It is seriously a good idea to make flaxseed a part of your daily healthy diet and weight loss goal. Flax is a must-have for seasoned healthy eaters. And it is good for people of all ages.
Flax dates back – way back. The oldest known history shows that flaxseed was cultivated in Babylon in 3000 BC. In the UK, King Charlemagne decreed that flax should be added to the diet to ensure health and wellness among the population. Current research shows that these smooth brown seeds have many health benefits.
Here’s why flaxseed is healthy…
First and foremost, it is one of the well-known sources of plant-based Omega-3 fatty acids – the all beneficial component our body needs. This good fat has a heart-healthy effect. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 gm of plant omega-3s. This form of Omega 3 also helps in maintaining the heart rate – prevents arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and also protects from heart failure.
Flax also helps in balancing the cholesterol levels in the body. It lowers the levels of LDL in the bloodstream, which has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
Flaxseed is also a rich source of lignans, which is a plant oestrogen and has antioxidant qualities. Flax contains 75 to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods. So it helps in preventing severe pre-menopausal symptoms in women. It also helps to lower the risk of certain types of cancer.
Flaxseed is also a great source of plant-based fibre, which helps in cleansing and detoxifying the body. In a way, it also helps in maintaining your weight.
How to use flaxseed
Modern supermarkets and health shops stock milled flaxseed or flax meal. It looks a lot like regular flour, and you can use it just like that. You can consume the whole seeds, grind them at home in a coffee grinder or buy it ground. Whole flax seeds can be stored for a year. The most nutritious type is ground flax seed (powdered form).
Flaxseed in Breakfast
This is an easy way to add fibre to your breakfast smoothie or yoghurt. Flax can be super healthy and tasty way to snack and kick-start your day. Mix flaxseeds in your breakfast oats, yoghurt, pancake batter, waffles, smoothies or shakes. Just one tablespoon of ground flax provides the daily dose of omega-3. And this amount won’t change the taste of your breakfast much.
Flax in Salad, Soup, Stew or Sauce
Flaxseed also goes great in salad dressings. Or you can simply add a tablespoon of flaxseeds to add crunch to your salad, soup or sandwich. Flaxseed powder also blends well in mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup. Add one or two spoonfuls into everyday gravies, stew or spaghetti sauce. Flaxseed has a toasty flavour which goes well in rich stews and sauces – a plus if you love Indian food!
Flaxseed in Brownies, Bread or Pizza
Bake with flaxseeds. Flaxseed powder makes a good egg replacement and makes fluffy baked goods like pancakes, brownies, muffins, bread and cookies healthy. Add 1 tablespoon of flaxseed flour to 3 tablespoons water and allow it to rest for five minutes – this is equivalent to one egg.
Alternatively, substitute white flour with flax in bread, pizza dough and brownie recipes. They will be super healthy without compromising on taste. Substitute about half a cup of regular flour with flax seed powder to easily add some fibre to foods kids love. And your family may not even notice the difference!
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