Fabulous Flax

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There exists a smooth, tiny brown seed which, if you don’t already include in your diet, you will after finding out how healthy and nutritious this little guy is…say ‘hello’ to Mr. Flax Seed.

Ground flaxseeds contain approximately two to three grams of total fiber (both soluble and insoluble) per tablespoon. A one-ounce (about 4 tablespoons) serving of ground flaxseed has about 8 grams of fiber. It is recommended that we consume 25-38 grams of fiber each day so go ahead and sprinkle a tablespoon or two of flaxseed meal over your yogurt, cereal, salads or in a smoothie. Aside from the fiber aiding your morning constitutional, consumption of high-fiber foods, such as flaxseeds have been linked to low rates of heart disease and atherosclerosis, and reduced cholesterol.

Not only high in fiber, but approximately 20 percent of the calories in flaxseeds are in the form of protein. One ounce or 4 tablespoons of ground flax includes 6 grams of plant protein. So, adding flax to your diet is an easy way to boost your protein consumption.

Ground flaxseed and flaxseed oil contain alpha-linolenic acid, a source of the almighty omega-3 fatty acid. Alpha-linolenic acid is an essential fatty acid. Since humans cannot produce essential fatty acids they must ingest them through their diet in order to maintain good health. They are also a rich source of complete protein which means they contain all of the essential amino acids. Flaxseeds have large amounts of vitamins and minerals, and are particularly rich in potassium and folic acid. They contain the phytochemicals lignans, phenolic acids, and flavonoids which are thought to have antioxidant, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory functions.

SELECTION

As always, try to find organic flaxseed. Our bodies are bombarded daily with toxins and it’s rather silly to add something so healthful like flax to your diet and have the seeds laden with chemicals! If you are using flaxseed oil try to find unrefined, cold-pressed flaxseed oil.

STORAGE

Like any nuts or oils, store your flaxseed and/or flaxseed oil in the refrigerator. You can purchase ground flaxseed meal, just make certain you keep it in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container.

PREPARATION

If you use flaxseed, make certain that you grind the flaxseed prior to using. A coffee mill works perfectly for this purpose. The main reason is this, the flaxseed is so tiny that if you ingest it whole it passes right through your system and you don’t gain any of the nutritional benefits of the seed; and you should grind only the amount you need so it is fresh.

Your other option when using flaxseed – I have not tried this one – is to take 4 tablespoons of flaxseeds, soak them in water for four to eight hours, strain, then chew VERY throughly without other food in the mouth.

SUBSTITUTE FLAXSEED FOR EGGS

To replace one egg take 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds and 3 tablespoons water (or other liquid) and stir together until tick and gelatinous.

If using whole flaxseeds take 1 tablespoon whole flaxseed and
process in a blender to a fine meal, add 4 tablespoons water (or other liquid) and blend well. You can make a bigger batch by increasing the ingredient amounts. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

FLAXSEED RECIPES

Granola Bars With Chocolate

Banana Almond Flax Smoothie

Apple Flax Muffins

Orzo, Lentil and Flax Soup

Healthy Pancake Mix

Cranberry-Nut Mini Loaves with Flaxseeds

RECEIPES FOR FLAXSEED OIL

Flaxseed Oil Dressing with Herbs

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