Monday, May 21, 2012

Flaxseed Fever

A few friends have shared with me the benefits of adding flaxseed to your diet.  I finally took some time to research this and I'm so excited about what I found!  I'm eager to give it a whirl and begin adding milled flaxseed to my food.  I'm especially eager to see if it can really help promote fertility.  (Praying...)

NOTE:  I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on T.V.  I am not a medical professional.  The information I'm providing is based on research I've performed.  Please consult your doctor before adding flaxseed to your diet.

What Is Flaxseed?
  • It's not classified as a grain but has a similar vitamin and mineral profile
  • It's very low in carbs
  • Its combination of healthy fat and high fiber content make it a great food for weight loss and maintenance
  • In power form it adds nutritional value to foods without affecting the flavor

Flaxseed Nutrition
  • High in most B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese
  • Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, a key force against inflammation in our bodies
    • Inflammation is a key player in chronic diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, asthma, diabetes, and some cancers
  • High in Fiber, both soluble and insoluble
    • This fiber is mainly responsible for the cholesterol-lowering effects of flax
    • Adding fiber to your diet also aides in stabilizing blood sugar and promotes proper functions of the intestines
  • High in Phytochemicals, including many antioxidants
    • Phytochemicals are our best source of lignans, which convert in our intestines to substances that balance female hormones
    • Evidence shows lignans may promote fertility, reduce peri-menopausal symptoms, and possibly help prevent breast cancer
    • Lignans may help prevent Type 2 diabetes

Flaxseed Caution
  • Big fiber load (hee hee)
    • With flax so high in fiber, it's a good idea to start with a small amount and increase slowly; otherwise, cramping and a "laxative effect" can result.  People will IBS should be extra-careful.

How Do I Use Flaxseed?
  • It's believed that consuming ground flaxseed (also called milled or flax meal) over flax oil (which contains just part of the seed) is better because you get all the components
  • 1-2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed a day is the suggested dose
  • Flaxseed, when eaten whole, is more likely to pass through the intestinal tract undigested, which means your body doesn't get all the healthful components
  • Add a couple of tablespoons of ground flaxseed each time you eat foods like oatmeal, smoothies, soup, and yogurt, for instance.  It'll become a habit and you won't have to think about it1
  • The dishes that hide flaxseed the best usually have dark sauces or meat mixtures.  Flaxseed usually isn't noticed when added to dishes like enchilada casserole, chicken Parmesan, chili, beef stew, meatloaf, or meatballs!  For a 4-serving casserole, add 2-4 tablespoons of ground flaxseed.  For a dish serving 6 to 8, use 4-8 tablespoons.
  • Substitute ground flaxseed for part of the flour in recipes for quick breads, muffins, rolls, bagels, pancakes, and waffles.  Replace 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the flour with ground flaxseed if the recipe calls for 2 or more cups of flour.
  • The freezer is the best place to store ground flaxseed.  Freeze pre-ground flaxseed in the bag you purchased it in.  The freezer will keep the ground flax from oxidizing and losing its nutritional potency.

Where Can I Buy Some?

Where Can I Learn More?

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