Thursday, May 20, 2010
Is Flaxseed Really That Great For You?
YES! Flax has three outstanding qualities that make it one of the best foods you can eat.
(1) It contains Omega 3 fatty acids, which are healthy for the heart and may have positive effects on tumor growth. Omega 3 fatty acids fight against inflammation in our bodies...and therefore against all diseases resulting from chronic inflammation.
(2) It contains lignans with antioxidant properties. Lignans are believed to help protect against hormone-related cancers.
(3) It has high amounts of fiber, soluble and insoluble. In only 2 T of flaxseed, there are four grams of fiber!
Those three aspects of flaxseed make that tiny little seed a powerhouse of nutrition. Flaxseed is also believed to maintain healthy bones, reduce LDL cholesterol, protect against heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers (prostate, colon and breast cancer). Research is still relatively new in this area...but with current research pointing to such amazing nutritional benefits, why not add this little seed to your diet...by the way, did I mention it tastes good???
The most nutritious way to eat flaxseed is to buy it whole, grind it and then immediately add it to your food. The nutrients break down quickly, so storing previously-ground flaxseed is not a good idea. I use a coffee grinder to grind my flax. It was cheap and works great!
Why am I telling you about flaxseed on a whole wheat website??? Because it works so well with whole wheat foods and can easily be incorporated into all of your whole wheat products!!! You can sprinkle freshly-ground flaxseed on your cold cereal, bagels, hot cereals, etc. You can use it in bread, pancakes, waffles, etc. I toss about 1/4 C into smoothies and my kids devour it. I add it to my whole-wheat breadand then I make cinnamon toast for my kids. I spread the toast with butter, sprinkle with freshly-ground flax, and then I sprinkle cinnamon/sugar to cover the flax...they have no idea it is there!
I have an AMAZING Whole Wheat, Whole Oat, Whole Flax bread recipe that a friend gave me. It will be in my book...which is within days of getting published. I have other recipes that use nine-grain cereal...which contains flaxseed as one of the nine grains...more on that later. I'll have some flax-containing recipes coming up...I'll keep you posted!!!