Flax seed is an amazingly healthy food. Only 2 teaspoons a day can make a huge difference in your family’s health.
Flax seed is quite easy to add into to your diet. Unlike wheat germ which can leave an “after taste,” ground flax seed barely has any taste when added to foods. (If it does have a sour taste you should throw it out, as it has gone rancid.)
If your kids don’t like eating fish, flax seed is a great way to get Omega-3s into their diet for a healthy breakfast.
Extensive studies are being done linking flax seed to the prevention of major diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and certain cancers.
Because of this, according to Web MD, there are over 300 new flax seed products that have been added to our grocery store isles including crackers, cereals and snack bars. More information
It is important that you know how common it now is for manufactures to use flax seed as a selling benefit to their product. It has become a bit of a buzz word and everyone has jumped on the bandwagon. The realty is, most processed food typically only contains small amounts of flax seed.
- You are always best to add freshly ground flax seed to your foods than to rely on processed foods such as crackers, cookies or cereal to offer any health benefit.
Flax seed is rich in health properties including:
1. FIBER RICH:
Flax seed is LOADED with fiber; more than almost any other food you could eat. Fiber helps stabilize blood sugar, so if you are making a sweet treat and add ground flax seed to it, it can help counter balance the affects of the sugar.
Also, if your child has issues with not “being regular,” flax seed may be the answer. Remember to go slow, adding it to your child’s diet slowly and consistently.
2. LOADED WITH OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS
Inflammation of the body can create diseases of all types such as asthma, heart disease, arthritis, cancer and diabetes. Eating a diet rich in Omega-3s help prevent this.
It is very important for health to eat Omega 3 fatty acids. Flax seed is one way of doing this.
3. HIGH IN LIGNANS and ANTIOXIDANTS TO HELP WITH SOME OF WOMEN’S ISSUES
Lignans help to balance female hormones, enhance fertility, reduce hot flashes and can even help with PMS.
For more information go to: health benefits of flax seed
In a nut shell, flax and fish both provide omega-3s but they do it in a different way.
- Fish oil contains two omega-3s that are especially important: EPA and DHA.
- Flax seed contains a fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
What happens is your body takes this “ALA” and creates the EPA and DHA that you would get from fish.
So in a nutshell, fish gives you EPA and DHA directly, where flax seed gives your body the fatty acid to be able to make EPA and DHA.
The challenge is that as people age, this conversion process is not as efficient. In some people 20% or less is converted, so therefore, flax seed is NOT a replacement for eating fish. It is just a wonderful supplement.
Flax seed is a great solution for children who will not eat fish though, as their bodies are still quite effective at converting it into EPA and DHA.
If you want to enjoy all of the health benefits of flax seeds, then eating a ground flax meal is the best option. With the seed form or oil form, your body does not absorb all of the nutrients and health properties the same way that it does with the meal.
- In addition, I have found flax seeds to be difficult to eat as a seed, as they are too tiny and very hard.
Whole flax seeds can stay fresh and healthy for up to a year as long as they are stored properly. If you get into a daily habit of adding this wonder food into your diet, it is easy to go through a bag every week for a family of four.
- Ground flax seed should be stored in the freezer, and eaten within a month of purchasing, as it can become rancid easily.
The most healthy way to eat flax seed is to grind the seeds yourself, and eat it right after you grind it. There is no chance of it going rancid and you have 100% fresh ground flax meal.
- This seed is quite easy to grind into a meal, and can be done with something like a coffee grinder.
One of our favorite breakfast items is to blend non-fat unflavored yogurt together with berries, bananas a tablespoon of raw honey. I always have a batch of this in the refrigerator.
In the morning, my kids love to eat their yogurt mixture with their cereal (instead of milk) and I just add about 2 tablespoons of ground flax meal in the yogurt. This is a great way to start the day.
- Also, if you do not eat eggs, you can substitute flax seed meal for eggs in many recipes.
There are many baking recipes you can add flax to, which I will be posting soon.