I incorporate flaxseeds into my diet on almost a daily basis. They truly are one of nature’s ‘superfoods’ and one that is often overlooked.
For such a tiny little seed they are packed FULL of vitamins (especially B1) and minerals (particularly Manganese and Magnesium). Manganese is essential in collagen production making it a key mineral for skin health. It also has antioxidant properties which protects the skin against oxygen-related damage (I’m talking to you Hong Kong pollution!) Magnesium is also a very important mineral that reduces inflammation, reduces blood pressure and helps prevent heart disease.
Flaxseeds are a rich source of Omega 3 – a healthy fatty acid that has a vast range of health benefits in particular, reducing the risk of heart disease and lowering cholesterol. One study showed that consuming flaxseed on a daily basis reduced LDL (bad cholesterol) up to 15% without affecting HDL (good cholesterol). Good news there!
And if that wasn’t enough to convince you, flaxseeds are also a great source of dietary fibre – helping you to feel fuller, lower blood sugar levels and finally keeping you…errmm ‘regular.’
Flaxseeds are cheap and available from most grocery stores – I prefer to buy them whole as with the ground flaxseeds, once you open the packaging they can go rancid quite quickly if not stored correctly. You can easily incorporate these super seeds into your diet. I like to add them into smoothies or stir a teaspoon into my morning oatmeal (note: add them after you’ve cooked the oats not before, as high heat can destroy some of the nutritional benefits).
If oatmeal is not your favourite then try my tasty Flax Chocolate Oat Muffins or my adapted version of Chocolate Hemp Seed Oat bars from Julie Morris - both are great ways to up your flaxseed intake with the benefit of a healthy sweet treat!