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Flax Seeds

Flax Seeds

One Seed I Wonít Live Without

One of my secret healthy foods is flax seed. These seeds may be tiny (a bit bigger than a sesame seed), but they are packed with healthy nutrients. They come in two colors Ė brown and golden. The brown seeds tend to be just a bit cheaper, but I prefer the golden ones because they hide a little better in food so picky eaters tend to not notice them.

Flax seeds are a great source of the healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. Since most Americans today tend to consume too many Omega-6 Fatty Acids and not enough Omega-3ís, adding flax seeds to the diet can be very beneficial.

In addition to Omega-3 fatty acids, flax seeds are high in fiber (both soluble and insoluble), antioxidants, B vitamins, phytochemicals, and lignans. They are also low in carbohydrates. Some studies have shown that flax seeds can help lower cholesterol, reduce chances of some cancers, prevent inflammation in the body which can lead to arthritis and asthma, reduce circulatory problems, and help diabetics to stabilize blood sugar.

I avoid purchasing flax seed oil, because it can go rancid very easily. If you do purchase the oil, be aware that you do not get the fiber benefits and be sure to keep it in a refrigerated, dark bottle.

We consume our flax seeds both whole and ground up. Youíll get more of the nutrients from the ground flax seeds and more of the fiber benefits from the whole seed.

Even though it may seem easier to buy flax seeds already ground up into flax meal, I purchase flax seeds whole. I donít buy ground flax seed so I donít need to worry about it going rancid. I grind the whole seeds up in a little coffee grinder I purchased for this purpose. The children enjoy pulsing and grinding them which makes it a fun job to do for Mom.

I add flax seeds to everything. They go into all of our bread products. Homemade bread, rolls, and cinnamon rolls all have flax seeds added. We use a lot (approximately ľ cup per loaf of bread), but you may want to start out with less. Whole flax seeds also get added to our pancakes and waffles. You can either mix it in the batter or sprinkle them on top. We also add flax seeds to our salads and desserts like apple crisp. Iíve even been known to take a Ziploc full of flax seeds with us on vacation.

Whole flax seeds will absorb some moisture, so be aware of this and see if you need to adjust your liquid amounts if youíre baking with them. Also be sure to drink enough water if you consume large quantities.

Flax seeds are a nice, inconspicuous way to add some excellent nutrition to your familyís diet. Give them a try and give your family's nutrition a boost!

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