This Flax Seed Smoothie is a healthy way to start your morning! It’s loaded with nutrients and filling fiber, and can be made with almost any fruit you happen to have on hand.
Benefits of Flax Seeds
Ground flax is one of my favorite additions to smoothies! Here are a few reasons why I love it:
- Flax seeds are rich in ALA, a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid. (source) The body doesn’t make this type of essential fatty acid on its own, so it must be obtained through food. Consuming ALA has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease and a lower risk of stroke.
- Flax seeds are a rich source of lignans. (They have more than any other plant food!) Lignans may help to lower the risk of cancer, including breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.
- Just one tablespoon of ground flax has 3 grams of fiber, including both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber may help to balance blood sugar and lower cholesterol levels. (source)
- Consuming 3 tablespoons of flax seed a day may help to lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and your overall cholesterol levels. (This study was done over a period of 3 months.)
- A Canadian study suggests that eating 30mg of flax (about 4 tablespoons) for 6 months can significantly lower blood pressure, which may also help lower the risk of dying from a stroke or heart disease.
- Adding 10-20 grams of ground flax (roughly 1-2 heaping tablespoons) to a daily diet for at least month, has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes by up to nearly 20% in some cases. (source)
The plant-based protein found in ground flax has also been shown to be just as satisfying and filling as animal protein, according to this study, so this smoothie recipe should keep you feeling full!
How Much Flax Seeds Should You Put in a Smoothie?
If you’re new to eating flax seeds, you may want to start with just 1 tablespoon to see how your body handles the fiber. I think it’s always a good idea to start small, so you can build up your tolerance.
Eating flax seed may increase your bowel movements (which is a great thing!), but it may also bring up some gas and bloating as your body adjusts.
Once you’re into a regular flax-eating routine, I like to add 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed to my smoothie to help keep me feeling full for hours. You can add more if you like, but much more than 2 tablespoons and I think the flavor and texture start to become a little too noticeable.
How to Make a Healthy Flax Seed Smoothie
I recommend starting with ground flax seeds, rather than whole ones, because the ground form is easier to digest— giving you the maximum potential benefits.
Your blender may or may not be able to completely grind the whole flax seeds, so I think it’s just easier to start with ground. (Pre-ground flax seed is available for purchase in many normal grocery stores these days!)
You can add ground flax seed to ANY smoothie combination to make it a flax seed smoothie, so feel free to get creative. The combination below creates a slightly sweet and tart tropical flavor, which I think hides the flax flavor very nicely, but you may also love these smoothie flavors:
- Strawberry Banana Smoothie
- Spirulina Smoothie
- Chocolate Avocado Smoothie
- Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
- Green Detox Smoothie
- Kale Smoothie
You can also just swap out the mango in the recipe below for any other frozen fruit you have on hand! I’ve tried it with blueberries, strawberries, and frozen cherries.
Easy Flax Seed Smoothie
- 1 cup water
- 1 large frozen banana
- 1 cup frozen mango
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 1 heaping cup fresh baby spinach (1 huge handful)
- 1/4 cup orange juice (optional; but so good!)
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger , peeled (optional)
- Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. (Note: If you don't have a high-speed blender, I recommend blending the water and spinach first, to help break down the greens, then add in the rest of the ingredients and blend again.)
- Serve right away for the best taste and texture. Leftover smoothie can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours, but the flavor will change as it sits.
If you try this recipe, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it! And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too. We can all benefit from your experience!