Flax Seeds Uses and Health Benefits | How to eat flax seeds:
Flax Seeds is one of the top vegetarian substitute for Cod liver oil. If you are a vegetarian, consuming flax seeds can give you the benefits of Cod liver oil. If you are fond of low carb diet or curious in weight loss, flax seeds may help you a lot. With richness of fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, Lignan, Flax seeds can help you to maintain the overall health of your body.
Though there are numerous benefits you can get from consumption of Flax seeds, there are side effects too when the dosage is high. Also, it is important to drink more water when you eat flax seeds. For every 1 tbsp of flax seed powder, you must drink 1 glass of water in addition to your daily water intake. Also, it is good to limit yourself to 2 tbsp a day.
Names of Flax seeds in different languages:
Flax seeds have different Indian Names in different languages in India.
Flax seed in Hindi - Alsi or Alasi. It is called as 'Alsi' also in Gujarati and Punjabi.
In Tamil - Ali Vithai/Azhi Vithai/Aazhi Vidhai/Aali Vidhai
In Marati - Jawas, Alashi
In Bengali - Tishi
In Kannada - Agasi
In Malayalam - Cheruchana Vithu
In Oriya - Pesi
In Telugu - Avise Ginzalu
Ground Flax seed is called as Pisi hui alasi, Tharaiyil Aazhi vidhai in Tamil, Jaminivara flaxseed in Marati, Graund flaxseed in Telugu, Nelada Flaxseed in Kannada,
Varieties of Flax Seeds:1. Brown Flax seeds
2. Golden or yellow flax seeds
Golden or yellow flax seeds are also called as Linseeds. Except a yellow type flax called 'Solin', all other type of flax seeds have similar nutrients and good amount of short chain Omega 3 Fatty acids. Solin has low level of Omega 3 Fatty Acids when compared with other type of flax seeds. Solin is also known as Linola.
Flax seed Oil or Linseed Oil(Alasi Ka Tela in Hindi):
Flax seed oil is also known as Linseed oil which is extracted from Flax seeds. It is an edible vegetable oil.
Flax seed oil and Linseed oil are called Alasi Ka Tela in Hindi.
Health Benefits of Flax Seeds:
Flax seed Nutritional information - 100 g of Flax seed contains 534 calories, 3.7 g of saturated fat, 29 g of Polyunsaturated fat, 8 g of Monounsaturated fat, 18 g of Protein, 813 mg of Potassium, 30 mg of Sodium, 27 g of Dietary Fiber and 1.6 g of Sugar. It is also rich in Calcium, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Niacin, Vitamin B-6, Iron, Phosphorous, Zinc and Magnesium. It also has Vitamin C.
1. Omega-3 fatty acids in flax seeds help to protect your heart from various heart related diseases.
2. Lignans present in flax seed have antioxidant and Estrogen qualities.
3. Recent studies have mentioned that they have anti-cancer properties. They can protect from breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer.
4. They are believed to reduce the bad cholesterol LDL and increase the good cholesterol HDL.
5. Flax seeds for weight loss:
Flax seeds are widely used for weight loss. As it is rich in fiber, it keeps you feel fuller. Including flax seed powder with your roti, cereals, rice, idli, dosa can make you to feel full easily and help you to avoid overeating. When you include in your snacks, you will be able to avoid overeating. Hence flax seeds are useful for weight loss.
6. Flax seeds helps to control diabetes.
7. Flax seeds in Low Carb Diet:
When you are in low carb diet, eating flax seeds is very good as it is rich in fiber, omega 3 fatty acids and many more nutrients.
How to eat Fax seeds?Here are some easy ways how you can consume Flax seeds as part of your daily diet. As whole flax seed is too hard for the body to break down, you can include them in powder form or oil. Eating flax seeds in ground form helps your body to digest them easily and process it effectively.
Since Flax seed oil has low smoke point, it is not recommended to cook in stove. Please check the instructions on the label before using.
Flax seed powder:
You can make your own Flax seed powder at home by dry roasting and grinding it. You can buy flax seeds in whole or ground form from super markets or you can buy online also. When you take flax seed powder, it is good to drink 1 glass of additional water(than your normal intake) for every tablespoon of flax seed powder you consume.
The flax seeds and flax seed powder should be stored in an air tight container and kept in fridge for a longer shelf life.
How to eat flax seed and include flax seed powder in your diet?
Flax seed powder as thickener:
Flaxseed powder can be used instead of plain flour or Maida and Cornstarch as thickening ingredient especially in soup and sauces. You can also replace gram flour with flax seed powder if you like while making kurma and other similar gravies. You can also use flax seed powder in baking items.
Replacement of Eggs:
Instead of adding egg, you can mix 1 tbsp of flax seed powder to 3 tbsp of water(1:3). Leave it for half an hour before using.
Flax seed powder can be used to bind patties, cutlets. You can use the flax seed like bread crumbs to bind.
You can use flax seed powder when you bake cake, cookies, muffins and bread items.
Milk, Yogurt, Juice, Soups, Salads, Smoothie, Milk shakes and Lassie:
You can sprinkle a little amount of flax seed powder in your daily dose of milk, favorite juice, shakes, salads, soups and smoothies, yogurt and lassie.
Cereals like Oats and Corn flakes:
You can sprinkle flax seed powder while cooking oats or having corn flakes or any other cereal items.
You can sprinkle flax seed powder like pepper powder while making egg omelet.
Snacks - Sweets and Savories:
You can add flax seed powder while making savories like omapodi, thukkada, murukku and sweets like dates halwa, thirattu paal.
Variety Rices and Kulambu:
Include flax seed powder while making variety rices or any kulambu, sambar varieties.
Flax seed Powder as side dish for Idli/Dosa/Rice and Roti:
Flax seeds can be used to make idli podi/idli chilli powder. It can be used as a side dish for Idli, Dosa, Roti and Rice. It tastes best when mixed with Gingelly oil.
I have already posted idli podi recipe in this blog. You can add 1 cup of flax seeds(Aazhi Vidhai/Alsi) and follow the same recipe to make Flax seed powder at home. In addition to the health benefits of Flax seeds, you also get the health benefits from Whole Urad dal, Gram dal and other ingredients used to make this powder.
Recipe for idli podi is here - Idli podi recipe.
Warnings - Side Effects of Flax Seeds:
1. Flax seeds are not recommended for pregnant and breast feeding ladies.
2. It is better to avoid flax seeds when you have periods. Flax seeds are known for slow clotting. The bleeding might be lower.
3. Diabetes people who already take medicines to control their blood sugar should be cautious with it as both of them lowers your sugar level which might lead to low sugar.
4. People who takes medicines to stop clotting should not take Flax seeds as they are also slow clotting. Both will make more bleeding.
5. People who have bowel problems should not have flax seeds as it might increase bloating and stomach discomfort.
6. People who are already in medication for health issues should consult your doctor before trying any home remedy.
7. Avoid if you are allergic to it.
This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice. This is just for reference. As always, you need to consult a certified physician before taking starting any new health regime. If you like this blog, subscribe with your email address and like us on facebook in the side bar to get instant updates on the posts.