Those who have been our healthy catering customer might've noticed that we sprinkle some seeds on almost all of our food, especially salads. One of the seeds that we often use is flaxseed. In this article we would like to discuss the reason why we love flaxseed and you should too.
Seeds of most plants are rich in nutrients and provides us health benefits. But flaxseed in particular, is very unique in term of their nutrient content and health benefits that distinguish it from any other seeds. What makes it unique is these three nutrient aspects; Omega-3 Fatty Acid, Lignans, and Fiber.
Do you know that flaxseed is one of the best sources for omega-3 fatty acid? The primary omega-3s in flaxseed is ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid) that can be helpful to the cardiovascular system by protecting the blood vessels from inflammatory damage. What's good about ALA in flaxseed is that it's stable for at least 3 hours of cooking at oven temperatures. So you can still enjoy the health benefit of ALA even though the flaxseed that you consumed is in baked goods like muffin or bread.
The second unique feature of flaxseed is lignans. Lignans are fiber-like compounds that also provide antioxidant protection. More research is being conducted regarding its anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as its possible benefit of reducing the risk of heart disease and lowering LDL "bad" cholesterol. Flaxseed is the richest source of lignans.
The third unique feature of flaxseed is its fiber content named Mucilage (gum). Again, flaxseed is one of the highest-mucilage foods. Mucilage is water-soluble fiber that provide special support to the intestinal tract. By consuming foods with mucilage, we could delay the emptying of our stomach which results in improving nutrition absorption in the small intestine, PLUS keeping us full longer. Good bye unnecessary junk food snacking!
The combination of those three features results in so many health benefits, from cardiovascular, digestive, to prevention of many types of cancer. Researcher even linked consumption of flaxseed, that is rich in lignans, to healthier and lower BMI as well as total body fat mass of women! Isn't that awesome?
Now that we've known a bit of the health benefit of flaxseed, let's discuss on how to store it.
How to store.
Whole flaxseeds can last up to 12 months if you store it in an airtight container in a dark, cool dry spot. If it's refrigerated, it could last for 1-2 years. Meanwhile, ground flaxseeds can only last about 6-16 weeks even if you carefully pack it in a light protective pouch, gas-flushed, and refrigerate it.
Flaxseed also comes in oil form. If you buy flaxseed oil, make sure it's in opaque bottles and have been kept refrigerated. It's not recommended to use flaxseed oil for cooking as it's very easily oxidized. You can use it as salad dressing or add it to cooked foods.
Here are some of our foods that were sprinkled with flaxseed!