Flaxseed- Is It Actually Good For You?
There's always a new fad in the health food world, and I keep hearing a lot about flaxseed! I was looking for different recipes for lactation cookies and kept coming across flaxseed, so I decided it was time to find out a little more. I think the hardest thing about health trends is it's hard to know sometimes when something is actually good for you, and when it's just a fad. Is flaxseed any different?
Well, as with most health food trends, not everything you hear is backed by research. However, some scientists have a few good guesses as to the actual benefits of flaxseed, and it's not too shabby of a list! For one, it is believed that flaxseed actually helps your body absorb other nutrients more efficiently. That alone could be a pretty good reason to eat some flaxseed, but there are other benefits as well!
Flaxseed is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which is great news if you're not a fan of fish ;). Omega-3s are good for your heart health and are thought to help prevent cancer as well. In 2008 there was actually a study done with 161 men with prostate cancer, and the results showed that eating flaxseed helped prevent tumors from growing. This is possibly from the lignans found in flaxseed, which have antiangiogenic properties, stopping new blood vessels from forming within tumors. There have also been studies that have shown flaxseed to help prevent breast cancer!
Flaxseed is also high in fiber, helping to prevent constipation, lower cholesterol, and decreasing your risk for heart disease. And while the research is inconclusive for the time being, early studies have shown that flaxseed may actually help regulate blood sugars as well, helping keep diabetes at bay! It has also shown to lower blood pressure in those with diabetes, so a win-win all around!
Overall, it seems there are some definite health benefits to consuming flax! As with all things, moderation is key, so we shouldn't be eating more than 1/4 cup a day. 1- 2 tablespoons a day is perfect! Also, be sure that you're eating the ground stuff, as that is what our bodies can actually absorb (no point in eating flax seed if you're not getting the health benefits, right?)
Luckily flaxseed is easy to incorporate in our diets! Here's a list of easy ways to get a serving of flaxseed:
*Sprinkle on top of cereal or oatmeal
*Add to yogurt, applesauce, or cottage cheese
*Blend in with your post-workout shake or smoothie
*Bake into muffins or cookies
*Mix with pancake batter or sprinkle on French toast
*Mix in with bread crumbs when making homemade breaded chicken
*Sprinkle on ice cream for an interesting texture
*Mix with mayo or mustard when making your lunchtime sandwich
*Use it as an egg substitute in your baking recipes! (2 tablespoons for 1 egg)
How do you like to eat your flaxseed? I'd love more ideas! Share with us below!
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