Flaxseeds are one of the most nutritious foods available. They contain omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamins A and E, minerals iron and zinc. Flax seeds have been used for centuries in traditional medicine all over the world to treat various ailments such as depression, fatigue, joint pain etc.
The health benefits of flaxseeds are so great that they even have their own special category called Omega-3 essential fatty acid (EFA) . These fats are very beneficial to human health because they play a role in many processes within our bodies.
They are also known to reduce inflammation and may improve cardiovascular health.
In addition, flaxseeds have anti-inflammatory properties which means that they help prevent certain types of inflammatory diseases like arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, asthma and others.
There is some evidence suggesting that eating flaxseed might lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
If you want to learn more about the health benefits of flaxseeds, here are some links:
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Flaxseeds are probably best known for their high fiber content. They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol, reduces the risk of heart disease and stabilizes blood glucose levels. Insoluble fibers help with digestion, prevents constipation and may help reduce the risk of colon cancer.
In addition, flaxseeds have a very high level of antioxidants that helps prevent free radical damage to the body.
Flaxseeds are considered to be one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, if not THE most nutritious. They are packed with essential nutrients and contain only a negligible amount of fat.
Despite their tiny size, they can live up to their name and pack a mighty nutritional punch. If you want to learn even more about these amazing little seeds, here are some interesting links:
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The short answer is that flaxseed oil spoils very easily and should not be used as a cooking oil. It has a nutty flavor and is best added in small amounts to salads or other uncooked dishes.
Here is a link to one of the best ways to use flaxseed oil. (LINK REMOVED)
The long answer is that flaxseed oil spoils very easily due to its high polyunsaturated fat content. This means that it is very sensitive to oxidation.
Even refrigeration cannot prevent it from going bad. This is also why flaxseeds themselves must be stored in the refrigerator or freezer as well.
Because of these issues, flaxseed oil should not be used as a cooking oil and is best used within a few months of purchasing.
It has a nutty flavor and can be added to salads or other uncooked dishes. It can also be used as a replacement for butter when baking, but keep in mind that it has a very distinct taste and will be noticeable in the finished product.
Make sure to keep your flaxseeds (and flaxseed oil) stored in the refrigerator or freezer to maximize their shelf life. Be aware that flaxseeds are very hard and will take a long time to soften if you are planning on using them in smoothies or other recipes that require blending.
If you do not have a high-powered blender this may be quite the hassle. You can always boil the seeds first to soften them before adding them to the blender.
And now you know.
EDIT: Thank you for all the kind words and supportive comments everyone. I appreciate it.
I have learned so much from reading your own experiences and advice in this subreddit and it warms my heart to be able to share some of my knowledge with you all as well. Thanks again.
Sources & references used in this article:
Encapsulation efficiency and oxidative stability of flaxseed oil microencapsulated by spray drying using different combinations of wall materials by HCF Carneiro, RV Tonon, CRF Grosso… – Journal of food …, 2013 – Elsevier
Flaxseed: a potential source of food, feed and fiber by KK Singh, D Mridula, J Rehal… – Critical reviews in food …, 2011 – Taylor & Francis
Dehulling characteristics of flaxseed by DB Oomah, G Mazza… – LWT-Food Science and …, 1996 – researchgate.net
Effects of drying methods on the functional properties of flaxseed gum powders by Y Wang, D Li, LJ Wang, SJ Li, B Adhikari – Carbohydrate Polymers, 2010 – Elsevier
Physical and sensory characteristics of cookies prepared with flaxseed flour by H Khouryieh, F Aramouni – Journal of the Science of Food and …, 2012 – Wiley Online Library
Flax and flaxseed oil: an ancient medicine & modern functional food by A Goyal, V Sharma, N Upadhyay, S Gill… – Journal of food science …, 2014 – Springer
Baking and sensory quality of germinated and ungerminated flaxseed muffins prepared from wheat flour and wheat atta by A Kaur, R Kaur, S Bhise – Journal of the Saudi Society of Agricultural …, 2020 – Elsevier