Subscribe to our Mailing List

Get the news right in your inbox!

Digestive Herbs: Flaxseed & Fiber Rich “Truffles”

devon No Comments

This post contains affiliate links meaning that I may make a small commission based off of your purchase at no additional cost to you.

flaxseed

Digestive Herbs: Flaxseed & Fiber Rich “Truffles”

Devon No Comments

Flaxseed is full of valuable fiber & medicinal benefits for a healthy body. Flaxseed & date “truffles” offer a delicious way to grab fiber “on the go”!

Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum)

Energetics: cool; moist

Therapeutic Actions: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, laxative, mucilage, phytoestrogen

 

Here comes the uncomfortable truth…

The final stage of digestion…

Elimination.

The subject Grandma says we don’t talk about in polite company.

But, I am not polite – and bowel health is something we need to talk about.  I see a world of people with swollen guts, lackluster complexions, allergies, and health problems – and I can’t help but think that a lot of our problems are related to a backed up, slow functioning, possibly toxic bowel.

The “standard American diet” (appropriately referred to as SAD) is particularly devoid of high-quality fiber (among other things, I might add).  Swimming in sugar, other simple carbohydrates, processed fats, low-quality meat, and other junk, this diet is a disaster for the gut and the rest of the body, leaving us more susceptible to conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. The simple answer is to reduce the junk and replace it with more fruits, vegetables, and nutrient dense whole grains.  The not so simple solution is finding a way to incorporate these into our daily diet.

This subject is broad and wide, but in an effort to do my part, I have selected to shine a spotlight on the ever lovely, fiber-rich flax.

flaxseed

Flaxseed Medicinal Benefits

Flax has a unique seed composed of fiber, mucilage, and omega 3 fatty acids, offering a multitude of health-promoting benefits.  Inelegantly put, flaxseed adds sticky insoluble bulk to the digestive system.  This essentially helps to bind other partially digested food, steady the rate at which food matter moves through the bowel, and helps to make nutrients more available for intestinal assimilation.  In a 2015 study, researchers concluded that flaxseed offered both anti-diarrheal and constipation relief, due to its normalizing effect on the gut.  Some research suggests that consumption of the seeds promotes a healthy prebiotic rich environment for gut bacteria, which is welcome news to folks suffering from leaky gut syndrome, diverticulitis, and other inflammatory bowel complaints.  There is even enough evidence to suggest that flaxseed may reduce colon cancer risk.

flaxseed
Original image courtesy of Jean Weber via wikimediacommons.com

Menopausal women and those experiencing hormonal imbalances (such as those associated with uterine fibroids and polycystic ovarian syndrome) may benefit from flaxseed due to its lignan content.   Lignans are considered phytoestrogens.  Upon digestion, lignan precursors are metabolized by gut bacteria to enterolignans, enterodiol, and enterolactone.  These phytoestrogens can then bind to estrogen receptors throughout the body.  This effectively has a net normalizing effect on hormones, with the weaker phytoestrogens not only providing estrogen when needed but also antagonizing excess endogenous estrogen present in tissues. This action is also thought to decrease prostate, ovarian, breast, and uterine cancers, while also helping to prevent osteoporosis.

Additionally, flaxseed antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties greatly benefit the cardiovascular system, while it also helps to maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

Flaxseed Identification

Flaxseed is a grain crop, but there are some wild varieties. It prefers sunny locations and relatively cool weather for germination.  It is characterized by a long slender stalk with a blue, five petal flower about 1” across.  The brown or golden seeds are typically harvested after the stalk has become coarse and the seeds matured.

flaxseed

Flaxseed Safety & Dosage

Flax is considered quite safe for consumption as a food ingredient.  Many sources indicate 45-50 grams of flaxseed is safe for daily use.  Because the safety of therapeutic doses has not yet been established, women who are pregnant, nursing, or trying to conceive should avoid consuming flaxseed for medicinal purposes.


FDA Disclosure

I am a trained herbalist with a degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, I am not, however, a doctor. Posts in this blog are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Before using any herbs, check for appropriate dosage, drug interactions, and contraindications. Information contained herein is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prescribe. Please consult your primary care physician regarding your specific health concerns.


flaxseed

Flaxseed & Date Fiber Truffles

Due to the high oil content of flaxseed, I purchase whole seeds and grind as needed to help maintain freshness and flavor.  Brown and golden flaxseeds are available in most grocery stores and very affordable if purchased in bulk.  It is easy enough to sprinkle your flax over some yogurt, add it to muffin batter, incorporate into granola, but sometimes I find it difficult to quantify the amount I am actually consuming. I love the idea of energy bites – quick little snacks that you can pop into your mouth in a hurry.  Each one of these walnut sized “truffles” offers a little over four grams of fiber.  It is recommended that the average woman consume at least 25 grams of fiber (30-38 grams for adult men).  Just two or three of these fiber truffles can help ensure that you meet your daily requirement while also inviting all the other flaxseed related health benefits to the party.

The party in your now happy bowel.

flaxseed

Interested in learning more about common medicinal plants?  Check out my new book The Backyard Herbal Apothecary!

Flaxseed & Date Fiber Truffles Recipe

Fiber Rich Flaxseed & Date "Truffles"

These nutritious "truffles" offer an enormous about of healthy fiber and other medicinal benefits of flaxseed.  
Servings: 12 individual truffles

Ingredients

  • 150 grams ground brown or golden flaxseed just over 5 ounces
  • 100 grams pitted dates just over 3 ounces
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup dried currants optional
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup carob or cocoa powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons sugar

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan combine dates and water.  Cover and simmer for approximately 10 minutes until the dates are softened and can be easily pureed.
  • Add flaxseed, salt, and currants to the date puree and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is a stiff mass.  You may need to add slightly more flax or water to make a firm but not too sticky mixture.
  • In a small bowl, mix carob/cocoa powder and sugar.  Roll flaxseed and date mixture into walnut sized balls.  Roll in carob/sugar mixture to coat. 
  • Place in an airtight container for storage.

Flaxseed and Date Fiber TrufflesReferences:

Dual effectiveness of Flaxseed in constipation and diarrhea: Possible mechanism.

Linus Pauling Institute. Lignans

Mateljan, George. The World’s Healthiest Foods.  GMF Publishing.

Devon

Devon is a writer and author on subjects of holistic and sustainable living. She has a degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine from the American College of Healthcare Sciences, and her first book, The Backyard Herbal Apothecary, will be published by Page Street Publishing in Spring 2019. Devon's work outside of NittyGrittyLife.com can be seen at LearningHerbs.com, GrowForageCookFerment.com, AttainableSustainable.net, and in the magazine The Backwoods Home. Devon's second book, as yet untitled will be published Fall 2019.

All posts

No Comments

Leave a Reply

About Me

About Me

Meet the Nitty Gritty Mama, Devon!

I am an herbalist, farmer, cook, and forager. I get my hands dirty and am not afraid to do things the "hard way". Sharing my Nitty Gritty Life with you! Read More

Devon

Connect

Subscribe to our Mailing List

Get the news right in your inbox!

Popular Links

Instagram

  • Pearly everlasting is one of my favorite medicinal wildflowers to forage for during summer.  It ticks so many therapeutic actions boxes and is just an all around useful botanical.
It grows abundantly in the coastal mountain range a few miles from my home so it gives me great excuse to abandon my home and work responsibilities and get outside, far away from modern distractions.
All new post on the blog extolling the many virtues of this wonderful plant!
Tap link in bio for link to post.
#pearlyeverlasting #anaphalis #anaphalismargaritacea #herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #herbalism #medicinalherbs #wildflower
https://nittygrittylife.com/pearly-everlasting-anaphalis-margaritacea/
  • This summer has been an absolute flurry of activity.  A veritable whirlwind.  A non stop GO. 
My intended lazy, restful summer has been anything but. 
I’ve been so busy that I kinda forgot about my second book.  After the final edits were made, the photos taken - I just bid it farewell, and settled into “life after book.”
Well, life after bookS because I wrote this book immediately after finishing The Backyard Herbal Apothecary. 
When the UPS truck started down our long gravel road I paused for moment wondering what I had ordered.  And then it occurred to me — The Herbalist’s Healing Kitchen is HERE!
Now, she doesn’t officially publish until October 29th and I am still a few weeks out from promotion, but I can’t help myself - it’s just so exciting to have this book in print.
This book turns a thoughtful eye towards the food we eat and rethinks our daily meals and special treats so that we are maximizing the benefits of those foods!  I will show you how to use flavor to inform better eating decisions to cook your way to better health!
Food is MEDICINE!
#herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #herbalism #author #cookbook #everydayfoods #foodismedicine #foodenergetics #eatingforhealth
  • Last weekend, I spent a really wonderful day hiking and foraging with my husband and the youngest of our kids.  One of the many highlights was the red huckleberries that were in full splendor in the coastal mountains.
Naturally, we foraged.
So, naturally, I wrote you all a new post.
Learn to identify red huckleberries and make a fabulous syrup with your harvest!
Tap link in bio for link to recipe and post.
#redhuckleberry #pnw #pacificnorthwest #huckleberry #vacciniumparvifolium #wildfood #wildfoodlove #foragedfood #foraging #forager #foraged #wildfood
https://nittygrittylife.com/red-huckleberry-syrup/
  • Today marks the first day of August - a month of warmth and sunshine throughout much of the northern hemisphere.  August 1st also mark the ancient feast day and celebration of Lammas.
In reverence to old world tradition, I have create a humble loaf of sourdough bread, braided and studded with calendula petals and sunflower seeds.
It is a delicious and enchanting way to celebrate the abundance of the season and the grain harvest.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#lammas #bread #sourdough #baking #traditionalfoods #baker #baking #homemade #herbs 
https://nittygrittylife.com/sourdough-braided-bread/
  • My property is full of plums -- beautiful old trees and young feral saplings.  I cannot wait to get a few batches of this yummy plum butter going this summer.
Tap link in bio for link to recipe.
#plums #plumbutter #recipe #foodpreservation #canningseason #homestead #homesteader #homesteading 
https://nittygrittylife.com/plum-butter/
  • I confessed my love of Lady's Mantle the other day and shared a monograph extolling the virtues of this very virtuous plant.
Perhaps one of my favorite uses for lady's mantle is in the landscape.  She is a simple stunner.  Elegant in every way!
Tap link in bio for link to post on how to grow lady's mantle with this new post!
#ladysmantle #alchemilla #alchemillamollis #herbgarden garden #gardening #gardener #herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #medicinegarden
https://nittygrittylife.com/how-to-grow-ladys-mantle/
  • We went for a hike in the coastal range yesterday.  Some much needed change of scenery and a chance to stretch our muscles and relax our minds.  Our seven year old chattered incessantly and adorably about the fairy world that was hiding under every fern and fallen log, while big brother ran ahead reminding me that I am a little out of condition, ahem... 😑
There were many highlights of this journey through the cool and damp woods, but this specimen stopped me in my tracks. An Indian Ghost Pipe (Monotropa uniflora), maybe a bit past her prime (I can relate), but still such a remarkable example of nature.  A parasitic plant, ghost pipe grows in only certain conditions and is fairly rare.  Due to her rarity, we just observed the plant and talked about it’s uses and habitat - I had no intention of harvest.  Instead, this is a plant that teaches me restraint and  appreciation.  Look but no touch.  I hope it taught my kids a lesson, to observe mama being so excited about something but making no move to call it my own. 
Sometimes the best plant medicine isn’t ever consumed, just absorbed.
#indianghostpipe #ghostpipe #monotropa #monotropauniflora #herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #medicinalherbs #pnw #pacificnorthwest #oregon
  • Confession:
I have a plant crush.  On Lady's Mantle.
Alchemilla mollis.
She even sounds lovely...
Folks, she is simple beauty, and moreover she is one of the most incredibly useful herbs in the home apothecary.
Tap link in bio for link to my new herbal monograph.
#ladysmantle #alchemilla #alchemillamollis #alchemillavulgaris #herbs #herbalist #herbalmedicine #medicinalherbs 
https://nittygrittylife.com/ladys-mantle-alchemilla-mollis/
  • 🍑 Is it peach season in your neck of the woods? 🍑
We are just coming up on it in the Pacific NW and I am DEFINITELY making a batch (or two or three) of this delicious peach butter with vanilla!
Give it a try!
Tap link in bio then click on this photo for link.
#peach #peaches #peachbutter #fruitbutter #jam #foodpreservation #foodpreserving #homestead #homesteader #homesteading 
https://nittygrittylife.com/slow-cooker-peach-butter/

Follow @nittygrittymama

×
shares