For 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.
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.