Adding Flaxseed to Your Diet is a Smart Move

Flax SeedsFor many people, the idea of adding flaxseed to their meals or their drinks is as appealing as eating rocks and leaves. Not exactly appetizing. Not that you can really blame them.

After all, plain flaxseed does have an unflattering appearance. Let’s get that part out of the way. In fact, flaxseed looks, to the untrained eye, just like something you’d find in a handful of bird feed. People aren’t exactly lining up to eat birdseed.

Some people may be turned off by flaxseed because it looks like an ingredient in a granola bar – another sometimes-unpopular food item. Regardless of appearance, you would be doing yourself a big favor if you look past flaxseed’s appearance and focused on its health benefits. In this department, this tiny seed packs a huge nutritional punch – enough to be considered a dietary superfood.

High Dietary Fiber Content

If you want to become more regular, as well as clean your system up from the inside out, you need to increase your daily intake of dietary fiber. Indeed, most health authorities recommend a nice helping of dietary fiber every day to help keep the digestive system clean and operating well.

And we know that increasing fiber intake helps with weight loss!

High-fiber diets also help keep cholesterol in control. Flaxseed, despite its size, packs lots of dietary fiber. The great news about flaxseed is that if you grind it up, it doesn’t taste like much and can blend with your meals or your drinks.

Compare that with wholemeal bread or pasta. The texture is less coarse since flaxseed can be ground up into fine powder. Mix ground flax with juice or your favorite soup, and you’ve achieved your daily recommended allowance of dietary fiber.

Adding Flaxseed to Your Diet

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Flaxseed’s biggest selling point is its Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 is quite a prized nutrient because:

  • it helps boost brain function
  • helps with blood circulation
  • lowers harmful triglyceride levels
  • boosts your overall brain/nervous system health
  • 80% of Americans aren’t getting enough Omega 3’s

Unfortunately, the most popular source of Omega 3 is fish or krill oil. The problem with this is that fish often have high mercury levels. When you take lots of flaxseed or refrigerated flaxseed oil daily, you get omega 3 fatty acids from a safer, non-animal source.

High Antioxidant Levels

Since flaxseed has high levels of plant compounds called lignans (up to 75 to 800 times more than many other plants), taking flaxseed daily can help people enjoy the many benefits of antioxidants such as lower risk of developing the following types of cancer: colon, prostate, and breast cancer. Lignans are able to do this because they have an effect on the hormone-related enzymes certain cancers need to grow and spread.

Another Excellent Healthy Fat

Flaxseed oil is an excellent healthy fat when purchased from the refrigerator section of your healthfood store, and kept refrigerated. It’s important to ensure it doesn’t go rancid, or it can develop harmful properties. Use it in salad dressings – coconut oil is a safer choice for high heat cooking.

Flaxseed is Healthy In Your Diet

Thanks to flaxseed’s fairly mellow flavor and neutral texture (when ground), flaxseed is extremely versatile and can be mixed with all sorts of baked goodies, stews, soups, and other food items.

It’s mentioned in the popular book Wheat Belly, as a gluten-free ingredient for creating wraps. Here’s the flaxseed wrap recipe which uses ground flax seed. You can grind it yourself in a coffee grinder, or purchase flaxseed already ground.

Flaxseed’s great mix of versatility, taste, texture, and solid health benefits make it a great addition to any meal whether it be breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Fortify your diet today with flaxseed. You owe it to yourself.

About DrBruce

Dr Bruce Katsura believes that weight loss can be fast, safe and sustainable, if it is supported and supervised by a physician, and involves certain lifestyle changes. Those include learning about healthy eating and making small changes in daily habits. Our clients lose up to 30 pounds in 30 days, and most keep the weight off. Sign up for your free initial consultation today.

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3 Responses to Adding Flaxseed to Your Diet is a Smart Move

  1. Michelle July 16, 2014 at 9:24 am #

    Another very helpful article! My husband has recently cut the fish oil vitamins out of his daily routine because he heard that they can cause prostate cancer if taken for a long period of time. Since then, I have been looking for something with Omega 3’s that I can work into our diets. I used to buy flaxseed crackers to snack on at work to keep me from eating chips or something else just as unhealthy. I had no idea flaxseed was so good for you! It’s definitely going back on the shopping list!

    • mendedTire July 26, 2014 at 9:08 am #

      Can you provide us with a study that confirms finding your husband found? This is the first time I heard something like that and to be honest never read it anywhere.

  2. limcid July 16, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    I love flaxseed! I add it to salads for a nice, mild nutty flavor and crunch. You just have be sure to chew them well enough to break them open to release what’s inside.

    Another way I like to use them is in homemade no-bake energy bars that I make. I grind the flaxseed to a powder and use it instead of whey powder, since whey powder is so much more expensive. I’ve even found a nice sized bag of flaxseed at the Dollar Tree!

    I’ve even used them in homemade water crackers and in breads. There are lots of uses for flaxseed.

    And the best thing is that they’re extremely healthy!

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