Does Flaxseed Have Gluten? Everything You Need to Know

Does Flaxseed have gluten? If you’ve been hearing about the benefits of flax seeds and wondering if they’re safe for a gluten-free diet, you’re in the right place! This healthy tiny seed is a nutritional powerhouse that can be added to everything from smoothies to muffins. Let’s get into it and learn why it’s such a great addition to your diet!

Man running with child

What is Flaxseed?

Flaxseeds, or linseeds, are the seeds of the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum). Whole flax seeds are small and oval-shaped with a glossy golden or brown exterior. They can be eaten whole, ground down into a powder, or even pressed into flax oil. These days, flax seeds are common in many kitchens due to their suite of nutritional benefits. 

When exposed to liquid, these seeds gel up like chia seeds, making them a great vegan egg replacer and binder for gluten-free baked goods. Ground flaxseeds or flax meal can also be added to smoothies, salads, dressings, muffins, pancakes, and more for an extra omega-3 fats and gut-healthy fiber! They have a mild, nutty flavor that can enhance the taste of your recipes, too. You will love this Peanut Butter Chocolate Smoothie with ground flaxseed.

Does Flaxseed have gluten?

The good news for our friends with gluten intolerance is that flax seeds are not related to wheat at all and are naturally gluten-free. 

However, there is always the risk of cross-contact. If you have celiac disease, only purchase certified gluten-free flax products processed in a gluten-free facility. 

Some certified gluten-free brands include:

  • Arrowhead Mills
  • Bob’s Red Mill
  • Happy Day Brands
  • Namaste Foods
  • Prana
  • Simpliful
  • Spectrum Essentials

Sherie’s favorite Gluten-Free Ground Flaxseed

I find the golden flaxseed easier to digest, so this is my personal preference. It has a soft, delicate texture and flavor. You can use this golden flaxseed as a replacement for wheat germ.

Bob’s Red Mill Organic Golden Flaxseed Meal Gluten Free w/Exit 28 Bargains Sticker Whole Ground 16 oz Resealable Bag
  • Bob’s Red Mill Organic Golden Flaxseed Meal w/ Exit 28 Bargains Sticker Gluten Free Whole Ground 16 oz Resealable Bag

Health Benefits of Flaxseed

High Dietary Fiber in Flax

  1. Besides being gluten-free one of flax’s claims to fame is its high fiber content. The shells of flaxseeds contain significant amounts of fiber, particularly insoluble fiber. Flax seeds produce mucilage, a gel-like substance, like chia seeds, when exposed to liquids. This promotes digestive health and regularity, but that’s just the start.
  2. Diets high in dietary fiber have a whole host of health benefits, from improving heart health to reducing diabetes, cancer, and overall inflammation. 
  3. Even small increases in daily fiber intake can reduce mortality rates in both men and women with ischemic heart disease. Cereal fibers, like flaxseed, are even more effective at preventing death from coronary heart disease than fruits and vegetables alone. 
  4. Plus, the increased fiber can reduce hunger and increase feelings of fullness, which can promote weight loss and reduce obesity, regulate blood sugar, and more. 

High in Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Flax seeds are particularly high in several essential fatty acids, including a very high quantity of alpha-linolenic acid (Omega-3) and linoleic acid (Omega-6). 

With such a high concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), flax seeds are a great way to reduce blood lipids, improve cholesterol, and hypertension. 

Additionally, these omega-3 fatty acids, particularly the ALA, may also reduce the risk of mild dementia, support bone health, and improve insulin sensitivity. These benefits go hand-in-hand with the high fiber and lignan content, making flax seeds a real superfood.

NOTE: Although brown and golden flaxseeds have similar amounts of lipids, brown flaxseeds have higher concentrations of PUFAs and more antioxidant lignans. 

Flaxseed Oil, Flax Seed

Flaxseeds are High in Protein

Flaxseeds contain a whopping 20% protein or more, with up to 36 grams of protein in just 100 grams of whole flax seeds. Flax protein can reduce triglycerides and plasma cholesterol even better than whey or soy protein. 

However, flax-based protein is not a complete protein, so you will need to pair it with legumes or other foods high in the amino acid lysine.

Great source of lignans

Lignans are phytoestrogens known for their antioxidant properties, which may help reduce free radicals and even reduce several types of cancer. Flaxseeds have the highest concentration of lignans in any plant food, with 85.5mg in a 1-ounce serving. To access these benefits, you will need to consume ground flaxseeds, not oil.

Flax Muffins

Are Flaxseed and Linseed the same thing?

Yes, flaxseeds and linseeds are the same thing. The terms can be used interchangeably, but we generally say linseed when we talk about using flax for industrial purposes, like producing linen fiber, paints, tiles, and more. 

Just like this name confusion, there’s another important difference you need to know about before you go shopping. 

Flaxseed meal is the leftover pulp after the oil is pressed out of the seeds. Since the oil has been strained off, it has minimal fatty acid content. Most people use flax meal as a good source of dietary fiber.

Ground or milled flaxseeds are whole seeds that have been ground into a powder. They still contain all the essential fats as well as the dietary fiber.

Gluten in a heart shape

Flaxseed vs Flaxseed Oil 

There are several ways to consume flax seeds for their nutritional benefits, but flaxseed oil is a surprisingly potent option. It’s made by crushing the whole seeds and separating the liquid oil from the fibrous flax meal. 

Because of this, flax oil contains no fiber or protein but has all of the heart-healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It’s also been studied extensively and may have even more health benefits than whole or ground seeds in some situations. For example, flax oil is used to:

  • Improve heart health 
  • Improve metabolic health
  • Support bone and muscle health
  • Reduce osteoporosis
  • Support healthy brain function
  • Improve mood disorders
  • Help fight cancer
  • Reduce inflammation and oxidative stress

If you want to use flaxseed oil, look for hexane-extracted or cold-pressed oils to get the highest antioxidant concentration and the most benefits. The delicate oils can be damaged during heat processing, so do not buy heat-treated oils. 

Also, avoid heating the oil in your recipes. Use it in raw or cold preparations, like making salad dressings, smoothies, no-bake granola bars or energy balls, etc. Once opened, store the oil in the fridge to keep it fresh. 

Natural Sources of Fiber Flax and Seeds.

How to use ground flaxseed in recipes

Start with ground flax seeds if you want to incorporate flaxseeds into your daily diet. The grinding process will break through the hard shell and allow you to absorb the full range of fiber, protein, fatty acids, and more. Fortunately, a little goes a long way. 

Most research shows you only need 1-2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds daily. Try adding ground flax seeds to these tasty recipes for a daily nutritious boost!

Tip: These delicate, tiny seeds should be stored with care. Whole seeds can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 years, but if they ever smell fishy, they’ve gone rancid and should be tossed. Ground or milled flaxseeds can also be stored at room temperature, but it’s generally best to store them in the fridge as the shells are no longer in place to protect the delicate fatty acids. 

For those who are gluten-free, try using your ground flaxseeds like this:

  • As a vegan egg replacer
  • To add extra fiber to your gluten-free bakes, cakes, and muffins
  • Sprinkle some into your smoothies, yogurt bowls, and more
  • Add a small quantity to bind dough together 
  • Use in place of wheat germ in recipes


Tips

  • Add ground flaxseed to Smoothies and Overnight Oats
  • Sprinkle golden flax on cottage cheese
  • Include ground flaxseed with your morning oatmeal
  • Only eat ground flaxseeds or they will pass right through your system.

I hope you loved this article: Does Flaxseed Have Gluten?If you make it, leave a rating so I know you liked it!

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