Flaxseed is high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and phytochemicals called lignans. Flax seed can help reduce total blood cholesterol and LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels and, as a result, may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Flaxseed oil also contains omega-3 fatty acids, but it doesn't have the beneficial fiber that the seeds have.
You can purchase raw flax seed in bulk whole or ground at many grocery stores and health food stores. Whole seeds can be ground in a coffee grinder and then stored in an airtight container for several months. Doing this and having it on hand will help you eat more flaxseed.
Although the Institute of Medicine has not set a recommended daily intake for omega-3 fatty acids, it has established adequate intake amounts of between 1.1 and 1.6 grams per day for adults. One tablespoon of ground flax seed provides 1.6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids.
How to Eat more Flaxseed in your Diet
- Add a tablespoon of ground flax seed to your hot or cold breakfast cereal.
- Add a teaspoon of ground flax seed to mayonnaise or mustard when making a sandwich.
- Mix a tablespoon of ground flax seed into an 8-ounce container of yogurt.
- Bake ground flaxseed into cookies, muffins, breads and other baked goods.