Fresh Food Perspectives

With so much nutrition information out there, sometimes you just need a fresh perspective.

Flax Seed vs. Wheat Germ September 29, 2007

Filed under: Flax Seed vs. Wheat Germ — JBraddockRD @ 3:17 am

Benefits of Flax Seed 

Flax seed has gained a lot of populatrity lately because it is an alternative source of omega-3 fatty acids (alpha linolenic acid – ALA), especially for those who do not care for fish.  Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). During digestion, the body converts the ALA to EPA. Why do omega-3 fatty acids matter? Omega-3’s have anti-inflammatory benefits which helps to preven inflammation in the arteries (atherosclerosis), the joints (osteoarthritis), and the lungs (asthma). Omega-3’s may also help to improve insulin resistance, reduce cholesterol, reduce blood pressure, and reduce the risk of cancer. In addition, flax seed contains fiber, which also helps with the same things listed above, a little iron, and a tiny bit of calcium. Remember that is important to consume flax seed in a ground form. Store ground flax seed in the freezer.

Nutrition Facts for Flax Seed: Serving Size = 2 tbsp ; 60 kcals, 4.5g fat, 4g of carbohydrate, 4g of fiber, 3g protein, 4% DV for iron, 2% DV for Calcium, 4% DV Vitamin E, 13% DV folic acid

Benefits of Wheat Germ

I consider wheat germ the healthy additive of choice before flax seed became popular. Growing up I remember my mom always put wheat germ into our pancakes. Wheat germ has a nutrient profile similar to flax seed. It contains fiber and 20% of your daily need of folic acid. The other nutrients found in these specs of power are magnesium, thiamin, phosphorus, and zinc.

The Difference

The biggest difference between the two is that flax seed is able to contribute the omega 3 fatty acids. In my opinion, this makes it superior to wheat germ. A heart healthy diet aims to increase the amount of omega 3 fatty acids and this in one easy way to do just that.

Nutrition Facts for Wheat Germ: Serving Size = 2 tbsp ; 50 kcals, 1g fat, 6g of carbohydrate, 2g of fiber, 4g protein, 4% DV for iron, 15% DV for Thiamin, 20% DV Vitamin E, 20% DV folic acid

How to Use It

Flax seed is easy to  include in your diet. Add it to any baked good for a virtually invisible health boost. It is also great sprinkled over dry or hot cereal, yogurt, and in smoothies. You can buy it ground (“flax meal”) or in the seed form. Run seeds through a cheap coffee grinder to make your own meal.

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14 Responses to “Flax Seed vs. Wheat Germ”

  1. Mom Says:

    So the Wheat Germ that I thought I was sneaking into your pancakes is good for something!

  2. Sharon Maguire Says:

    What a wonderful idea!!! I very much look forward to reading your web page for more information as it is confusing attempting to discern the truth regarding the healthy things to eat.

    You are fabulous, incredible and such an awesome role model! I thank you for all you are and do.

    May God continue to bless you.

  3. theresa Says:

    This site is great and the information you are giving is awesome!! thanks for caring enough to follow your god given passion and sharing it with us.

  4. Debby Bowden Says:

    That is definitely something I can do and am going to try. It’s very practical and sounds painless. More than I can say for some other “healthy” foods out there. Thanks for the info. I trust you more than anyone else out there!

  5. Annie Says:

    Thanks for the nutritional info about wheat germ vs. flax seed. I was trying to figure out which is best, and this was really helpful. Here goes — flax seed into the a.m. oatmeal!

  6. I’ve found, for me, a really easy way to ingest the wheat germ and ground flax seed, is to stir it into orange juice

    • freshfoodperspectives Says:

      Thanks for your idea David.

      • Cassie or Carly Says:

        I do that for my daughter. She hasn’t a clue. We also mix it in the kids yogurt as well. I bake with it and use it in meat loaf, chili, thick pasta sauce…My family isn’t the wiser!

        Thanks for this great blog!

        -Cassie

  7. pam Says:

    i use both in my smoothies everyday

  8. Great info! I just tried a tbsp in my protein smoothie, but the taste is too overpowering. I might just have to try using it when I bake.

  9. leanna Says:

    great info, thanks! my daughter is allergic to eggs and nuts so i found that flaxseed meal makes a great egg substitute for baking. 1 tbsp flaxseed meal (= 1 egg) and you mix 3 tbsp water with it; the back of the flaxseed meal bag also notes the measurements. i’ve used it to make her birthday cakes, cupcakes, cookies and brownies to replace up to 3-4 eggs. sometimes you need to add a little more flour, like with cake or cupcakes, because it is really moist.

  10. Indra Ribeiro Says:

    I have 2tbps.flax meal and 2tbsps wheat germ with warm skimmed milk every morning after eating fruit.


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