Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Health Benefits of Flaxseed

Here is a crunchy, tasty chicken breast with roasted flax seeds

Flaxseed is a very powerful plant food.  There is a lot of evidence out there that suggests that flaxseed can help reduce your risk of cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.  Here are some reasons why flaxseeds are so great:
  • A great source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids:  Omega-3 Fatty Acids play a very important role in protecting against inflammation in the body (such as asthma, arthritis, etc.).  Our bodies need to maintain a good balance of Omega-6 Fatty Acids (found in foods such as corn and soy oils) to Omega-3 Fatty Acids (found in foods such as fish, flax, and walnuts), however most diets are rich in Omega-6 Fatty Acids and do not have enough Omega-3 Fatty Acids.  Adding foods that are rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, such as flaxseed, are great ways to ensure your body is fighting inflammation appropriately.
  • Full of Fiber:  Flaxseeds have both insoluble and soluble fiber, which of course helps aid in regularity by keeping your gut happy.  Fiber also helps control blood sugar & can help to lower cholesterol.
  • Lignans:   Flaxseeds contain phytochemicals with antioxidants and plant estrogen qualities.  Research suggests that the plant estrogen may have health benefits such as the reduction of some peri-menopausal symptoms and increased fertility.
There are a lot of ways to get flaxseed, between ground or in an oil, but ground flaxseed is typically known as the way to go.  There is no set dosing for flaxseed, however experts say that in order to get the most of your flaxseed intake, to use 1-2 tablespoons of ground flax per day.  There are several ways to get your flaxseed in!  Companies such as Carrington Farms make products that are tasty and easy.  You can put ground flaxseeds, such as their Flax Packs into oatmeals, muffins, yogurt, smoothies, or other foods.  These Flax Packs do not need refrigeration and can be transported easily.  You can also use my personal favorite Roasted Flax in recipes, such as the one shown above, where I used the roasted flax seeds, Parmesan cheese, and Italian bread crumbs to make a crispy coat for some boneless chicken breasts.  These were a huge hit with the family!    Make sure to check the packaging to see how it should be stored.  Some flaxseed must be kept in a cool, dark place. 

1 comment:

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