Flaxseed Forum Discussion

Flax Meal

A reader asks the following question:

“How is the best way to eat flaxseed?  Is there a limit to how much I can eat?

Please join this discussion and post your comments.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Here’s the answer . . .

Flaxseed – The Reason to Add to Your Diet

Flaxseed is a concentrated plant source of Omega-3 fatty acid.  As most people now know, Omega-3 fatty acids are heart healthy nutrients that have an anti-inflammatory property.  Flaxseed also contains phytoestrogens which help balance estrogen levels in the body.  Flaxseed is also a concentrated source of phytonutrients that are converted to beneficial intestinal flora.  Flaxseed also has antioxidant properties to rid the body of free radical damage.  Flaxseed is an excellent source of dietary fiber, with a ratio of 2:1 insoluble to soluble fiber.  This can improve constipation and possibly lower cholesterol.

Flaxseed – The Best Forms

You can find flaxseed whole, ground, and pressed into oil.  Personally, I like to purchase and work with whole flaxseeds because it gives me the most control over what I ingest.  Start by purchasing small amounts of whole flaxseed.  If you purchase in bulk, ensure that the store has quick turnover, cleans the empty containers, and the containers are well sealed.  This protects the freshness of the flaxseeds.  Whole flaxseeds will last the longest in the refrigerator.  Grind the whole flaxseeds at home in a coffee grinder right before adding to your food to obtain the highest level of nutrients.  Whole flaxseeds need to be group to break the hard outer shell and allow for the best digestion/absorption.

If you choose flaxseed oil, look for a refrigerated, dark glass bottle.  It should be organic and expeller cold pressed.  There is also filtered flaxseed oil which is strained to remove more of any possible contaminants.  Purchase small bottles at a time and continue to store the flaxseed oil in your refrigerator in order to protect it from oxidative rancidity.

Flaxseed – For Cooking?

Flaxseed oil is delicate so I don’t recommend heating it.  But, current research indicates that the Omega-3 oils and phytonutrients in flaxseeds are surprisingly heat stable.  The theory is that the presence of plant lignans make the flaxseeds more resistant to heating.  So, feel free to add ground flaxseeds to baked goods.

Flaxseed – Adding It To Your Diet

There are many ways to add flaxseed to your diet.  Grind flaxseed and mix with lemon juice, Dijon mustard, pressed garlic, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and pepper for a quick dressing.  Sprinkle ground flaxseeds on fruit, cooked vegetables, nut butters, dairy products (yogurt or cottage cheese), add to smoothies, granola, or baked goods, and top salads with it.

Flaxseed – How Much To Add

Adding flaxseeds too quickly can cause mild digestive problems for some people.  I recommend starting with a teaspoon daily and working up to 1-2 Tbs. per day.   Make sure you grind the flaxseed right before adding to your foods and chew well.  Small seeds can get stuck in the intestinal tract if not well chewed.  Remember we want to eat in a manner that allows us to chew our liquids and drink our solids.

 

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About Kellie

Kellie Hill received her Bachelor of Arts from Willamette University in Speech Communication and a Bachelor of Science from Kaplan University in Nutrition, Health & Wellness.  She has a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Certificate from Nutritional Therapy Association. Kellie has earned a Personal Trainer Certificate from American Sports & Fitness Association.

 

Kellie's philosophy is that there is no one-size fits all diet. Because of bio-individuality (each one of us is different), most diets will work for some people and not for others. We need to eat nutrient dense, whole foods that have been properly prepared - real food, as close to the form it was originally grown/raised in, prepared in a way that preserves or even enhances the nutritional value of the food.

 

She believes that it is important to investigate how the body is using the food as well as understanding what is happening in the bigger context of an individuals life.  She knows that we are obviously more than what we eat and that can have a very big impact on how the body deals with food. Kellie helps her clients identify and move toward their personal ultimate health goals.

 

Kellie is in private practice in Medford, Oregon. She consults with long-distance clients by phone and internet.

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