Flaxseeds, the seed of the flax (a.k.a linum) plant, are credited with a number of health benefits, including better digestive health, lower cholesterol, increased heart health, fewer hot flashes during menopause, and reduced risk of cancer, including breast and prostate. Given the exceptional fiber and (vegetarian) Omega-3 fatty acid content, it’s no wonder why.
Since flaxseeds are harder than sesame seeds, it’s nutritionally best to ingest them in a ground up meal form. That way, all the benefits are more readily available to the body. You can buy ready-made flax meal or simply grind the seeds in a spice/coffee grinder. Keep what you don’t use in the refrigerator or freezer, as the oil in flax, like those in most nuts and seeds, will oxidize if not kept cold.
Here are the best ways to supplement your diet with flax, no matter which variety you prefer:
- Add flax meal to yogurt, smoothies, granola and baked goods.
- Sprinkle flax seeds on salads, into bread or pizza dough, and into mustard, mayonnaise or other sandwich spreads.
- Drizzle flax oil onto cooked vegetables or rice, into dips and spreads or use as the base of your favorite vinaigrette. * Just don’t cook with the oil – high heat destroys its beneficial compounds.
Stay tuned for my Almond-Flax Granola with Dried Cherries recipe….