Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Grain of the Week - 17 - Flaxseeds

I had never heard of flax seeds till the fad hit. All around me it was being in almost everything. The very first time I saw flaxseeds I thought they were horsegram but looked thinner and shinier.

Flax seeds is supposed to be the world's most healthiest food. It is native to the Mediterranean, Western Asia, Middle East and India and are found in both yellow and brown colors. Both are similar nutrition wise. Wikipedia

Flax seeds have high levels of Omega 3 Fatty acids, are very high in fiber and rich in antioxidants. Moreover research has shown that flax seeds protects against breast, colon and prostrate cancer. Source - WebMD.

Ground flaxseeds are better than whole as far as consumption goes. Eating whole flaxseeds may not give the benefits as they might pass through without getting digested and hence not providing the health benefits. Source. Flax seeds being rich in fiber should be taken with lot of water, else will cause constipation as is common with foods with high fiber.

I have seen only brown flax seeds and used them ground in muffins, cakes and idli podi. I have also made these savory muffins with flax seeds powder.

Most diets in the US do not have enough fiber and this might be an easy and nutritious way of adding more fiber to the diet. Flax seeds are also used as a egg replacement. The texture of the ground flax meal lends itself nicely to baked goods. They can be added to muffins, cakes and pancakes and even sprinkled in smoothies.

Storing whole flax seeds is much easier than ground flax seeds. Because of the oil content ground flax seeds tend to go rancid faster. It is easy to powder the flax seeds as and when they are used. A coffee grinder comes in very handy for powdering.

Where Bought? Lancaster Dutch Market (Amish run), also available in most grocery stores.

Till I went looking for information about Flaxseeds I had no idea that they were native to India.

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  1. Indo,

    Such a informative post about flax seed.. i never knew that Flax seed is regualrly used in some parts of india since Long time, My husband is from North karnataka where these seeds are called Agase using to make Chutney powder in this way


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  3. Indo, very useful post....I was introduced to flaxseeds after my in laws used it a lot in winters as these come under the category of warm foods so mainly consumed in cold weather in North India...since that time I use it regularly in my kitchen. In hindi flaxseeds means "Alsi". I'm not sure if u are aware or not but flaxseed oil is also very popular among the whole/natural food followers...back in india it's used for massage to get relief from pains(mainly joint pains).


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