Tuesday, October 16, 2012

31: a little flax in your life

I have fallen off the 31 days wagon. I apologize for that!

This week I want to share some nutrition and food related tips. Maybe I'll actually get more than three posts up for the week too.

If you read health or nutrition magazines or articles, you may have heard of flax or flaxseed. Or maybe you haven't.

Flax is a small seed that is sold whole or ground (flaxmeal). I buy mine whole in bulk and then grind in small amounts in my Magic Bullet.

Three reasons why you should add flax to your diet. (from Dr. Oz)

Flax is a great source of fiber, and there is a strong possibility your diet is lacking in fiber.

Flax is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and again--most of us don't get enough of this essential nutrient. Your body cannot make omega-3's, you must consume them. Omega-3's are part of the anti-inflammatory system in our body--and with cold and flu season coming up, you want your system working well!

And lastly, flax contains lignans which reduce the risk of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.

Two tablespoons of ground flax a day is a perfect dose. I typically mix flax into my morning oatmeal (after the oatmeal is cooked). You can also add it to a smoothie or yogurt; sprinkle it on your salad or mix it into sauces. Add it to cookies, pancakes or other baked food. There are so many options.

When my kiddos were babies and toddlers and were constipated (which happened a lot it seemed) I'd mix a little ground flax in with their baby food. It has a slightly nutty flavor but you get used to it. I buy golden flax because I think it has a little better flavor.

Give it a try and tell me what you think! You might want to start with a tablespoon and increase over a week or two to two full tablespoons.