Brown vs. Golden Flaxseed
Flax Seed or “Flax” comes from the Linum usitatissimum plant. It has been shown to date back to as early as 30,000 BC. The 2 most common varieties are the brown and golden. Today, the majority of the flax in the United States is of the brown variety, which comes from Canada. Some parts of the United States grown the golden variety, particularly North Dakota.
Flax gained its fame for it high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are known for lowering LDL (Bad fat) levels in the body. Flax seeds also contain the highest level of lignans of any food, followed by sesame seeds. Lignans are chemical compounds found in plants that are recognized as being cancer fighters by preventing the formation of tumors.
Flax is also nutrient rich, containing vitamins B1, B2, C, E, and carotene. In addition to its nutrient content, flax is rich in soluble fiber, which is great for people with heart problems as it helps to regulate blood pressure.
On average, In 1 tablespoon of whole flax, there are 50 calories, 4.5g fat, 2.2g protein, 3g carbohydrates, and 3g fiber.
Brown vs. Golden Flax:
Coming from a practical standpoint, brown and golden flax are nutritionally the same. Brown flax has a slightly higher percentage of the fat being ALA, 59% vs golden flax which is only 51% of the fat. As a general rule, all flax is around 44% oil.
Flax seems to be popping up everywhere nowadays, from cereals to oils to milled flax available at most grocery stores. People are catching on to the the amazing health benefits of flax, but unfortunately, some people are not getting the full potential they are paying for. It is important to remember that because flax is a seed, it has a coating that is designed to run through the digestive system of anything that eats it. So essentially, if you do choose to incorporate flax into your diet, be sure it is ground or at least cracked. If you swallow the seeds whole, you are literally flushing your money down the drain. It is very easy to grind flax fresh at home or to buy it milled. I personally use flax in my morning smoothie. I add about a tablespoon to my vitamix, pulse it to grind it up, then add the remaining ingredients.
On that note, If you are serious about improving your health, I would consider it to be the first thing I would purchase. They are commercial grade blenders that range in price and features. An average home blender does not have anywhere near the amount of power necessary to make a smooth textured smoothie. The one I use at home is the Vita-Mix 1700 Turbo Blend 4500 Countertop Blender. It’s not the top of the line model, but it gets the job done. Some of the more expensive ones have a timer or a variable speed dial, which is nice, but not necessary. The cheapest place to find it is on amazon usually, sometimes if you are lucky it may be on sale elsewhere but I would recommend amazon as they have a wonderful return policy and fast shipping. If you’re not ready to make that kind of commitment, you can always use a designated coffee grinder for your flax or buy milled flax. If you have any questions or would like help incorporating flax into your diet, please feel free to contact me.