Are you noticing flaxseeds added to just about everything these days? It's for good reason — they're insanely healthy — but do you know why? Check out the reasons you should be eating flaxseeds (if you're not already).
- Walnuts and fish are excellent sources of omega-3s, but so are flaxseeds. The recommended daily intake (RDI) of omega-3s is around one gram a day, and one tablespoon of flaxseed offers 2.3 grams (one tablespoon of flaxmeal offers 1.6 grams).
- The omega-3s in flaxseed can help reduce inflammation that leads to conditions such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches, and osteoporosis.
- Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is one kind of omega-3 fatty acid that is found in flaxseeds, and this fat helps promote bone health.
- Flaxseed is known to lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels, and it may lower blood pressure — all essential elements to having a healthy heart.
- Whole flaxseed is a great source of fiber. One tablespoon contains three grams of fiber, which can aid in digestion, help prevent constipation, and aid in weight loss.
- Lignans, the fiber found in flaxseed, promotes regular digestion and are thought to have a role in breast cancer prevention.
Here are some creative tips on how you can get more flax into your diet.
- Sprinkle seeds or ground flaxseed on your cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, salad, or sandwiches.
- Add flaxseed to your recipes. They make the perfect high-fiber egg replacer — one tablespoon flaxmeal mixed with three tablespoons water equals one egg. Try it in these gingerbread "buttermilk" pancakes or this protein-packed banana bread.
- Add flaxmeal or flaxseeds to your blender when making your breakfast smoothie — the healthy fats and fiber will keep you feeling full longer.
- Look for products that have added flax such as cereal, bread, and crackers.