when I was using flaxseed regularly and paying little attention to the dosage I was taking. I ended up with a bad case of "the runs". My Doctor suggested I stop using flaxseed to see if my problem would clear up. It did. Now I carefully measure the proper dosage and I'm fine.
I'd rather that you too would not have to learn about possible side affects the way I have. It's really not a fun experience.
And ladies, if you're pregnant or if you're breast feeding, please check with your obstetrician before taking flaxseed. Why? Flaxseed mimics estrogen.
Flaxseed is also high in fiber, which can be a good thing. However if you have certain medical conditions you will want to avoid it completely. So talk with your Internist first.
Reason #5 Three Things To Remember When Taking Flax Seed
Like most of my learning experiences, I learned the hard way (experience) first and then did the research.
Be sure to remember these 3 things:
- Flaxseed, must be take with plenty of water each time you take it.
- Do not take it with other medicine. Take it at another time, alone by itself.
- Always check with your doctor before starting on flax seed. I can't stress this enough.
Did You Know?
Ground or milled flaxseed can be used as a Fat Substitute in most recipes. Generally, 3 tablespoons can replace 1 tablespoon of fat or oil.
And 1 tablespoon of flaxseed plus 3 tablespoons of water can replace 1 egg.
So try experimenting and if first you don't succeed...
Reason #6 How Much Flax Seed Should I Take?
The recommended dose for adults is:
Ground -Take 1 tablespoonful 2 or 3 times daily.
Oil -Take 1 or 2 tablespoonfuls daily.
Capsules - Take 1 or 2 capsules daily.
... and don't forget the water.
A Bonus - Whole Wheat Flax'n Apple Muffin Recipe
Just in case you get hungry while reading about flaxseed, here is one of my favorite recipes for a very healthy and delicious muffin.
- 1/4 cup flaxseed, ground
- 3/4 cup Whole Wheat Graham Flour
- 3/4 cup Naturally White Flour
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 Egg, Beaten
- 3 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 1/2 cups Apples, Finely cut
- 1/2 cup Milk
- 1/2 cup Nuts, Chopped
- Blend dry ingredients together in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl combine eggs, oil and milk.
- Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and stir until just blended.
- Fold in apples and nuts. Batter will be thick.
- Fill well-greased muffin cups, 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until top springs back when touched.
Summary For Flax Seed
Now that you have learned some important things to consider when buying flax seed, let's go over key points.
- Flax seed is one of the best food sources for omega 3 and fiber.
- It contains high amounts of antioxidants.
- It may help those suffering from arthritis, diabetes and other diseases.
- Always drink plenty of water when taking flax seed.
- Ground flax seed can be added to cereal, baked goods, salads and a healthy smoothie.
- To make sure you are getting the freshest kind, buy the seeds and grind them yourself.
- it is best to discuss taking flax seed with your doctor.
- Always purchase and store flax seed in an amber-brown bottle or container.
- Light and oxygen breaks down nutrients.
- Before giving to children, talk with your doctor. And if you are pregnant, nursing or have any health issues, always check with your doctor. Be careful when taking flax seed if you are taking medications of any kind.
- And stay away from experts wearing white aprons approaching you as you shop.
Thank you for reading and may good health be yours.
© 2013 Audrey Hunt aka vocalcoach
Storing Flax Seeds
Please rate my recipe
This article and the Information about flaxseed is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease. You should absolutely check with your doctor before taking flaxseed in any form. All information has been researched or experienced by the writer.
Do you use Flaxseed in your diet?
© 2013 Audrey Hunt