Tuesday, September 30th8.3°C
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Guest Columnist

One ingredient - endless benefits

It’s nearly impossible to go shopping without seeing some new product promoting itself as the latest and greatest solution for your health. You read “fortified” this, or “enriched” that.  At the end of the day a healthy diet is mostly about the basics. No gimmicks needed.  Yes, some enriched foods have their place, but you can get a long way without having to spend big bucks on products with fancy labels.  

There are many great natural foods out there that can easily be added to your daily diet. One of those foods is flax.  This tiny seed is loaded with health benefits. Lets review a few:

  • Flax is packed with Omega 3 essential fatty acids. Those are the “good fats” you hear about that have been shown to promote good heart-health.
  • Flax is high in fiber!  This little seed contains both soluble and insoluble fiber.  Soluble fiber helps your intestines absorb nutrients by slowing the gastric emptying.  Insoluble fiber is great for keeping that intestinal track moving.
  • Flax has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.  Those are great weapons when your body needs to fend off sickness.

Okay, so now that we’ve gone over some of the reasons why flax should be part of your diet, let's go over a few easy ways you can include it in your meals.

  1. Add flax to your breakfast.  Whether you like hot oatmeal or cold cereal, ground flax goes great sprinkled on top.  It’s even a nice addition mixed in yogurt or topping apple sauce.
  2. Include it in baking as an egg replacement.  Mix together 1 tablespoon ground flax with 3 tablespoons water and just like that you have the equivalent to 1 egg.  
  3. Smoothies.  Whatever your favourite flavour or time of day is to enjoy a smoothie, ½ - 1 tablespoon of ground flax will blend right in.
  4. Add it to your condiments.  So you want to make a healthier sandwich for lunch?  Well good news!  You can still have flax with that.  Try mixing a little in with the mayo or mustard to make a healthier spread.
  5. Flax is great on salads!  There are so many great different kinds of salads; Greek, spinach, pasta, fruit salad.  Including a sprinkle of flax will add nutritional benefits and provide depth to the flavour.


A parting note:

It is highly recommended that you use ground flax over whole flaxseed.  This is because the ground flax is much easier for the body to digest and absorb.  If ground flax is a new part of your diet, start with ½ tablespoon and work your way up to 2 tablespoons a day to help avoid bloating.  Also, since flax is loaded with fiber it is important to drink lots of water to keep things, uhm, flowing.  

 
Enjoy!
 
 

 



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