More nutrient-dense than nuts, flaxseed is rich in fiber, protein, minerals, and omega-3s in the form of heart-loving alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). They’re also a top source of lignans, which offer anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, plus important micronutrients like magnesium and copper, and vitamins B1, 2, and 6. Think of them as one of nature’s multivitamins in whole-food form.
When buying flaxseed, try to buy organic, local, non-GMO-certified, or the best quality possible, paying attention to the “use by” date. Look for whole seeds rather than manufacturer-ground versions, which can go rancid quickly (due to their high fat content). Grinding your own small batches of flaxseeds into a powder form is best for digestion and nutrient absorption.
In addition to the protein, fiber, fats, and minerals found in flaxseed, a number of studies have shown them to be helpful in reducing LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and cancer risk, as well as assisting with blood pressure regulation due to soluble fiber, Flaxseed is also thought to be helpful with weight-loss efforts by adding low-carb, belly-filling fiber to meals. Where flaxseed really shines though is in your gut. Flaxseed feeds your good gut bacteria, enabling them to thrive—and beat back any opportunistic bacterial invaders. Those fortified good gut bacteria will keep immunity strong and your digestive system humming.
To access your ground flaxseed bounty, start the day by adding a sprinkle or two to your morning smoothies, yogurt, or even egg dishes. At lunch, top salads with a light dusting of flaxseed. At dinner, toss a teaspoon into soups and sauces. For an after-dinner, fiber-rich treat, top baked apple or warm berries with a dash of cinnamon and ground flaxseed.
If you’re just getting started with flaxseeds, keep in mind that they’re rich in fiber, so use a light touch at first to see how your body responds. Also, be sure to up your water intake to facilitate digestion.