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Flax Seed & Its Benefits

By: proctor - March 2, 2009
You may have heard that flax seed is good for you, but you may not know where to buy it, how to use it in recipes, or why you really should add it to your regular grocery list. The Ameriflax website answers those questions and more.

Where can I find flax seed?
To find flaxseed, look at your local grocery store first, or try Whole Foods or any natural foods based grocery store to find it. It is usually easy to find Hodgson Mill flax seed so look for that brand. You can find a lot of flax seed products in the Hodgson Mill online store.

How do I use flax seed?
Add flax seed to your baking for a pleasant nutty taste, and more...flax seed adds flavor, extra texture and good nutrition to your breads and other baked goods. You can add it to your home baked products in its whole seed or milled form.

Whole Flax seed--Add a scoopful of flax seed to bread doughs and pancake, muffin or cookie mixes. When sprinkled on top of any of these before baking, the seeds add crunch, taste and eye appeal.

Milled Flax seed--Mill a desired amount of flax seed to a granular, free-flowing meal in a coffee bean grinder. Added to your baked goods, the milled flax seed enhances the flavor, appearance and food value of the finished product.

Substitutions in Recipes:
Substitute flax for fat in your recipes, using 3 tbsp ground flax seed for 1 tbsp of margarine, butter or cooking oil. Flax can be substituted for all or some of the fat, depending on the recipe. Note that baking with flax, as fat substitute will cause baked goods to brown more quickly.

Substitute a ground flax seed/water mixture for eggs in recipes such as pancakes, muffins and cookies. Use 1 tbsp ground flax plus 3 tbsp water - left sitting for several minutes - for each egg. Note that this will result in a chewier version of the recipe, with less volume.

Why should I use flax seed?
Researchers at North Dakota State University published the many benefits of flax seeds including:

1. Large amounts of the Omega-3 essential fatty acid (EFA) alpha linolenic acid (ALA) that our bodies can't make from other foods

2. Antioxidants like Vitamin E and SDG which has been associated with a reduction in Type 1 and 2 Diabetes and lower blood glucose levels

3. Phytochemicals, called lignans, which have been associated with a reduction in cancers such as colon, breast and prostrate cancer. Lignans produce powerful antioxidant properties and protect the heart through their ability to reduce plaque

4. Nutrients such as proteins, fiber, and potassium

So, along with fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, add flax seed to your grocery list and know that it packs a whole lot of nutrition into your diet with only a little bit of effort.

About the Submitter

proctor

I have been an ACE certified personal trainer since 2000 who has trained over 3000 hours. I specialize in pre- and post-natal fitness, stretching, running, and weight loss. Yoga is also a passion for me and a way of life. I received my Yoga Alliance Teacher Certification in India and love to share the calmness, strength, and openness that yoga offers to people of all ages and abilities.



Public Comments

  • By: samlane

    Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 8:42pm

    I grind up flax seed and mix it 50:50 peanut butter and put it on toast. Its a kind of crumbly paste and hard to eat without getting in a mess, but its the only way I can eat it. It tastes like cricket bats!

  • By: ncruden

    Thursday, March 19, 2009 - 8:53am

    I use flax seed in my homemade granola, but I have been told the flax seeds must be ground up to get the benefits, so I put them in my coffee grinder first. Can anyone tell me if this is true?

  • By: jEnergy

    Monday, March 2, 2009 - 9:57pm

    Flax seeds are of such huge importance for vegetarians like myself. I get the amino acid benefit, and it doesn't change the taste of what I sprinkle it in!

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