Flaxseeds – Health Benefits and Best Tips to Enjoy!
Flax was cultivated in ancient Egypt, but it wasn’t until recently that the seeds became such a hit in the health food community. Although people have been consuming them for years, it has been difficult to find flaxseeds in regular grocery stores until now. They are on most shelves, are easily ordered online, and the people who eat them tout their health benefits, claiming that by including this seed in their diet they are enjoying benefits that others can’t unlock with different foods. Knowing that they’re good for you, what are some specific reasons to include these tiny seeds in your diet?
1. Flaxseeds are Full of Nutrients
Flaxseeds have one super power that makes them super useful for those who need to eat a high fiber diet – they are packed with fiber. With 8 grams of fiber in just 1 serving of 3 tablespoons, flaxseeds are perfect for helping with fat loss, reducing your cravings for sugar, and keep your colon healthy. Along with fiber, some of the other nutrients that flaxseeds have are high levels of magnesium, vitamin B1, and even protein. One serving has 6 grams of protein, making this food perfect to add to your post-workout smoothie!
2. Benefits of Flaxseeds
There are a number of reasons why you should be eating flaxseeds. In addition to being packed full of fiber and protein, they also have great fats in them. These fats won’t make you fat though, so don’t worry. They are actually really beneficial to your body by adding moisture through b-vitamins. In turn, your skin won’t be nearly as dry and flaky, and if you suffer from eczema, acne, and rosacea, you can help clear up the symptoms. People who suffer from dry eyes will also experience improvement. After including flaxseeds in your diet you’ll being to notice that your hair and skin is softer and more supple, less prone to breaking and breakouts, and healthier in appearance.
Another flaxseed benefit is how high they are in antioxidants. These antioxidants, also known as lignans, are great at improving cellular health and keeping your hormones in balance. In fact, one study showed that women who eat flaxseeds have a lower risk of developing breast cancer. This is probably partially due to how they regulate your hormone production and keep your cells healthy. Lignans are also known to help improve your ability to fight off bacteria and viruses, making people who eat them less likely to suffer from extreme colds and the flu.
Eating a diet that includes flaxseeds can also lower your cholesterol. Not only will you lower your bad cholesterol, but your good cholesterol will improve, both of which contribute to heart health. This flaxseed benefit is because the fiber in the seed causes your body to excrete excess salt. Your body will then pull salt from your blood to replenish what was removed, thereby lowing your bad cholesterol.
Probably one of the best benefits that comes from regularly eating flaxseeds is that you will have a healthier digestive track. Your digestive tract will actually be lined with mucilage. This fiber is gel-forming and keeps your stomach from emptying too quickly as well as lowering gut inflammation. People who have digestive problems, such as Crohn’s disease can benefit from eating this seed.
3. Flaxseed Flour
Flaxseed flour is a little different from flaxseed meal. The main difference is that the flour is ground even smaller than the meal is. The particles are so small that it will actually look like normal white flour. It can’t be used as a one-to-one substitute, though, since it lacks gluten. You can replace some of the white flour with flaxseed flour, but be sure to increase the liquid in your recipe, as it requires more than regular wheat flour. After a few times baking with flaxseed flour you’ll be able to gauge how much more added liquid you need to make sure your recipe works correctly.
4. Flaxseed Meal
Due to the small size of flaxseeds it’s important to grind them before eating so that you can enjoy all of the health benefits that they offer. Flaxseed meal is simply milled flaxseed. You can buy it already prepared in a store, but this is easy to do at home in a food processor or in a high-speed blender. It’s important to only grind up small amounts at a time, as the meal can go rancid. If you have more than you can use quickly you can store it either in your refrigerator or in your freezer for a while until you need it. Always smell it before using it to make sure that it hasn’t gone bad.
5. Flax Eggs
As part of vegan baking, some people have been creating “flax eggs” to replace regular eggs in their recipes. These are simple to make and are simply a tablespoon of ground flax added to three tablespoons of water. Whisk the flaxseed meal into the water until it becomes gelatinous. Unfortunately, it won’t perform exactly like eggs when baking, but using a flax egg is a great way to veganise some recipes, such as cookies, pancakes, quick breads, muffins, and brownies.
6. Flaxseed Oil
Everyone suffers from constipation once in a while, but keeping a bottle of flaxseed oil on hand can help you naturally relieve the symptoms. Instead of turning to a chemical, there is a natural alternative! Drinking up to 3 tablespoons of this oil, mixed in a cup of juice to dilute it and make it easer to drink, will relieve your symptoms. This is a much healthier way of relieving constipation and won’t that won’t harm even young children.
Adding flaxseeds to your diet is a simple and inexpensive way to reap some of their amazing health benefits. If you don’t already have some at your home, pick some up the next time you’re at the store. You can grind them fresh to add to smoothies, pancakes, or even cookies to increase their nutritional value. Flaxseeds are also delicious on top of yogurt or fresh fruit, or even used in homemade crackers. You’ll be amazed at how easily you can incorporate this food into your diet and reap their amazing health benefits from the first bite!