Most of us have probably heard of flax as it has become popular due to its high omega-3 fatty acid and fiber content.
Flax is packed with nutrients. One tablespoon provides:
1.28 g protein
1.9 g fiber
2 g carbohydrate
1,597 mg omega-3 fatty acids
414 mg omega-6 fatty acids
Thiamin (8% of daily value)
Magnesium (7% of daily value)
Manganese (9% of daily value)
Flax also contains a lot of other beneficial compounds, such as phytoestrogens, phenolic acids, flavonoids as well as lignan SDG, that have been studied for their antioxidant properties. Additionally, flax has been shown to have positive benefits with regards to cardiovascular disease, cancer, blood glucose control, weight management and mental health.
For most healthy adults, the American Heart Association recommends an intake of 500 mg per day of omega-3 fatty acids and as you can see, just 1 tablespoon of flax can meet this recommendation.
You can have flax as oil, in whole seed form or as a ground meal. However, it is best to have it as ground meal as this makes all of the nutrient benefits more readily available for absorption.
Adding flax to your diet is a simple change that can make a big difference. It has a nutty flavor and can be incorporated into many food items such as cereals, baked goods, oatmeal, smoothies/shakes, yogurt, etc.