Flaxseed meal is a convenient way of obtaining many of the nutritional
benefits of flax seeds, including omega-3 fatty acid (ALA), dietary fibre
Omega-3 fatty acid - Melrose Organic Golden Flaxmeal is the product left
after pressing flaxseeds to get flaxseed oil. It still contains 12% fat,
half of this fat is the Omega-3 essential fatty acid, alpha linolenic acid
Dietary Fibre - Flax seed contains soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble
fibre can lower blood cholesterol levels, while insoluble fibre moves the
stool through the colon more quickly, helping bowel movements.
Lignans - Flax seed is also one of the richest plant sources of lignans,
providing up to 800 times more lignans than most other foods in a
vegetarian diet. Lignans are phytoestrogens - compounds that have been
shown in laboratory studies of animals to help protect against certain
kinds of cancer, particularly cancers of the breast and colon, by blocking
Health Benefits of Flax
The omega-3 fatty acids have a balancing role in the diet. They correct
imbalances in modern diets that lead to health problems. Nutritionists
caution that the amount of omega-3 fatty acids eaten in Australia no longer
meets our bodies' needs. You can balance your consumption of fatty acids by
adding flax to your diet. Current research shows eating flax seed provides
A lower risk for heart disease. Nutritionists advise paying attention to
the kinds of fats eaten. They suggest you eat less saturated fat and trans
fats, and more polyunsaturated fat - which flax provides. Studies show a
diet high in ALA reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol
and by preventing the buildup of harmful deposits in arteries. In other
studies, where scientists studied large groups of people to find disease
trends, increasing the ALA content of the diet corresponded to a decrease
in risk of stroke and heart disease.
Prevention of some forms of cancer. The link between diet and cancer is
well-known. Flax contains dietary fibre and omega-3 fat in the form of ALA,
which can reduce the risk of cancer. Furthermore, studies showed the ALA in
flax slowed inflammation which led to cell growth in cancer. Another study
on women newly diagnosed with breast cancer showed a slowing of tumour
growth with the addition of flax to their diet.
Treatment of immune disorders. The lignans and ALA in flax help prevent
inflammation that affects the body's immune system. Flax in the diet may be
useful in the treatment of such immune disorders as rheumatoid arthritis,
psoriasis and lupus.
Diabetes. Studies show flax lowers blood glucose in healthy, young adults.
The effect of flax in the diets of people with Type 2 diabetes is currently
Relief from constipation. Studies in older adults show eating flax helps
increase the frequency of bowel movements.
What makes flax stand out above other whole grains is its mix of fibre.
Rather than containing large amounts of one type of fibre, flax seeds
contain generous quantities of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Flax
tastes good and adds all the fibre of whole grains to foods: 1 Tbsp of
milled flax contains as much total dietary fibre as 1 slice of whole wheat
bread or 1/4 cup of cooked oat bran.
Flax is also one of the richest sources of lignans in the plant kingdom.
Researchers are particularly interested in the cancer-fighting ability of
Soluble fibre - Most of the soluble fibre in flax seeds is mucilage, a
thick, sticky substance. Few studies have looked at the direct effects of
mucilage on health. But studies show that eating flax (baked into muffins
and breads) can lower blood cholesterol levels.
Since it is well known that soluble fibres - fruit pectin, oat bran or
mustard seed mucilage - are effective cholesterol-lowering agents, it's
likely that the soluble fibre in flax seeds is no exception.
Insoluble fibre - Not surprisingly, studies show that the insoluble fibre
in flax, like that in wheat bran, is helpful for regulating bowel movements
and preventing constipation. Because flax's insoluble fibre components have
the capacity to hold water, they help soften the stool and allow it to move
through the colon more quickly.
Lignans - When bacteria in the digestive tract act on plant lignans these
compounds are converted into potent hormone-like substances. Research with
animals suggests that the newly formed compounds may be capable of blocking
the action of certain cancer-causing substances in the body, substances
that can contribute to the formation of tumours.
How can I add Flax Meal to my diet?
Flax adds a pleasant, nutty taste to foods. You can buy flax by the scoop,
vacuum pack, bottle or capsule, or find it in some favourite foods. Here
are some ways to use flax.
Whole flax seeds add colour and crunch to foods. You can sprinkle flax
seeds on top of home baking or mix them into dough. However, to obtain
benefit from flax, you should first grind flax seeds because whole seeds
will pass through your system undigested.
Grinding whole seeds breaks their tough outer skin, creating a light-
coloured powder. Milled flax is sold in a vacuum package, or you can
prepare it yourself in a coffee grinder. You can sprinkle milled flax
on cereal, or add it to dough's, batters, casseroles and other cooked
How Much Flax to Eat?
Like any fibrous food, flax can upset your digestion if you add too
much, too quickly. In a balanced diet, 10 g (1 tablespoon) of milled
flax daily provides enough ALA to meet dietary needs. 10 g of milled
flax daily provides enough ALA to meet dietary needs.
How many calories are in flax seed?
100 grams of flax seed has approximately 450 calories
Does flax contain gluten?
Flax contains no gluten.
How do I store Flax?
Whole flax seed. You can store whole flax seed, which is clean, dry and
of good quality, at room temperature for up to a year. Milled flax
seed. To keep flax fresh, you should grind it as you need it. You can
keep milled flax refrigerated in an airtight, opaque container for up
to 30 days.