Just the Flax,Please

By Sara Butler

Flaxseed has been a part of human diets for a millennium and they’ve been touted for their health benefits as far back as the era of Hippocrates. Flaxseed has had a bit of a resurgence lately as people rediscover the health benefits of this ancient seed. It’s not a food that will cure everything that ails you, but it can be a part of a healthy diet with a variety of health benefits.

Nutrition

Flaxseed is packed with nutrition, including:

  • Lignans- You’ve probably never heard of a lignan before, but it’s time to get educated. This is a type of phytoestrogen that can help protect your body from certain types of cancer, such as prostate cancer and breast cancer.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – These fats are also found in fish and are great for your heart health.
  • Fiber – Flaxseed happens to contain insoluble and soluble fiber, helping to keep your digestive system chugging along.
  • Protein – It’s a complete source of protein, which means that it has every single amino acid that your body is incapable of making on its own. That’s an uncommon trait for plant-based protein, so vegetarians and vegans should pay extra attention.

Health Benefits

Flaxseed has been researched quite a bit in the last few years and researchers have discovered this seed just might:

  • Reduce tumor growth in the colon, prostate, and breasts or prevent cancer
  • Reduce the chance of developing heart disease, having a stroke, developing blood clots, and developing cardiac arrhythmias by lower cholesterol
  • Prevent constipation
  • Reduce inflammation associated with Parkinson’s disease, asthma, and arthritis

Different Types

Flaxseed comes in two different types: golden and brown. The price can differ between the two but the benefits to your health and nutrition are about the same. You can usually buy flaxseed whole, ground, or as an oil. If you find a way you like to consume it, that’s all that really matters.

A few ideas for the use of flaxseed in your diet include:

  • Sprinkling it on salads, yogurt, coleslaw, or oatmeal
  • Add to a smoothie
  • Mix into meatloaf
  • Add to baked goods such as muffins
  • Throw in a casserole, stew, or sauce

There are so many possibilities for flaxseeds, you simply need to experiment and find out what you like! Add them to some things that you may not have thought of and see what you think.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Round Rock, Tex.

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