The latest post in my mini-series Essential Vitamins and Minerals (see Menu).
I was asked if I would write a post about Golden Linseeds as I often use them in my recipes. They are the lighter coloured of the 3 versions of flax seeds – being a golden colour they are commonly known by that term.
They are one of my favourite things to add to smoothies, protein bars and energy balls, fruit and yogurt, muesli, gluten-free bread and so on. I’ll provide some recipe links later on.
A few facts first:
The flax plant grows easily, producing small pale blue flowers, and produces pods of seeds that have been consumed by humans for over 6000 years.
Organic are best, to avoid any potential toxicity, buy them whole rather than in powder form and grind them a little in a coffee grinder or nut and seed grinder, a jarful at a time, and keep it in the fridge. Don’t over do it or the heat will damage them and turn them rancid. Grinding releases the oils and makes the nutrients more accessible. (The most effective way to have them is soaked and sprouted, this removes phytic acid – present in nuts and seeds – which can bind to minerals in the body, and releases even more nutrients, but I haven’t tried this yet).
They have a pleasantly mild, slightly nutty, malty taste. I love them!
(To view the slideshow, click onto the blog).
Linseeds are one of the most nutritious foods available, being rich in Protein (3 Tbsps = 6g), Fibre, B1, Manganese, Selenium, Vitamin E and especially the Omega-3 Fatty Acid Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA). They are the richest plant-based source of this essential fatty acid, so good for vegans and vegetarians.
In particular, they are one of the best sources of Magnesium, necessary for preventing muscle cramps, for lifting mood, restful sleep, and a healthy gut – see my post Magnesium: Are You Getting Enough? for further information about this essential mineral that many people are defficient in.
Linseeds are also a good source of B6, Iron, Potassium, Copper and Zinc as well as Folates, which help prevent neural tube defects in the foetus if consumed prior to conception and in early pregnancy.
The healthy oils in linseeds are beneficial for healthy skin, hair and nails – try adding 2 Tbsps of seeds or 1 Tbsp of flaxseed oil daily to smoothies to benefit.
1-2 Tbsps of flaxseed oil can help improve acne, eczema and roseacea as well as help reduce symptoms of dry eye syndrome.
People with Crohn’s or other digestive problems often find some relief when consuming linseeds as they are anti-inflammatory and can reduce gut inflammation. They are also gluten-free.
The anti-inflammatory nature of linseeds is also thought to aid in weight loss. Try adding 2 Tbsp of ground linseeds daily to your diet. They help you feel full for longer and aid the elimination of waste, which otherwise is held onto by the body and causes inflammation.
Finally, linseeds are packed with anti-oxidants called lignans. They are anti-aging and hormone-balancing, can help reduce menopausal symptoms and reduce the risk of osteoporosis as well as help regulate menstruation. 1-2 Tbsps of seeds plus 1 Tbsp of oil daily are recommended. These anti-oxidants are also antiviral and antibacterial and can help reduce the number and severity of colds.
Oh, and Dr Axe* recommends 1-3 Tbsps of flax oil and 8oz of carrot juice for the relief of constipation!
I think that just about covers everything.
(Linseeds like chia seeds can be used as egg replacement in vegan cooking when mixed with water).
As with all similar high fibre foods (chia seeds, for example), be sure to drink plenty of water and other liquids.
As promised here are some links for recipes containing these little specs of nutritional gold:
Copyright: Chris McGowan