Flax 101

Flaxseeds – Let its powers WOW you

Flaxseeds are a plant-based food which have grown in popularity over the years.  These tiny seeds are smaller than peppercorns but are nutritionally potent.  They are well-known for its rich alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) content, a type of omega-3 fatty acids, which is beneficial for protecting the heart.  The health attributes of flaxseeds, however, are beyond omega-3’s.

Flaxseed is a functional food, which provides positive effects on health beyond basic nutrition.  It has cholesterol reduction abilities due to the presence of soluble dietary fibre, a type of fibre that attracts water and cholesterol, and takes cholesterol out of the body.  Eating 2 to 5 tablespoons (16 to 40 grams) of ground whole flaxseeds every day has shown to help reduce cholesterol levels, which is a risk factor for heart disease.

In addition to fibre, flaxseeds have protein.  Both nutrients promote satiety, the feeling of fullness.  Flaxseed is a food that you do not want to miss if you are trying to maintain and promote regularity and a healthy body weight.  

The list of health benefits of flaxseeds goes on.  Flaxseeds are a natural antioxidant due to the presence of lignan, a plant-derived substance that may decrease the risk of breast, colorectal and cervical cancer.  More research is needed to confirm its cancer fighting properties and its role in women’s health.

The oil extracted from the seeds is as nutritionally significant as the seeds. 

Flaxseed oil has a higher omega-3 fatty acids content than flaxseeds.  With 8 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per tablespoon (15mL), consuming one tablespoon of the Alligga™ Flaxseed Cooking Oil already meets your daily recommended intake of omega-3 fatty acids. 

Flaxseed oil is also notable for its naturally-occurring antioxidants, such as gamma-tocopherols.  A form of vitamin E, gamma-tocopherols play a vital role in maintaining a healthy immune system and preventing chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke.   According to the analysis (hyperlink the UBC report here) completed by the Food Safety Engineering Lab at the University of British Columbia, every tablespoon (15mL) of Alligga™ Flaxseed Cooking Oil contains about 7mg of gamma-tocopherols, which is almost half of the vitamin E that you need each day.

Flaxseed products generally come in three different forms:

  • Milled or grounded
  • Whole
  • Flaxseed oil

To view the range of Alligga™ flaxseed products, click here (hyperlink this to the product page).

Eating flaxseed regularly is more than just for your health; it is part of your lifestyle.  Enjoy flaxseed as a wholesome snack, particularly in its roasted whole form to ensure the nutrients within the seed gets absorbed.  Its crunchiness and nuttiness may make you crave for more.  Sprinkle two spoonful of flaxseeds to your salads and yogurt parfaits for omega-3 fatty acids, and additional protein and dietary fibre. 

Flaxseeds add versatility to your foods.  Flaxseed oil can be used as part of your cooking regimen in place of other cooking oils and fats.  Add flaxseeds in the grounded form to your smoothies and oatmeal, or the roasted whole flaxseeds to your baking sensations for the extra crunch.

Visit Meal Ideas for inspirations and ways to add flaxseeds to your health.


Fun Facts on Flax 

  1. The biological name of flax is Linum usitatissiumum.
  2. Flax is a food and a fiber crop.
  3. Linen, which is a common textile, is made from flax.
  4. There are two types of flaxseeds, brown and golden.
  5. A flaxseed is smaller than a peppercorn.