Raw Health: Linseeds
Golden linseeds (also known as flaxseeds) are little powerhouses of nutrition. They have a subtle nutty flavour and are a great superfood that everyone can include in their diet.
Linseeds have a whole host of health benefits and are the richest source of omega 3 essential fatty acids. This tiny seed is also a fantastic source of insoluble fibre, particularly effective for cholesterol regulation and hormone balancing. Because it comes from a plant source, it is also ideal for vegetarian and vegan diets. Linseeds are also rich in antioxidants, B vitamins, dietary fibre, phytoestrogens, protein and potassium.
Because linseeds are a rich source of omega 3 fats, they are essential for a healthy brain, heart, joints and immune system. Due to the high content of plant chemicals known as phytoestrogens, linseeds have also been called nature’s answer to hormone replacement therapy. Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring forms of the female hormone oestrogen and help to either reduce high levels of oestrogen or boost low levels. A very clever little seed!
Linseed also has a whole host of other benefits which include the prevention of:
- Heart disease: lower high blood pressure, bad cholesterol and triglycerides
- Cancers: according to research, can fight human cancer cells of the same culture
- Asthma: can relieve symptoms by decreasing inflammation and improving lung function
- PMS: can relieve and even eliminate PMS symptoms
- Water retention: help the kidneys remove sodium and water
- Stress: prevent excess toxic biochemicals that the body produces under stress
How to use linseed’s
One way to use linseeds is to soak them first, then put one heaped spoonful of seeds into a glass, cover with water and leave overnight. Then simply add the soaked seeds and water to a fruit juice, smoothie or yogurt. You can also sprinkle them on your cereal or toss them into a salad.
Another way to use them is to buy the seeds whole and grind them in a blender to make a meal. Linseed meal can be used as a binder or egg substitute in baked goods for people who are allergic to dairy. This way you increase your omega 3 levels and fibre intake at the same time.
The third way to use them is to use a flax seed mill – we stock this nifty device on The Raw Food Store, you can grind your linseeds there and then when you grind flax seed freshly you allow the lignans to be better used by the body. Once you grind the flaxseed, you can grind them on your cereal or Straight onto your salad. We leave our flax seed mill on the kitchen table like a salt and pepper shaker and Issy asks for linseeds to be ground on her cereals in the morning and straight onto her veggies at night
To gain the most benefit from the seeds, be sure to grind or chew them well, otherwise they will simply pass through the body whole. It is best to store the seeds in an airtight container in a dark cold pantry or in the refrigerator.