Flaxseeds are a nutritional powerhouse that can help improve your overall health and well-being. They are a good source of essential fatty acids, fiber, and protein. Additionally, they provide many other important vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, selenium, and zinc. Studies have shown that consuming flaxseed can help reduce cholesterol and improve heart health, as well as reduce inflammation and improve digestive health. In this post, we will discuss the many benefits of adding flaxseed to your diet, as well as some simple ways to incorporate them into your daily meals. We will also look at some potential side effects and discuss how to safely consume flaxseeds. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of this nutritional powerhouse and why you should be adding it to your diet!
History and Origin
Flax seeds have been used throughout history as a source of nutrition and medicinal remedies. They have been used for thousands of years as a food source and as a remedy for digestive issues in many different cultures. Flax seeds have been found in archaeological dig sites dating back to the Bronze Age in Switzerland, and evidence suggests that they were an important food source for ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. The seeds have been ground into flour for baking and have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. In the Middle Ages, flax seeds were included in remedies to treat a range of maladies, from skin ailments to digestive issues. In the 18th century, flaxseed oil was used in Europe to treat rheumatism, while in the 19th century, it was recommended as a remedy for constipation and skin disorders.
Flax seeds are often associated with spiritual beliefs in many cultures. In Hinduism, for example, flax seeds are seen as a symbol of purity, peace and prosperity. They are used in rituals and offerings to the gods as a sign of devotion and faith. In some traditions, they are also seen as a fertility symbol and are used in spells and rituals to attract wealth and abundance. In Buddhist culture, flax seeds are seen as a symbol of impermanence, reminding us of the temporary nature of life and its inherent unpredictability. They are also used in meditative practices to help focus the mind and cultivate inner peace., they are believed to be an aid in spiritual healing and protection. They are also believed to bring luck, peace, and harmony. In some cultures, they are also believed to help with manifestation, as they are thought to help attract what is desired.
Flaxseed Nutritional Value and Calories Chart
Flax seeds are an excellent source of nutrition. They are high in protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. They are also a good source of vitamin E, zinc, copper, magnesium, and phosphorus. In addition, they contain lignans which are plant-based compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Flax seeds also contain plant-based forms of omega-3 fatty acids which are thought to be beneficial for heart health. Nutritional value per 100 g raw flax seeds:
- Biotin: 0.1 micrograms
- Calcium: 67 milligrams
- Carbohydrates: 28.2 grams
- Chloride: 50 milligrams
- Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
- Choline: 13.6 milligrams
- Chromium: 6.1 micrograms
- Copper: 0.4 milligrams
- Dietary Fiber: 17.3 grams
- Energy (Calories): 534
- Fat: 42.2 grams
- Iodine: 0.7 micrograms
- Iron: 4.4 milligrams
- Magnesium: 179 milligrams
- Manganese: 1.9 milligrams
- Molybdenum: 10.5 micrograms
- Pantothenic Acid: 0.5 milligrams
- Phosphorus: 380 milligrams
- Potassium: 645 milligrams
- Protein: 18.3 grams
- Saturated fat: 4.1 grams
- Selenium: 6.9 micrograms
- Sodium: 27 milligrams
- Sugars: 0.3 grams
- Vitamin A: 0 IU
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 0.3 milligrams
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 0.1 milligrams
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 1.2 milligrams
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 0.5 milligrams
- Vitamin B6: 0.3 milligrams
- Vitamin B9 (Folate / Folic Acid): 76.9 micrograms
- Vitamin B12: 0 micrograms
- Vitamin C: 0.2 milligrams
- Vitamin D: 0 IU
- Vitamin E: 7.3 milligrams
- Vitamin K: 3.2 micrograms
- Water: 8.8 grams
- Zinc: 2.5 milligrams
What is Flaxseed Called in Ayurveda?
Flax seeds are seen as a powerful medicinal food and have been used as a remedy for various health ailments in traditional cultures for centuries. In traditional Chinese medicine, flax seeds are believed to be a “cooling” food that can help to reduce inflammation and balance out the body’s energy. Flax seeds are also believed to be beneficial for digestive health, due to their high fiber content. In Indian Ayurvedic medicine, flax seeds are believed to be beneficial for balancing the body’s “tridoshas”, or three humours which are believed to be responsible for health and wellbeing. Flax seeds are also believed to be beneficial for reducing cholesterol and for promoting heart health. In traditional Native American cultures, flax seeds are often referred to as “Indian flax”, and are believed to be a powerful remedy for various health issues. What are other names for flaxseeds?
- Scientific Binomial: Linum usitatissimum
- Common English: Flaxseed / Flax Seeds / Linseed
- Ayurvedic: Atasi / Umaa / Masrnaa / Nilapushpi / Kshumaa
- Sanskrit: Atasi
- Unani: Kattan
- Hindi / Urdu: Alsi / Akse bija
- Bengali: Atasi / Tishi
- Marathi: Javas / Ambadi / Agashi / Alashi / Jawas / Jabasu
- Telugu: Madanginja / Ullusulu / Avise ginzalu / Atasee / Bittu
- Tamil: Ali Vidai / Virai / Sirrali
- Gujarati: Alasi
- Kannada: Narina bijagalannu / Agasi
- Malayalam: Cheruchana Vithu
- Oriya: Pesi
- Punjabi / Sindhi: Alsi
- Assamese: Tisi
- Kashmiri: Alish
- Konkani: Alsi bi / Agase bi
- Manipuri: Thoiding amuba
- Bhojpuri: Tissi
Health Benefits and Medicinal Uses
Flax seeds are a rich source of nutrients and have many medicinal benefits. They are high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and lignans, which are plant compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that flax seeds may help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. They may also help reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as breast, prostate, and colon cancer. Additionally, flax seeds may help improve digestive health and reduce symptoms of constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and other digestive disorders.
- Digestive Problems: Flaxseed and honey is a great remedy for digestion. Mix one tablespoon of flaxseed with one tablespoon of honey. Consume that mixture twice daily to get relief from digestive problems.
- Dietary Fiber: Flaxseed and yogurt is a great source of dietary fiber, protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Mix one tablespoon of flaxseed with one cup of low-fat yogurt. Enjoy it as a snack or as a meal replacement. Flaxseed and oatmeal is also a great source of dietary fiber. Mix one tablespoon of flaxseed with one cup of oatmeal. Consume that mixture daily to get relief from constipation.
- Constipation: Flaxseed and water makes a great remedy for constipation. Soak one tablespoon of flaxseed in one cup of warm water for about 8 hours. Strain the mixture and drink it on an empty stomach to get relief from constipation.
- Vitamin C: Flaxseed with lemon is a source of vitamin C. Mix one tablespoon of flaxseed with one tablespoon of lemon juice. Consume that mixture daily to get relief from digestive problems.
- Natural Laxative: Flaxseed is a natural laxative and can help relieve constipation. It is high in dietary fiber which helps to bulk up stool and promote regular, healthy bowel movements. It is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which can help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. To use it as a laxative, add one to two tablespoons of ground flaxseed to a smoothie, yogurt, or oatmeal. You can also mix it into water, juice, or a warm beverage like tea or coffee.
Health Benefits for Women
Flaxseed has numerous health benefits especially for women. Seeds are rich source of protein and omega 3 oils. It also contains high levels of phytoestrogens which is roughly 10 times more than other seeds, making it a key remedy for menopause. High levels of phytoestrogens make linseed a useful supplement for menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and headache. It is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential for keeping your eyes well lubricated.
Home Remedies with Flaxseed
Linseed is a small seed that is packed with nutrition, including omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, and plant-based protein. We will discuss how adding linseed to your diet can help improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and provide a range of other health benefits. We will also explore how to incorporate linseed into your daily meals and snacks, as well as some delicious recipes to get you started. Finally, we will discuss some of the potential side effects of consuming linseed, as well as how to get the most out of the nutrition it has to offer. Flax seeds are a rich source of essential vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium. They may also help boost your immune system and provide other health benefits.
- Relieve Constipation: Soak a handful of flaxseeds in a cup of water overnight. In the morning, strain the seeds and drink the water. This will help to add fiber to your diet and help regulate bowel movements. Flax seeds can be used to help ease digestive issues such as constipation, heartburn, and bloating. To use flax seeds as a digestive aid, mix a tablespoon of ground flax seeds with a glass of water. Drink the mixture before or after meals.
- Reduce Inflammation: Mix 1-2 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds into your smoothie or oatmeal. The anti-inflammatory properties of flaxseeds can help to reduce inflammation in the body.
- Improve Skin Health: Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help improve skin health. They are also a good source of lignans, which are plant compounds that have antioxidant properties. Make a paste with flaxseeds and water. Apply this paste to your skin for a few minutes and then rinse off. This can help to reduce inflammation and improve skin health. OR To use flax seeds for skin health, mix one tablespoon of ground flax seeds with one tablespoon of honey. Apply the mixture to your face and leave on for 15 minutes before washing off.
- Reduce Cholesterol Levels: Fiber in flax seeds can help promote digestive health and regularity. It may also help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Add a teaspoon of ground flaxseeds to your breakfast cereal or yogurt every day. This can help to reduce cholesterol levels and improve heart health. They may also lower your risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.
- Boost The Immune System: Flaxseeds are high in antioxidants, which can help to boost the immune system and fight off infections. Simply sprinkle some ground flaxseeds onto your salads or soups.
- Lose Weight: Flax seeds can be used to help promote weight loss. Eating flax seeds every day may help reduce hunger cravings and help you feel fuller longer. To use flax seeds as a weight loss aid, mix two tablespoons of flax seeds with one cup of yogurt or smoothie. Flax seeds are a great source of protein and can help you reach your daily protein intake. They can also help you feel fuller for longer, making them a great addition to a weight loss diet.
- Manage Menopausal Symptoms: The lignans in flax seeds may help reduce your risk of certain types of cancer, including breast and prostate cancer. They may also help reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes.
- Hair Care: Flax seeds can be used to help strengthen and nourish hair. The omega-3 fatty acids in flax seeds can help reduce hair breakage and promote new hair growth. To use flax seeds for hair care, mix two tablespoons of flax seeds with one cup of coconut oil. Massage the mixture into your scalp and leave on for 30 minutes before washing off.
- Apply the seeds to the chest wall as a poultice to relieve congestive bronchitis.
- Put warm soaked seed in gauze or muslin and hold or bind in place on burns, bites and stings, boils, and hemorrhoids.
- Use a warm poultice to “draw” splinters and boils, the mucilage in the seed soaking up fluids and waste products.
- Take one to three tablespoons of whole or crushed ground flaxseeds, two or three times a day to help with chronic constipation. Be sure you get at least eight glasses of water a day to keep the bulk moving through the digestive system.
- Flax oil and seeds have been used since the beginning of time to treat constipation and as a poultice.
How To Eat Flaxseed?
- Best Laxative: An excellent bulk laxative, linseed is a safe and frequently effective remedy for chronic constipation. Take two teaspoons flaxseed oil daily. To treat constipation, at night, boil 1 tablespoon of flax seed in a cup of water for at least 2 to 3 minutes. Then drink the whole cupful, including the tea and the seeds.
- For Menopausal Symptoms: To treat menopausal symptoms take ground or cracked seed as an excellent addition to the diet. Take 1 – 2 tablespoons a day with muesli, breakfast cereal, or yogurt. Since the seed soaks up large quantities of liquid, drink a large glass of water at the same time.
- Stomach Problems: Long term problems such as acid reflux and esophagitis, peptic ulcer, and chronic constipation are likely to need ongoing treatment with linseed. Soak 1 tablespoonful of seed in at least 5 times its volume of warm water. Leave for a few hours, then swallow, preferably drinking additional water. The resulting jelly like brew will often prove helpful for constipation and can also relieve acid indigestion and diarrhea.
- Healthy Hair and Nails: If your nails are brittle or flaking, try getting more essential fatty acids. These are found in foods such as fatty fish and flaxseeds or flax seed oil. If you don’t eat much fish, take 1 tablespoon flaxseed oil a day.
- Flaxseed Chocolate Chip Cookies:
- Mix together 1/2 cup softened butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup ground flaxseed, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup chopped nuts.
- Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
- Flaxseed Granola:
- In a large bowl, combine 2 cups old-fashioned oats, 1/4 cup ground flaxseed, 1/4 cup wheat germ, 1/4 cup ground almonds, 1/4 cup coconut flakes, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- Spread granola mixture evenly onto a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes
- Stir occasionally.
- Flaxseed Smoothie:
- Combine 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup almond milk, 1/4 cup frozen berries, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed, 1 teaspoon honey, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Serve immediately.
Popular Indian Recipes
- Mung Bean and Flaxseed Curry: This vegan dish is a flavorful and easy-to-make Indian-style curry. The combination of mung beans, flaxseed, and spices makes for a delicious, nutritious meal.
- Flaxseed and Spinach Paratha: Parathas are traditional Indian flatbreads and are a great way to incorporate flaxseed into your diet. This recipe combines flaxseed with spinach and spices to create a savory and healthy paratha.
- Flaxseed Ladoo: Ladoo is an Indian sweet made with various ingredients, such as nuts and dried fruits. This healthy version of this traditional dessert is made with flaxseed, nuts, and jaggery (a type of unrefined sugar).
- Flaxseed and Coconut Chutney: This chutney is a perfect accompaniment to Indian dishes and is a great way to add in extra nutrition. The combination of flaxseed, coconut, and spices creates a delicious and healthy condiment.
- Flaxseed Pulao: Pulao is a type of rice dish that is popular in India. This version is made with flaxseed, spices, and vegetables for a nutritious and flavorful meal.
- Flaxseed Raita: Raita is a yogurt-based condiment that is traditionally served with Indian cuisine. This version contains flaxseed and spices to add a healthy twist to the traditional recipe.
- Flaxseed and Coconut Kheer: Kheer is a type of pudding that is popular in India. This version is made with flaxseed, coconut, and spices for a nutritious and delicious dessert.
Growing Plants and Seed Cultivation
Flax seeds are typically planted in early spring, as soon as the soil can be worked. Planting in late spring or summer can result in decreased yields and a shorter growing season. Flax requires full sun and well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. The soil should be slightly acidic, with a pH ranging from 6.0 to 7.0. The soil should also be high in organic matter. Flax prefers cooler temperatures, with temperatures between 65°F and 70°F (18°C–21°C) being ideal for growth. The plant prefers soil that is kept relatively moist, but it must be well-drained to avoid waterlogging. Flax does not tolerate drought conditions. The top countries that produce flax seeds are Russia, Canada, Belarus, France, and the United States.
- Flax seeds are a cool-season crop, so they should be planted in early spring as soon as the soil can be worked.
- Purchase flax seeds from a reputable seller.
- Prepare a potting mix that is rich in organic matter, such as compost.
- Place the potting mix in a pot with good drainage.
- Plant the flax seeds about 1/4 inch deep in the soil. Seeds should be sown in rows spaced 6 to 8 inches apart on the area with full sun and good air circulation.
- Keep the soil moist but not soggy.
- Water the flax seeds regularly.
- Thin the seedlings to avoid overcrowding. When the seedlings reach a height of 3 to 4 inches, thinning may be necessary to maintain a spacing of 4 to 6 inches between plants.
- Flax is a short-season crop and will reach maturity in about 70 days.
- Harvest the flax seeds when the pods turn brown and begin to split.
- The best way to harvest flax is to cut the entire plant about 1 inch above the soil line.
- The plants can then be left to dry in the field for several days, or they can be bundled and hung in a dry, airy place until the seeds are completely dry.
- Once the seeds are dry, they can be threshed by hand or with a mechanical thresher.
- The seeds should then be cleaned and stored in a cool, dry place.
Side Effects and Disadvantages
- High Calorie Content: Flax seeds are high in calories, so if you are trying to lose weight, it is important to watch your portion size.
- Oxalate Content: Flax seeds contain oxalates, which can increase the risk of kidney stones in some people.
- Stomach Discomfort: Eating too much flax seed can lead to indigestion, bloating, and other digestive problems.
- Allergy Risk: Some people may be allergic to flax seeds and experience an allergic reaction when consuming them.
- Interference with Medication: Flax seeds can interfere with the absorption of certain medications, so it is important to talk with your doctor before consuming them if you are taking any medications.
Q. Which is better, chia seeds, sabja (basil), black seeds, or flax seeds for weight loss?
It really depends on your individual health needs. Both chia seeds and flax seeds are high in dietary fiber, which can help promote weight loss. Chia seeds are higher in protein, calcium, and antioxidants, while flax seeds are higher in omega-3 fatty acids. Ultimately, it’s best to consult with your healthcare provider to determine which option is best for you. Chia, flax, sabja, black sesame seeds and kalonji, all are different. Discover more about it: Chia, Sabja (Basil Seeds), Black Sesame Seeds, Kalaunji / Kalonji / Black Seeds / Nigella Sativa
Q. Does flaxseed help lower cholesterol?
Yes, flaxseed is rich in soluble fiber, which is known to help lower cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that consuming 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed daily can reduce total cholesterol levels by up to 10%.
Q. What is good amount of flax seed one can eat in a day?
It is recommended to eat no more than two tablespoons (approximately 30 grams) of flax seeds per day.
Q. Do flax seeds reduce testosterone?
No, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that flax seeds reduce testosterone levels. In fact, some research suggests that they may even help to increase testosterone levels in men.
Q. Which flax seeds are best – raw or roasted?
It is generally recommended to eat flax seeds that have been ground or milled, as this is the best way to get the full nutritional benefits of the seeds. You can consume flax seeds raw or roasted, as both provide similar nutritional benefits.
Q. Is it safe to eat flax seeds in summer?
Yes, it is safe to eat flax seeds in summer. Flax seeds are highly nutritious and contain essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. Flax seeds can provide health benefits such as improved digestion, heart health, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Q. Can we eat flax seeds on an empty stomach?
Yes, you can eat flax seeds on an empty stomach. In fact, it is recommended to do so to get the maximum nutritional benefit. Flax seeds are a great source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and other essential vitamins and minerals.
Q. Is it possible to grow flax seeds in the pot or home garden?
Yes, you can grow flax seeds in pots or a home garden. The plant is relatively easy to grow and can be grown in pots as small as 10 inches in diameter. To grow flax seeds in a pot, start with a well-draining potting mix and sow the seeds 1/4 inch deep. Water the pot regularly, and when the seedlings are 4-6 inches tall, thin the plants so that they are 8-10 inches apart.
Q. What are the differences between whole flax seeds, milled flax seeds, and flax seed supplements?
Whole flax seeds are the whole seed, with the outer fibrous shell intact. Milled flax seeds are ground up and more easily digestible, but may lose some nutritional value. Flax seed supplements come in a variety of forms and may include flax seed oil, ground flax seed powder, or whole flax seed powder. These supplements are generally more concentrated sources of healthy fats and essential fatty acids compared to the whole or milled flax seeds.
Q. What is the best way to consume flax seeds?
The best way to consume flax seeds is to grind them into a powder and add them to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, salads, and baked goods. You can also take them in pill form.
Q. How to make flax seeds flour at home?
- Gather your flax seeds and spread them out on a baking sheet.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and toast the flax seeds for 10–15 minutes until they become golden brown.
- Once toasted, remove the pan from the oven and let the flax seeds cool.
- Transfer the cooled flax seeds to a food processor or blender and pulse until the desired consistency is reached.
- Store the flax seed flour in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator.
Q. Do flax seeds aid in weight loss? How should one consume flax seeds to get their maximum benefit?
Flax seeds may help with weight loss when consumed as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Eating flax seeds may help to increase feelings of fullness, reduce appetite, and increase metabolism. The best way to consume flax seeds is to grind up the seeds and add them to smoothies, salads, and yogurt. Flax seeds can also be added to baked goods, cereals, and soups. Additionally, flax seed oil can be added to salads and other dishes.
Q. How should someone eat flax seed?
Flax seeds are most commonly eaten ground or milled. You can buy pre-ground flax seed or grind it yourself using a coffee grinder or blender. To maximize the nutritional benefits, it’s best to grind flax seeds just before consumption, as ground flax seeds can go rancid quickly. Ground flax seed can be added to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, salads, and baked goods. You can also sprinkle it on top of cereal, salads, or yogurt. Flax seed oil can be used in salad dressings, dips, and sauces.
Q. Can chia seeds and flax seeds be eaten together?
Yes, chia seeds and flax seeds can be eaten together. They are both good sources of dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and other essential nutrients. Eating them together can provide additional health benefits.
Q. When is the optimal time to eat flax seeds?
Flax seeds can be eaten at any time of day. However, for optimal nutrient absorption, it is best to consume them in the morning or afternoon with a meal.
Q. What are the benefits of flax seeds on hair?
Consuming flax seeds and using flax seed oil on hair can help to improve the texture, strength, and shine of hair. Flax seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to be beneficial for hair health. Additionally, flax seeds are also a great source of essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E, zinc, magnesium, and selenium, which can help to nourish and strengthen your hair.