Thank you all for reading and sharing my article about How to reduce salt intake form Indian diet. After that I got an email from the reader Vaishanvi who requested to write if there are more ways that one can include flax seeds in the diet, other than just using as the eggs replacer in the bakes. Well, if you ever struggle to make eggless bakes then you must try using flax seeds-Read more about here.
Just 5 years back, flax seeds became the hero and were in the major limelight due to its health benefits. Everyone seemed to talk about it, write about it and yes consume it. Flaxseeds (also called linseeds) are a rich source of micronutrients, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3. The seeds come from flax, one of the oldest fiber crops in the world - known to have been cultivated in ancient Egypt and China. To know more about flax seeds, its type, history please head on to Wikipedia –here
So, why is it important to eat flax seeds?
Because it is a rich source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, flaxseeds protect your body from bacteria and viruses, improving your system's immunity. It reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol content. Including flaxseeds in your diet can help in reducing the risk of cardiovascular issues. Daily intake of flaxseeds improves the blood sugar of people suffering from diabetes. Flaxseed and flaxseed oil act as natural laxatives and give you relief from constipation without having any harmful side effects. Still not convinced??? Then Google and you will be stunned to know how important it is to have flax seeds.
So, what amount is okay per day? What it taste like?
To get the full health benefits of flax, one to two tablespoons (16g) of ground or milled flax is okay. When using ground flax, because of its high fiber content, add it slowly, starting with about a tablespoon a day and working up to two or more per day. If you are a vegetarian, take 2 tablespoons a day. If you are eating fish regularly, then one tablespoon of flaxseeds will do(source: Live Strong). Taste wise- it is nutty and doesn’t have any strong flavour or smell.
How to use flax seeds- whole or milled?
Although they’re small, flaxseeds have strong outer shells that are hard to crack just through chewing. You’ll derive more of the nutritional benefits by grinding them and then adding them to foods. I buy the milled ones- but do check the label, you must buy good quality ones. I use this organic Linwoods Organic Flax.
Moving on to the request. How to include flax seeds in the Indian diet?
- Main course: I add 1 teaspoon of it in dough- be it for chapattis, kulchas or even stuffed parathas. I also add in my chillas, dosa and idli batter. I have also use in cooked rice/pulav and even in pasta.
- Drinks: Oh yes, that’s the best way. Sprinkle teaspoon or so in lassi, buttermilk, juice, smoothies, milk-oh you name it.
- Breakfast: I always include a dash of it in the breakfast cereals with fruits and milk or yogurt. My husband also sprinkles a lit on cooked upma or poha. Why not add a little in pancakes batter or in the stuffing’s for sandwiches or parathas.
- Sides: You can add in the subjis, chutneys, patties, tikkis or even on salads. I have also used in soups and riata.
- Desserts: Sprinkle a little in the halwa/sheera-it will give you that extra nutty flavour. On Janmasthmi I made kheer and I added 1 teaspoon it it, the kheer was not only tasty and but became thick as well.
- Ground flaxseeds will lose the nutritive value if exposed to air or sunlight. Therefore, it should be stored in an airtight container and kept in a dark cool place. It is best to buy whole flaxseeds and grind a little at a time, say whatever amount is needed for a week and then store it in the fridge.
- When initially starting to use flaxseeds, use small amounts to make sure you are not allergic to it. Pregnant and lactating ladies and children should consult a physician before opting to include flaxseeds in their diet.
- Drinking plenty of water throughout the day when you take flaxseeds is essential, because of its fibre content.
- Flaxseeds absorb water 10 to 14 times its weight because of its high fibre content- this makes it great choice for thickening the soups or gravies.
- If you dont like the taste, just roast it on pan on a low heat.
- I always buy the milled ones, as I am too lazy to grind it myself at home. You go ahead an buy whichever one you want.
- Put a note in kitchen to remind you to use flaxseeds. I always stick up a note near the stove.
- Flaxseed is commonly known as Alsi (Gujrati, Hindi Punjabi), Jawas (Marathi), Tishi (Bengali) and Agasi (Kannada). You can buy flaxseeds in India from HERE
Hope you like this article. If you have questions or requests email me. Do you have any other ideas to include flax seeds?