For this week's Superfood Saturday on The Studio (MDR) blog, we're favoring the flaxseed. Similar to the chia seed we posted about last week, we love the health benefits and versatility of the flaxseed. Wellness experts and media alike are calling this the new wonder food for its ability to help fight everything from heart disease and diabetes to breast cancer. WebMD also reports that, although flaxseed contains all sorts of healthy components, it owes its healthy reputation primarily to three ingredients:
Omega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.
Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75-800 times more lignans than other plant foods.
Fiber. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types.
Tips for Incorporating Flaxseed's Into Your Diet:
- Drink plenty of water. There is so much soluble fiber in flax that it is important to drink plenty of water when eating flax products, otherwise constipation may result.
- Remember to start slowly if you aren’t used to a high-fiber diet.
- If you purchase the whole seeds, you need to grind them up to get the benefit.
- Flax is often used as an egg substitute in baked goods for people who can’t or choose not to eat eggs. This is because of the soluble fiber, which adds structure to the food.
- About 2/3 to 3/4 cup of flax seed yields 1 cup of flax meal. With my grinder, it’s 3/4 cup, and my recipes reflect this.
Flax Recipes and Serving Suggestions:
- Raw or toasted: Sprinkle over cottage cheese, ricotta, yogurt, breakfast cereal; put in shakes (thickens them somewhat)
- Cooked in a hot cereal: For example, try Hot Flax Peanut Butter Cereal or Hot Pumpkin Cereal
- Cooked into other foods: For example, meatloaf, meatballs, or casseroles.
Have you ever tried flaxseeds? Want to share your own recipe? Leave a comment here or chime in via our community on Facebook--http://www.facebook.com/thestuidomdr Also, we'd love to get your input. Which superfood should we feature for next Saturday? Let us know.