Flaxseed can be ground and added into yogurt, cereal, dressings and sandwich spreads. It can also be baked into desserts and treats for an added fiber boost. Enriched flaxseed oil can be used as a flavoring for cooked foods, but it should never be used to cook with.
Flaxseed is used to lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease, improve digestive health or relieve constipation. Like other fiber supplements, flaxseed should be taken with water or other liquids.
Flaxseed is the best source for lignans, fiber-like compounds that have important antioxidant properties. Lignans can function in the human body as a moderate source of estrogen. Furthermore, the fiber found in flaxseed is a specific gel-soluble form that prevents the stomach from emptying its contents too rapidly into the intestines, allowing for increased nutrient absorption.
Flaxseed is an anti-inflammatory that protects the blood vessels from incurring damage due to inflammation. Furthermore, flaxseed is thought to aid in preventing cancer.
Flaxseed is high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. One tablespoon breaks down to 37 calories, 2 grams of fiber and 2 grams of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Flaxseed retains its nutrients even when broken down by the heat of an oven, while the omega-3 fatty acids remain stable throughout the process.