Are Linseeds Low Carb?
Low Carb Linseeds – Small Seeds, Big Benefits!
Linseeds, also commonly known as flaxseeds, are mighty seeds loaded with essential nutrients that our bodies need. It is worthy of its title as a ‘superfood’ due to its impressive nutritional profile ranging from Omega 3 fatty acids to fibre and of course, low carb!
Health benefits include reduced risk of heart disease and healthy skin and hair. Is this the answer to all our beauty needs?! As an extremely versatile ingredient, linseeds have a pleasant, nutty flavour. Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or meat lover, this plant-based seed is an essential part of a nutritious healthy diet and is needed by everyone’s body!
What are Linseeds?
Linseeds, also known as flaxseeds, are small brown or golden-coloured seeds from the plant, Linum usitatissimum. They are a super versatile food and can be eaten whole, grounded into flaxseed meal or pressed into flaxseed oil. Packed with essential nutrients and low carb, linseeds have a pleasant, nutty flavour that adds richness to any dish.
Linseeds and their variations can be conveniently found at the supermarket and health food stores and might be named flaxseeds so keep an eye out!
Fun fact: ‘Linum usitatissimum’ is Latin for “very useful” – how fitting, right!
Breaking Down Its Nutritional Profile
Titled a ‘superfood’, linseeds are one of the most nutrient dense foods and provide a healthy balance between the three main sources of energy: carbohydrates, fats and protein. Linseeds’ nutritional profile makes it a great addition to so many diets as it is gluten free, vegetarian/vegan friendly and keto-friendly.
One of the most important nutritional contributions of linseeds is Omega 3 fatty essential acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are important to prevent inflammation in the blood vessels and are crucial for cardiovascular health. Linseeds provide both linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids which are associated with many health benefits, discussed in the next section!
Linseeds are also a rich source of gluten free soluble fibre, containing high levels of mucilage gum content similar to chia seeds. A thick gel-like consistency is formed in your stomach and slows down the rate at which digestive enzymes turn carbs into sugar. This keeps you feeling fuller for longer, making it beneficial for those with diabetes or looking to reduce sugar cravings. Due to its high dietary fibre content, linseeds are also low in carbs and high protein (4g per 2Tbsp!) which is another bonus for those following a high protein, low carb diet!
Wait, we’re not finished! Or better yet, these seeds aren’t finished! Linseeds are high in antioxidants, specifically lignans. Lignans are defined as natural ‘phytoestrogens’, with anti-aging, hormonal-balancing and antibacterial effects. It is particularly useful for relieving PMS (premenstrual syndrome) symptoms which we will discuss further in the next section. They also contain a variety of vitamins and minerals including but not limited to:
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine) which helps the cells in your body to convert food into energy
- Magnesium which helps prevent chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease
- Copper which helps maintain healthy bones, blood vessels and nerves
What are the benefits of Linseed?
With an incredible nutritional profile, it is no surprise that linseeds are tied to so many health benefits. We’ve chosen our top 3 but you can learn about even more in this article.
Helps Make Skin and Hair Healthy
All things beauty, linseed is the answer! Linseed helps improve the quality of hair, skin and nails while also regulating body weight. The oil from linseeds is renowned for its ability to improve the texture and quality of your skin. The Omega 3 fatty acids help reduce dryness and flakiness caused by an Omega 3 deficiency such as dry skin, brittle nails, and dandruff.
Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
Linseeds also assist in reducing heart disease and the potential risk of a stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, or peripheral vascular disease. The Omega 3 fatty acids lower high blood cholesterol and triglycherides (type of fat found in your blood). This is done as these acids increase the amount of fat excreted through bowel movements. Combined with lignans, it also reduces the build-up of plaque, which can block blood vessels and send blockages into your brain.
Relieve Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Symptoms
Thanks to Omega 3 fatty acids (particularly alpha linolenic acid) and lignans, linseeds can relieve or eliminate PMS symptoms. This helps the body to become less sensitive to the fluctuations of hormones associated with PMS symptoms and provide a greater feeling of calm. This is created by preventing the release of excess toxic biochemicals that the body produces when under stress.
How can I include Linseeds in my diet?
Linseeds (or flaxseeds) have a rich, buttery flavour, making it a super easy ingredient to add to your savoury or sweet dish! They can be soaked in water like chia seeds, or sprinkled into yoghurt, porridges and salads. For us, we love adding these to our Seeded Crackers which is the perfect complement to a cheese platter! Although there is no designated amount, a moderate daily serving is 1-2 Tbsp.
Linseeds can also come in the form of a flaxseed meal. It's made from ground linseeds or flaxseed oil, made from pressed linseeds. These variations each have their own wide range of uses such as flax meal for baking bread or flaxseed oil for salad dressings.
It is generally advised not to consume raw or unripe linseeds. These may cause stomach pain or indigestion in some people. When linseeds have an off-putting sour odour, it’s time to throw them out.
What products do we use Linseeds in?
Linseeds are versatile, nutritious, and suitable for any diet. Despite its small size, they have an impressive nutritional profile containing essential fatty acids and fibre. Many of our products also include linseeds and/or flax meal to ensure you’re incorporating the best nutrients into your diet!
If you have any questions regarding any of these products, simply contact us via our online form, call us on 02 9558 3300, or email email@example.com.
What is the difference between Linseed and Flaxseed?
This is a super common question, and we understand your confusion. Linseed and flaxseed are the same, as we have used these terms interchangeably. Both have the same nutritious qualities and taste, and the only difference is seen in the plant itself. Whilst they both come from the same plant, Linum usitatissimum, linseed is shorter whereas flaxseed is taller. That’s it!
What is Flax Meal?
Flax meal is grounded linseeds, or flaxseeds for that matter, the form left from crushing the seeds for their oil. Leaving only 10% of the original oil, flax meal is gluten-free and high in protein, fibres (soluble and insoluble) and lignans which are all beneficial for your body! Its nutritional profile is associated with health benefits such as the reduced risk of heart disease, lower blood glucose levels, and good gut health.
Our Golden Flax Meal is proudly Australian sourced from Victoria and is used in our Protein Bread mixes!
Want to find more Low Carb ingredients?
Linseeds (or flaxseeds) are tiny edible seeds with amazing health benefits and cater to so many different diets. Did you find this article useful? Well, this is actually part of our low carb ingredients series. It's where we take a look into the best nutritious whole foods for your diet. Check out a few of the other ones we’ve done!
Chia seeds are another ‘superfood’ that you need for your high protein, low carb diet. These tiny seeds are packed with protein, fibre and have more Omega 3 fatty acids than any other plant food (even linseeds)! The thick gel formed by chia seeds also keeps you feeling full for longer. This slows down the rate at which your carbs turn into sugar. They’re perfect, easy and very good for you.
Sunflower seeds are a nutrient-dense food, packed with protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. They are great as a quick snack due to their crunchiness but also works well in breakfast bowls and salads. They've have also been proven to reduce the risk for heart disease and support thyroid function.