LINSEED - Flaxseed eaten for thousands of years, today has become known as a superfood! Why?
Linseed , also known as common flax, improves digestion and the appearance of the skin, helps to lower cholesterol, supports hormonal balance, fights cancer cells and helps to lose weight. The list of health properties of linseed, like its history, is very long.
Why is it worth having linseed in the kitchen? How and how much flaxseed to eat? What not to do? Answers to these and other questions below :)
LINSEED - THE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE OF ITS EFFECTIVENESS
1. ONE OF THE BEST PLANT SOURCES OF OMEGA ACIDS - 3
This is a unique feature of linseed. Flaxseed is a rich and one of the best vegetable sources of omega-3 fatty acids (containing a 4:1 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids). Our diet is dominated by omega-6 fatty acids, so flaxseed is a great way to balance the proportions and ensure the right level of good omega-3 fatty acids. If you want to take care of the proper functioning of the brain and heart, and have a better memory in your diet, linseed must not be missing.
2. STRONG PROTECTION AGAINST BREAST CANCER AND THE RICH SOURCE OF LIGNANS!
Lignans have anti-cancer properties - they inhibit the effects of estrogen, which supports the development of cancer. And flax seeds contain the most of these phytoestrogens of any food in the world!
Research confirms that the administration of seed to women with breast cancer inhibits tumor growth and prolongs life. One of the studies carried out involved giving breast cancer patients 0.3 milligrams of lignans derived from seeds (to make it easier to imagine how small the dose was, I will add that 1 teaspoon of linseed equals 7 milligrams of lignans!). After 10 years of follow-up, the mortality rate due to breast cancer was reduced by more than 70% compared to women who avoided lignans.
Linseed seeds are unrivaled in terms of the amount of lignans, i.e. plant phytoestrogens. This is their second unique feature, they contain the most of them. Linseed contains:
almost 3 times more lignans than chia seeds
over 7 times more lignans than sesame
38 times more lignans than sunflower seeds
475 times more lignans than cashews
3,200 times more lignans than peanuts!
In terms of the content of valuable lignans and omega-3 acids, linseed is unrivaled.
This is a real superfood!
3. SOOTHING FOR THE GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT
Another unique feature of flax seeds are plant mucilages (water-soluble fibers that form a gel consistency), which coat the mucous membranes of the esophagus, stomach and partially duodenum, protecting them from aggressive hydrochloric acid and reducing inflammatory reactions.
4. LOWER CHOLESTEROL LEVEL
Flaxseed is rich in plant sterols that help lower cholesterol. This is confirmed by the magazine Nutrition and Metabolism, which found that regular consumption of flaxseeds naturally lowers the level of bad cholesterol in the blood by up to 12%.
5. IMPROVES DIGESTION
Flaxseed improves the peristalsis of the intestines found in vegetable glues. 2 tablespoons of seeds provide as much as 22% of the daily dose of fiber, which cleans the digestive tract. In addition, linseeds do not contain gluten, which can cause inflammation. So they can be a great alternative for people who are gluten intolerant.
6. SUPPORTS SLIMMING
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that flaxseed may help fight obesity and support weight loss. A very large amount of fiber combined with very healthy fatty acids will make you feel full for longer, which will certainly have a positive effect on your weight. The anti-inflammatory effect of linseed is also important, as it ensures the proper functioning of the digestive tract.
7. HELPFUL IN MENOPAUSE
A study conducted on 21 women who consumed 40 grams of linseed a day (in the form of grains) significantly reduced the frequency and intensity of hot flushes accompanying menopause by as much as 50%. The subjects also reported an overall improvement in mood. 40 grams is equal to about 4 tablespoons of linseed.
There are many more medicinal properties of linseed, I have just mentioned a few. Especially, the combination of 3 unique health features of linseed, such as the richness of omega-3 acids, high content of lignans and mucus, makes the linseed have exceptional health benefits, such a unique combination will not be found in any other seeds or nuts.
It is undoubtedly one of the healthiest foods in the world with great healing power.
WHAT TO CHOOSE - LINEN SEED OR LINSEED OIL?
In my opinion, the best and most natural for our body is flaxseed in its original, untreated form, i.e. in grains.
Although linseed oil (cold pressed) is one of the healthiest oils in the world, linseed has some advantages over it. What? Both the oil and flaxseed provide valuable omega-3 fatty acids, but flax seeds also provide a large dose of fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals. Instead of oil, it is worth reaching for a tablespoon of ground linseed.
IS IT WORTH BUYING GROUND FLAX?
Nature took care to effectively protect what is most valuable in flax grains. It is the shell that best protects the valuable nutritional values of the linseed. However, if the seeds are ground and exposed to air, light, heat and time, they unfortunately partially oxidize ... and become less valuable. A coffee grinder is enough to ensure the maximum freshness of the ground beans.
If you want, you can try to consume the flax grains whole, but try to chew them as thoroughly as possible so that your body can absorb the valuable nutrients hidden in these small grains. However, grinding the grains of flax makes life easier and the absorption of nutrients :)
The same is with linseed oil, which is one of the most perishable oils. Flaxseed oil should be stored in dark glass and in a refrigerator. The taste of fresh linseed oil should be a sweet nutty flavor.
HOW MUCH FLAXSEED DO YOU NEED TO EAT?
Eat 1 to 2 tablespoons of these beans daily. Just one tablespoon of linseed will provide a dose of valuable omega-3 fatty acids that protect us against cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
A FEW TIPS FOR CONSUMING FLAXSEED
My flaxseed recipe is very simple. I add the seeds to a cocktail/smoothie and drink it. I put the whole linseed in a blender and mix it with the ingredients for a cocktail. With a good high-speed blender, there is no need to grind the beans in advance.
If you do not have a high-speed blender, just before preparing a cocktail, grind the beans in a coffee grinder and add to the cocktail. In my opinion, this form is optimal, because I eat freshly ground flax, which in addition supports the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins contained in the cocktail.
Another method is to pour water over freshly ground seeds (1 tablespoon of ground seeds + half a glass of water). Such a mixture becomes very dense and sticky after several minutes, which is great for intestinal peristalsis. But beware, flaxseed has a strong binding effect and absorbs water sensationally, so you need to remember about proper hydration because the effect will be exactly the opposite ...
Ground flaxseed is also great as a product that replaces eggs in cakes or cutlets (it has a binding effect). You can add a little flaxseed to muffins, dough or bread, and you will surely enrich their nutritional value.
Linseed oil has a slightly nutty flavor - it works great in salad dressings, you can also sprinkle it on cooked groats.
WHICH LINSEED IS BETTER - GOLDEN OR BROWN?
Brown and golden linen are the two basic varieties and the nutrient content is very similar. Regardless of whether you buy brown or golden seeds, you will receive a similar content of nutrients.
HOW MUCH CALORIES HAVE GROUND FLAX SEEDS AND HOW MUCH FLAXSEED?
Here is a comparison between 1 tablespoon of whole grains and ground flaxseed:
1 tablespoon of whole seeds 1 tablespoon of ground seed
CALORIES 55 37
FAT (g) 4 3
CALCIUM (mg) 26.1 17.9
IRON (mg 0.6 0.4
CARBOHYDRATE (g) 3 2
OMEGA 3 (g) 2.3 1.6
FIBER (g) 3 2
FOLIC ACID (mcg) 8.9 6.1
PROTEIN (g) 2 1
OMEGA 6 (g) 0.6 0.4
HOW TO EAT / DRINK LINSEED TO USE ITS HEALTH PROPERTIES?
In one study, researchers investigated the bioavailability of alpha linolenic acid in linseed in three different forms: whole grains, ground seed and linseed oil. The results of the study showed unequivocally that the best digestible form of linseed is its ground form and oil. Whole grains pass through the digestive system undigested, so the body is unable to obtain nutrients from them.
Another very good way to eat linseed is sprouts. It is enough to soak the flax seeds and germinate them.
HOW TO STORE AND WHICH LINSEED TO BUY?
Buy organic beans that are free from additional, harmful chemicals. Ideally, buy whole grains that you can grind before consumption. If you want to buy ground kernels, choose a vacuum package, oxygen-free. Both whole grains and ground flaxseeds can be stored for a long time. Numerous studies indicate that it is a period of 10 months or more without losing the properties of fatty acids. It is important to keep them in a tightly closed container in a dark place.
I hope that the above article has cleared many doubts, especially about how to eat linseed. Certainly, flaxseed is one of those products that you should have in the kitchen. My favorite way to include flaxseed in my daily diet is with green smoothies. On the blog, you will find several recipes including flaxseed in your diet in the form of delicious cocktails or power balls.
Do you use flaxseed on a daily basis? Share your experiences.