For centuries, flax seeds have been prized for their health-protective properties.
In fact, Charles the Great ordered his subjects to eat flax seeds for their health. So it's no wonder they acquired the name Linum usitatissimum, meaning "the most useful."
Nowadays, flax seeds are emerging as a "super food" as more scientific research points to their health benefits.
Grown since the beginning of civilization, flax seeds are one of the oldest crops. There are two types, brown and golden, which are equally nutritious.
A typical serving size for ground flax seeds is 1 tablespoon (7 grams).
Just one tablespoon provides a good amount of protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to being a rich source of some vitamins and minerals.
One tablespoon of ground flax seeds contains the following:
- Calories: 37
- Protein: 1.3 grams
- Carbs: 2 grams
- Fiber: 1.9 grams
- Total fat: 3 grams
- Saturated fat: 0.3 grams
- Monounsaturated fat: 0.5 grams
- Polyunsaturated fat: 2.0 grams
- Omega-3 fatty acids: 1,597 mg
- Vitamin B1: 8% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 2% of the RDI
- Folate: 2% of the RDI
- Calcium: 2% of the RDI
- Iron: 2% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 7% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 4% of the RDI
- Potassium: 2% of the RDI
Interestingly, flax seeds' health benefits are mainly attributed to the omega-3 fatty acids, lignans and fiber they contain.