I hope everyone is enjoying the Tip of the Day. As always if there are any topics you would like me to address please let me know. Below I collaborated some frequently asked questions about Flax.
Q: What is flax?
A: Flax is a blue-flowered plant grown in the cool, northern climate of the western Canadian prairies and northern United States. It can be consumed in whole seed, milled, or oil form. It is a powerhouse of disease-fighting compounds, such as the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), fiber, and lignans (which are powerful anti-oxidants) that researchers have found helpful in preventing heart disease, protect against inflammatory disorders and certain cancers, and lower your cholesterol. Flax adds flavor, nutrition, and health benefits to a variety of foods and has a mild, nutty flavor.
Q. My store carries both brown and golden flax. Is one better than the other?
A. Golden and brown flax both contain the same nutritional benefits in terms of omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, protein and dietary fiber. It's a matter of choice but rest assured that you can substitute golden for brown and vice versa without sacrificing any of the natural goodness in flaxseed.
Q. I've heard I need to grind whole flax. Why is that?
A. While whole and ground flax have the same nutritional content, your body gets far more benefit from ground flax. That's because the goodness in flax is wrapped up in a hard, shiny seed coat that's hard to crack, even with careful chewing. Grinding or roasting flax breaks this seed coat making all the nutrients easy to digest. Flaxseeds are easy to grind at home using a coffee grinder, food processor or blender. You also can buy ground or "milled" flaxseed in most stores where whole flax is sold.
Q. Is there a difference between flaxseed and flaxseed oil?
A. Yes. Flaxseed oil is the result of cold-pressing flaxseeds. Because it is the fat portion of the seed, it contains high levels of omega-3 ALA - almost eight grams per tablespoon. But flaxseed oil doesn't have the fiber, lignans, and protein found in the rest of the seed.
Q. How long does flaxseed keep?
A. If you buy whole flaxseed, don't be afraid to keep a jar of it handy on your kitchen counter. Whole flaxseed is naturally wrapped in a perfect package - a hard hull that preserves it's goodness for up to a year or longer. Ground flaxseed is best stored refrigerated in an opaque container and will keep at least 90 days. Because ground flaxseed flows readily even when frozen, many users choose to store ground flaxseed in the freezer for even longer shelf life. Others simply grind flaxseed as they use it to ensure utmost freshness. Roasted flaxseed should also be refrigerated or frozen. Flaxseed oil should be refrigerated and usually has an expiration date about four months after pressing.
Q: How much flax do I need each day?
A: To get the full health benefits of flax, we recommend one to two tablespoons (16g) of ground or milled flax. When using ground flax, because of its high fiber content, add it slowly, starting with about a tablespoon a day and working up to two or more per day.
Q. Is flax safe for kids and toddlers?
A. Flax is a natural plant source of vital nutrition and is considered safe for healthy people of all age groups. We recommend no more than one-quarter tablespoon daily for young children.
Q: What is flaxseed oil?
A: There are two types of flaxseed oil available - conventional and organic. These types of flaxseed oil differ in the way in which the seed is grown. Flaxseed oil results from pressing the oil from the seed. Flaxseed oil provides more ALA (approximately 55-58 percent) on a per weight basis in comparison to whole or milled seed (approximately 18-23 percent).
*information taken from www.healthyflax.com
In Health and Happiness,
HealthPlex Fitness: The Functional Movement Experts.