Golden Flax Seeds and Flaxseed FAQs
Below are some of our Frequently Asked Questions about Flax Seeds.
Q: What is Flax?
Flaxseeds are “gluten free” natural seeds from the flax plant. Flaxseeds are an oilseed just like canola and sunflower are oilseeds. Flaxseeds are one of the few plants that contain significant amounts of Omega-3 fat ( This type of fat is similar to the healthy fat that is found in fatty fish such as salmon.). Flaxseeds are also rich in fiber, ligan, protein, B vitamins, vitamin E, beta-carotene, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and have unique health benefits. Flaxseed has also been used for food and feed for animals for several thousand years and flaxseed oil has also has been used for cooking for centuries.
Q: What are some of the Health Benefits of Flaxseeds?
- Omega 3 fatty acids: Flaxseeds are an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids! Omega-3 fats on the other hand, like the fat found in flaxseeds, appear to reduce the risk of heart disease and may even reduce risk of some types of cancer, including breast, prostate, and colon cancers. Along with certain types of fatty fish like fresh caught salmon, flaxseeds are a healthy source of omega-3 fat. In fact, flaxseeds are one of the only plant foods that contain significant amounts of omega-3 fat.
- Fiber: Flaxseeds are high in Fiber. Fiber is good for digestion processes. Eating foods that are rich in fiber is important. Research tells indicates that getting fiber from natural foods like flash can be helpful in reducing the risk of many cancers, including colon cancer. Fiber from fiber supplements does not appear to reduce colon cancer risk.
- Lignan: Flaxseeds contain Lignan. Lignans are one of the major classes of phytoestrogens, which are estrogen-like chemicals and also act as antioxidants. Flaxseeds are one of the riches sources of plant nutrients called lignans. More and more research is telling us that regularly eating some lignan-rich foods may reduce the risk of several types of cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis. In particular, research suggests that lignans may protect against endometrial cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.
- Flax Seed is also contains protein, B vitamins, vitamin E, beta-carotene, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese and zinc.
- Flax Seeds are Gluten Free
- More information may be found at: http://www.caring4cancer.com/go/cancer/nutrition/questions/what-is-flax.htm
Q: Are there any nutritional differences between milled (ground) and whole flax seed?
A: You will get maximum benefits from a seed that is ground immediately before eating. Whole seeds that are not chewed completely tend to pass through the body with less nutritional benefit, however, whole seeds are great in recipes, i.e. breads, cookies, salads, yogurts and cereals. Flax seed that is sold pre-ground is exposed to air and loses its potency very quickly.
Q: What is the difference between Golden flax seed vs. brown flax seed?
A: Brown flax, can be eaten however, it is grown for the commercial Linseed Oil , paint, and solvents Industries. The variety we sell is a golden flax seed called Omega and was developed by North Dakota State University in 1989 specifically for human consumption and its high omega-3,6 fatty acid content. The cooler climate and longer summertime daylight hours during the growing season help to acheive a higher Omega-3 content in the flax seed. Thus our growers deliver some of the highest quality flax seed with the most nutritional value available anywhere.
The nutritional value of golden flax seed vs. brown flax seed are very similar if the samples are of the same quality. We mention quality because it is very important in determining the omega-3 content and overall nutritional value. A high quality flax seed whether golden or brown will accomplish the same heart healthy result, although we have found most people prefer the nutty-buttery flavor of our golden flax seed over the brown flax seed. In addition, the brown variety can more typically be of a lower quality and has not bee selected for human consumption.
Q: What are Omega fatty acids and why are they important?
A: Golden flax seeds are one of the richest sources of valuable omega-3 fatty acids, containing almost twice as much benefit as fish oil. Scientific research has shown that these omega fatty acids are extremely beneficial for a heart healthy cardiovascular system.
Q: What is the shelf life of flax seed?
A: Our whole seed should be stored in a dry area protected from UV rays and it has an unlimited shelf life. To extend shelf life of pre-ground flaxseed it can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Remember once flax seeds are ground they begin to react with the air and will lose their potency quickly if not covered and stored in the freezer or refrigerator.
Q: Is flaxseed good for children?
A: Flax seed is good for children as well as adults. Children 70 lbs. to 105 lbs. can consume up to 1/8 of a cup per day.
Q: What is the difference between flax seed and flax seed oil?
A: Because flax seed oil is more exposed to the air, flax seed oil quickly degrades and eventually goes rancid. Another advantage of eating flax seed over flax oil is that flax seed is a complete food providing you with the benefits of Omega3, 6 & 9 EFA’s, fiber, protein, plant lignans, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Flax oil, expelled from the flax seed, contains the EFA’s but not the fiber, protein and plant lignans (an anti-cancer agent). Flax seed contains approximately 40% oil.
Q: How can I take flax seed with me when I travel?
A: A zip-lock bag works very well. Whole flax seed from GreatPlainsFlax is great for traveling.
Q: I have diabetes, can I add flax seed to any of my meals?
A: You can add flax seed to any of your meals, just make sure that you account for the carbohydrates. Another advantage of flax seed is that it will tend to even out the blood glucose response after a meal.
Q: How much flax seed should I take daily?
A: Most people eat 1/8 cup to 3/8 cup per day (20 to 70 grams) depending on age, weight and health objectives. We recommend using a stainless steel 1/8 cup measuring scoop and take 1 to 3 scoops per day.
Q: Is flaxseed good for women during menopause? I am currently taking 1 T. of the flax oil, but was told it does not contain what we need, is this true?
A: Yes. Flax seeds contain lignans which are anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer. Only 2% of the lignans found in flax seeds ends up in flax oil.
Flax seed contains phytoestrogens and lignans which are essential plant estrogens. Phytoestrogens are different than estrogens because phytoestrogens do not stimulate the growth of cancerous cells and they help prevent breast cancer. Phytoestrogens also relieve some of the minor symptoms such as hot flashes, anxiety and irritability.
Q: Does flaxseed work for constipation?
A: Yes, flax seed works excellent for people suffering from constipation or diarrhea.
For people that suffer from constipation, flax seed moves through the digestive tract quickly and results in softer stools. It is important to drink water directly after consuming flax seed since it absorbs 10 to 14 times its weight in liquid. Flax seed will help cleanse the colon and continued usage can help avoid colon cancer.
For people with chronic diarrhea or IBS, flax seed will add substance to your stool.
Q: Is flax seed a food?
A: Yes, flax seed is a natural food containing Omega3, 6 & 9 EFA’s, fiber, protein, plant lignans (an anti-cancer agent), vitamins, minerals and amino acids.