Description: Flax seeds come in the brown and yellow or golden varieties, with most types having similar nutritional values and equal amounts of short-chain omega-3 fatty acids. The warm, earthy and subtly nutty flavour of flaxseeds combined with an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids makes them an increasingly popular addition to the diets of many a health conscious consumer. Flaxseeds are slightly larger than sesame seeds and have a hard shell that is smooth and shiny. Their colour ranges from deep amber to reddish brown depending upon whether the flax is of the golden or brown variety. While whole flaxseeds feature a soft crunch, the nutrients in ground seeds are more easily absorbed.
Commonly used in: Ground flax seeds can also be mixed in with oatmeal, yogurt, hot or cold cereal. home made muffins, cookies or bread recipes, to pump up the nutritional volume of your breakfast milk shake, add ground flaxseeds.
Health benefit: One hundred grams of ground flax seed supplies about 450 kilo-calories, 41 grams of fat, 28 grams of fiber, and 20 grams of protein. Flax seeds contain high levels of lignans and Omega-3 fatty acids. Lignans may benefit the heart and possess anti-cancer properties. Omega-3 fats are used to produce substances that reduce the formation of blood clots, which can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease. Flaxseed meal and flour provides a very good source of fiber that can lower cholesterol levels in people with atherosclerosis. The American Nutrition Association highlighted the importance of this "neglected food", stating that flaxseed is not only "an excellent source of two fatty acids that are essential for human health - linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid," but also "an excellent source of fiber and a good source of minerals and vitamins."