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Touted as a health food, this little seed is also a great tool for grain-free baking. But if you’re eating flax often (or trying to heal your body in any way), there’s more you should know. Learn about flax’s effect on hormone levels and that it’s not an efficient form of fatty acids. Learn, too, about flax’s phytic acid levels and if it actually helps to reduce inflammation.
For years I’ve loved the fact that flax makes baked goods moist. It imparts that perfect texture to muffins, cakes and cookies. In more recent years I’ve also appreciated that flax makes a great substitute for eggs in egg-free baking. (See how to do this here.)
But, as with all seeds and nuts, it’s easy to perceive them as healthy without remembering that they contain phytic acid, which can rob our bodies of minerals, that they require soaking to properly digest, and that, yes: All nuts and seeds affect our hormone levels!
Many also turn to flax oil as a source of fatty acids, in the hopes of reducing inflammation and for overall health, including brain and heart health. But vegetarian sources of fat are rarely the most nutrient-dense for the human diet.
In short, there are 5 main points of concern when it comes to consuming flax:
- Is flax an efficient form of fatty acids?
- Does flax cause changes in hormone levels?
- What are the phytate levels in flax?
- Does flax actually reduce inflammation?
- How is flax grown?