More About Flax Seed

by Kelsey Norwood

in Food,Health

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Yesterday I talked about putting milled flax seed in yogurt, and I thought I should talk a little bit more about it, since flax seed comes in different forms.

flax seedsmilled flax seed

You can buy flax as seeds (pictured left) or milled, which is ground up seeds (pictured right). You get more benefit from the milled kind because it’s easier for your body to digest. The good stuff is inside the seeds, so it’s not absorbed as well when in seed form.

You can buy golden, dark brown, or red flax seeds – there’s a difference, but I don’t know what it is. I think they all generally have the same nutritional content. If anybody is knowledgeable about this, please inform me.

I do know that every 2 Tablespoons of flax seed has 5 g unsaturated fat, 4 g fiber, 3 g protein, 4% Daily Value of Iron (this is a big one for kids because kid’s iron deficiencies can manifest themselves in strange ways), and omega-3 oils, which help reduce cancer, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and help keep you “regular,” among other things.

You can buy milled flax seed in bulk at Costco or at Wal-Mart – I’m not positive it’s cheaper at Costco. I’m going to figure that out and I’ll let you know.

I am a big fan of milled flax seed because of all the nutritional benefits that we all need. I love to add it in my banana bread recipe especially, but it’s great in so many things. Try it out!

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1 Raven July 11, 2008 at 6:22 am

Thanks for the tip. I think I might have to go out and buy some now. It sounds like a pretty simple way to get some important nutritional items into my daughter’s diet.

2 Mike July 12, 2008 at 5:39 am

Great to see that you’ve found the wonders of flax. Here’s a little more info:
* Most people claim there is little nutritional difference between golden and brown flax, and I tend to agree.
* The nutritional benefits from flax come from the fact that it is high in lignans (help fight cancer), fiber (numerous benefits), and omega-3 fatty acids (helps lower cholesterol and reduce heart disease).
* Flax needs to be ground (milled) in order for the body to receive the full benefits, but be cautious about pre-ground flax. I always recommend buying whole seeds and grinding them yourself in a small coffee grinder because some pre-ground brands have been processed in a way that they lose the benefits of the omega-3s.

Feeding our kids a healthy diet of whole foods, high in omega-3s will go a long way in making sure we never have to give our kids statins like the American Academy for Pediatrics recently recommended. And there’s nothing better than cooking with flax, walnuts, and other foods high in omega-3s.

3 Alexis July 14, 2008 at 8:42 am

I’m still learning about the benefits of flax seed, but I do know that it goes rancid fast! Its probably best not to buy it in bulk because if its pre-milled like that then it looses a lot of nutritional content in the process..then goes bad quicker.
The best advice I got about flax seed is to buy a small coffee grinder and grind only what you need when you need it. I believe (since I don’t drink coffee) you can buy a grinder for around 14.00 anywhere. Well worth the investment for all the benefits flax seed gives..then you can store the seeds in the freezer when you aren’t using them. Still, those shouldn’t be around for longer than six months to a year.

4 Rebekah July 27, 2009 at 9:23 pm

I came across your blog via Google.

I tried flaxseed several months ago, but I did not have a way to grind it. Having tried to become vegan (I’m a vegetarian), I needed a vegan omega-3 source, and I learned that flax was an excellent (vegan) source of omega-3 fatty acids. However, when I put it in the soy yogurt (which I know I’m not allergic to — I am not allergic to soy) that I was trying to finish and I ate it, I found myself coughing up a storm. It wasn’t so bad that I had to go to the hospital, but I did have to feel around my neck and face to ensure that nothing felt swollen and that I could breathe because I was coughing hard enough to have difficulty breathing, albeit slight. I probably should’ve gone to the hospital, but the reaction went away relatively quickly (probably less than a half hour), and I have avoided flaxseed and flaxseed oil since. I now take a doctor-prescribed multivitamin so I can get everything I need.

Unfortunately, I will not get to enjoy the benefits of flaxseed, but that shouldn’t stop anyone else from wanting to do so.


5 Maureen August 20, 2010 at 2:42 pm

I’ve wondered about the difference in Flax seeds as well….maybe I shouldn’t be concerned. We have recently started putting flax in all our breads and have taken to buying it as seed and grinding our own as we need it. It even is great in smoothies!

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