Flaxseeds are packed with a wide range of nutrients that positively support many aspects of your health. They are easy to find in supermarkets and are simple to incorporate into your meal plans.
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If you’re looking for a flavorful way to boost your nutrient intake, you will love what flaxseed has to offer. In the meantime, brushing up on how it can benefit your body is often just the motivator you need to toss some in your grocery cart next time you shop for food.
Flaxseed Is Loaded With Fiber
One of the primary benefits you get from eating flaxseed is the amount of fiber it contains. A mere two tablespoons contains about three grams of fiber, which equates to just over 10 percent of your daily intake requirements.
Fiber is an important nutrient because it regulates your digestion and bowel function, ensuring that you maintain a regular and healthy pattern. This nutrient also helps control your cholesterol levels by removing excess from your body, thereby helping reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
Finally, fiber is great for a weight loss or maintenance meal plan. It bulks up in your body, helping you feel full. This helps prevent hunger between meals and ensures that you stay satisfied until your next meal.
Get Your Antioxidant Fix
Antioxidants are compounds found in many plant foods, flaxseed included, that help keep your immune system healthy. They work by helping counteract oxidation in your body and by clearing out free radicals.
This translates to a lower risk of many health problems, including heart disease and cancer. The specific antioxidants in flaxseed are called lignans, and flax is the best source of them that you can find. Lignans help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Boost Your Healthy Fat Intake
Your body needs a certain amount of fat to stay healthy. The trick is to choose the right kinds of fats. That means avoiding trans and saturated fats and instead loading up on omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats.
Flaxseed is a prime source of omega-3s and they do many things for your body. Research shows that the healthy fats in flaxseed help ward off cancer, boost cognitive function and help fight heart disease.
What’s The Best Way To Eat Flaxseed
You can find flaxseeds whole or ground in most supermarkets. The version you choose is largely based on personal preference, though the ground flax is easier to use in your meal plans. You can add it to a hot bowl of oatmeal or a berry smoothie, upping the nutrient content without dramatically changing the flavor of the food.
Experts also suggest stirring it into soup or stew. It adds thickness and texture to both dishes. You might also try it in pasta sauce, enchilada sauce or meat sauce. It also works well in meatballs or meatloaf.
Baked goods are a prime way to hide some flaxseed in your diet. Add it to waffles, pancakes, muffins, breads or any of your favorite baked treats. Flaxseed is best stored in the freezer and will last for several months, so you are free to use it as you want to without worry about it spoiling.
Cautions About Flaxseed
While most people can safely include flaxseed in their diets without a problem, it’s important to understand the potential issues it can cause. Because flaxseed is so high in fiber, adding a lot of it to your meal plan all at one time can lead to digestive disturbances, flatulence and diarrhea.
Slowly increase your fiber intake to counteract this. Pregnant and nursing mothers should discuss the use of flaxseed with their doctors before use. Because it contains estrogen-like properties, it might not be the best choice during these times due to the hormonal changes that take place. In general, however, flaxseed is a great food choice for just about anyone and you’ll love how it boosts your health and changes up the meals you always prepare.