Ground flax seeds add a slightly sweet and nutty flavor to just about any smoothie recipe. Adding ground flax seeds to your green smoothie helps to make it more satisfying due to the healthy omega-3 fat content and fiber.
Flax Seed Nutrition and Health Benefits
Flax seeds are a good source of omega-3 fats and fiber. Flax seeds have anti-inflammatory properties, promote bone health, and may help protect against heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Studies have shown that nutrients in flax seeds can help prevent and lower high blood pressure and cholesterol.
Consuming flax seeds has also been shown to stop prostate tumor growth.
Precautions: Flax seeds are rich in a class of phytoestrogens called lignans. While there is considerable debate about how phytoestrogens affect healthy people, those who have hormonal imbalances may want to limit their intake of foods such as fax seeds, that have high levels of these plant estrogens – particularly men who suffer from high levels of estrogen or low testosterone, or women who have higher-than-normal estrogen levels.
There is no clinical evidence that healthy people are at risk of developing hormonal imbalances from consuming flax seeds in normal amounts.
Flax Seed Nutrition Facts
Flax seeds are high in fat and calories, so just a little goes a long way. I usually anywhere from one tablespoon to 1/8 cup to my smoothie. One tablespoon of flax seeds contains: 55 calories, 4.3 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbohydrates and 3% daily value of calcium as well as 147% DV of omega-3s.
Flax Seed Smoothie Recipes
You can add one to two tablespoons of flax seeds to just about any green smoothie recipe on my website. Ground seeds add a slightly sweet, nutty flavor and helps to thicken the texture of the shake.
Simply grind them up in a coffee grinder before adding to your smoothie. High speed blenders may be able to grind up flax seed during the blend cycle, but most blenders will not thoroughly pulverize the seeds. I do not recommend that you soak flax seeds as they will clump together.
How To Select Flax Seeds
You can purchase whole or ground flax seeds (flax meal) at most grocery stores. Whole seeds have a longer shelf life than pre-ground seeds, but would need to be ground up before adding to a smoothie since whole seeds are not digestible. I use a dedicated coffee grinder for this purpose.
Store flax seeds in the refrigerator to maintain freshness and to prevent them from becoming rancid.
See Also: Fats for Smoothies.
Tracy Russell is the creator of the Green Smoothie Weight Loss Program, the 30-Day Whole Foods Challenge and founder of Incredible Smoothies. She is passionate about helping people improve their health with green smoothies and a whole foods lifestyle.