Flax seeds have made their way around the nutrition conversation for many years but they remain somewhat a mystery for some. What are flaxseeds? How do you eat flaxseeds? Why might you include them in your diet? Are they safe for children to consume? All these questions are common and it’s time to layout the answers for you. If you are going through life raising little ones on a plant-based diet, including flax seeds might be the “secret ingredient” you’ve been waiting for. So what are the nutrition benefits of flaxseeds?
Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
Nutritional Benefits of Flaxseeds
In 2 Tbsp of flaxseeds (one serving size) you are getting approximately:
- 3g of protein
- 3g of fiber
- 24mg of Calcium
- 4.5g of fat
- 2430mg omega-3’s
RELATED: 19 Plant-Based Protein Sources
As you can see, flaxseed has a large number of nutritional benefits (and you can read more of the data at the link above) making it a great addition to your pantry. Not only that, flaxseed is safe for children and can be easily included in their meals. We often put flaxseed in the same metaphorical bucket at chia seeds. However, in our home, we find chia to be more useful and versatile. You may be asking yourself, “then why are we talking about flaxseeds”? There is incredible value in including flaxseed in your weekly diet and I want you to have a better grasp on how you can utilize it.
RELATED: How To Use Chia Seeds and 10 Recipes
HOW FLAXSEED CAN IMPACT YOUR HEALTH
Flaxseed is high in fiber and low in carb which means including them in your diet will help your digestive system. Another important nutrient to look at is omega-3 fatty acids, especially if you follow a vegan diet. Flaxseed is a great source of omega-3’s which helps to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, reduce inflammation, and promotes cell function. (source)
Another great benefit of flaxseed is that they contain antioxidants which are very important for our health. Flaxseeds contain an important antioxidant called lignans which you can learn more about here.
HOW MUCH FLAXSEED CAN I CONSUME EACH DAY
This is a great question, especially if you are including it in the diets of your children. For adults, according to this article, “it’s recommended to keep serving sizes to less than 5 tablespoons (50 grams) of flax seeds per day.” We generally stick to 1tbsp per day a few days per week.
WHERE CAN I FIND FLAXSEED
We like the flaxseed meal from Bob’s Red Mill (we get it on Amazon) but there are many different varieties both online and in stores! You can probably also find the seeds in bulk which you can then grind using an inexpensive coffee grinder.
Here are a few other options you can find on Amazon:
- Smooth Whole Milled Flaxseed from Manitoba Milling
- Viva Naturals Organic Ground Flaxseed
- Anthony’s Organic Flaxseed Meal
- Premium Gold Whole Flax Seed
HOW TO EAT FLAXSEED
There are many ways you can use flaxseeds in your diet. If you follow a plant-based diet you may have seen ground (also known as milled) flaxseed used in a large variety of recipes, including as an egg replacement! Others throw it in smoothies, soups, granola bars, breads, and more. There are truly endless ways to use flaxseeds!
Before we start listing the ways to use flaxseed it’s important to know that you will 9x out of 10 want to use ground or milled flaxseed vs whole flaxseed. Mayo Clinic shares,
“Most nutrition experts recommend ground over whole flaxseed because the ground form is easier to digest. Whole flaxseed may pass through your intestine undigested, which means you won’t get all the benefits.”– Mayo Clinic
But in the chance that you get the whole version and don’t want to return them, don’t fret. Like I mentioned before, you can grind whole flaxseed in a coffee grinder to create your own fresh ground flaxseed.
Now that we know that, let’s jump into some ideas for how you can use flax seeds in your diet for both you and your family.
FOOD USES FOR FLAXSEED:
- Smoothies or smoothie bowls
- Flaxseed Crackers
- No-Bake Energy Balls
- Plant-Based Egg Replacement
RELATED: How To Make A Chia Egg
- Add to soups for thickening
- Use in partnership with breadcrumbs to add nutrients
- Sprinkle on top of yogurt
We find that we don’t reach for flaxseed often BUT it is so nice to have it on hand because of the incredible health benefits of flaxseed. Including flax in your weekly routine is definitely something you could do to increase your omega-3’s and potentially lower your cholesterol but definitely not a must.
RELATED: Tips for Transitioning Your Family to a Plant-Based Diet
Have you tried them in any of your recipes? If you are wanting to try it, you can snag a bag on Amazon. (Don’t forget to put it in the fridge once you open it to keep it from going rancid!)
MORE FROM REALISTIC PLANT-BASED MAMA:
How To Make Produce Last Longer (Storage tips + more!)
How to Get Your Kids To Drink More Water