It’s relatively easy to add flaxseed to your diet in order to reap some significant health benefits. Flax seed is a rich plant based source of omega-3 fatty acids, making for a nice dietary alternative to fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are protective against heart disease, hypertension, certain cancers, and some autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Americans typically do not eat enough of these healthful essential omega-3 fatty acids so, understanding how to add flaxseed to your diet can help improve your diet.
Flaxseed and fiber
Flaxseed is a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber aids in reducing blood cholesterol and insoluble fiber prevents constipation. The anti-cancer benefits of flaxseed are due to plant estrogens called lignans. Flaxseed contains more lignans than any other known plant material.
Easy ways to add flaxseed to your diet
- a topping for salad
- a thickening ingredient for soups
- a topping for cottage cheese
- adding to yogurt
- adding to condiments such as mustard or mayo when making sandwiches
- using as part of a baked product recipe or pancake mixture*
- adding to hot and cold cereal
Purchasing and storage
Flaxseed can be purchased as a whole seed, or a milled or ground meal. Whole flaxseed, such as pictured above, is shelf stable for up to a year, but needs to be ground up to derive the health benefits. If the product is purchased already ground or milled, once the package is opened it should be kept in the refrigerator in an air tight container for up to 3 months.
One tablespoon of flaxseed has 45 calories, 2 grams of fiber, a little protein, and a large amount of the omega-3 fatty acids. This is definitely food worth chewing on. Here’s a great recipe to use up that garden zucchini and get your flaxseed eaten:
Add flaxseed to your diet with this easy muffin recipe
*Chocolate Zucchini Muffins~ Recipe makes 24 muffins
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 tsp. salt 1 tsp. baking soda 1/4 cup ground or milled flaxseed 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1/4 cup margarine 1/4 cup canola oil 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce 1 cup sugar 2 eggs or 1/2 cup egg substitute 1/2 cup buttermilk 2 cups finely grated zucchini
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and ground flaxseed in a bowl. Cream the margarine, oil and sugar in another bowl. Add the eggs, buttermilk, and the applesauce. Then, add the flour mixture to the creamed ingredients and lightly mix. Lastly, add the grated zucchini.
Use paper baking cups to line muffin pan or generously oil or use baking spray on muffin pans. Fill tin or paper cups half way. Bake about 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean. Remove, cool and enjoy.
Calories-175 Fiber- 1 gram Potassium-85 mg
Sodium-250 mg Fat-6 grams Carbohydrate-26 grams
Do you have a favorite recipe or way you add flaxseed to your diet?