Flax is an oilseed similar to canola and sunflower being oilseeds. Flaxseeds are derived from flax.
Benefits of Adding Flax to Your Diet
There are many benefits associated with adding flax to your diet, which are derived from a different part of the flaxseed. The heart healthy fat content, the fiber, and the lignan.
Lignan’s are a class plant compounds called phytoestrogens that act as antioxidants.
Some of the health benefits that may be associated with flax include:
Decreased total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol
Improved digestive health and relieves constipation
Protect against cancer by interfering with growth/spread of tumor cells
Decrease atherosclerotic plaque build-up
Promote decreased blood pressure
3 Tips for Adding Flax to Your Diet
Increasing your dietary intake of flax is not difficult. Here are 3 tips you can use to boost your intake:
- Add ground flaxseed to oatmeal, yogurt, salads, smoothies, and cereal.
- Replace the oil in baking recipes with ground flax (6 Tbsp ground flax for 1 Tbsp of oil). You can even substitute a small amount to add ground flaxseed to baked goods, such as cookies, muffins, and breads.
- Add to mustard or mayonnaise spread on a sandwich.
Ground versus Whole Flax
In order for the body to access the heart healthy omega 3’s within the flaxseed, the flaxseed must be ground prior to consuming. If the seed is not ground you do not reap the benefits of the omega 3 fatty acids, only the high fiber source the whole flaxseed provides.
A coffee grinder works well for grinding flaxseed. Do not grind an entire bag of flaxseed at one time. Grind enough for the week and store in the refrigerator after grinding to prevent nutrient losses and rancidity.
Flax can be a useful diet addition if you are working to lower cholesterol levels. Be sure to register for the free e-course How to Lower Cholesterol in 8 Simple Steps at http://lowercholesterolwithlisa.com.
All the best,
Lisa Nelson RD
|Heart Health Made Easy:
Master the Basics to Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol for a Longer, Healthier Life