Flax seeds come from a fiber crop and are one of the oldest crops in the world dating back 30,000 years ago. We see them added to cereals, crackers, and breads, but why are they good for us? Flax seeds have three main components that make them super healthy:
- Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids - good fats for healthy hearts
- Lignans - help prevent cancer and heart disease, and maintain bone health
- Fiber - contains both soluble (lowering blood cholesterol and glucose levels) and insoluble (adding to your digestive track to help things move through it quickly)
Here's a great explanation from Elaine Magee, MPH, RD and WebMD about the benefits of flax seeds and cardiovascular disease:
Research suggests that plant omega-3s help the cardiovascular system through several different mechanisms, including anti-inflammatory action and normalizing the heartbeat. Fitzpatrick says new research also suggests significant blood pressure-lowering effects of flaxseed. Those effects may be due to both the omega-3 fatty acids as well as the amino acid groups found in flaxseed.
One important factor to note when eating flax seeds is to always try and grind them - our bodies don't fully digest whole flax seeds, but by grinding them we'll be able to absorb all of their nutrients. The good thing is, we only need about 1-2 tbsp per day of flax seeds to reap all their benefits. 1 tbsp in a morning smoothie and 1 tbsp sprinkled over a lunch or dinner salad and you should be good to go. Here's what 2 tbsp of flax seeds give us nutritionally:
- 54.7 calories
- 4.3 grams of fat
- 1.9 grams of protein
- 2.8 grams of fiber (11% Daily Value)
- 10% Daily Value of Magnesium
I add mine to smoothies I drink for breakfast or recovery drinks. Check them out:
Here's a change from a typical green smoothie and its GREAT for a post workout boost! Peanut butter, bananas, delicious seeds, and more!
Tom and I were recently in Minnesota and had brunch with his Aunt Judy who made us this AMAZING baked oatmeal. It was by far the best breakfast we had while we were in town. Here’s my version of it - full of pecans, dried cranberries, apples, and a few other delicious goodies!
This is my new favorite summer smoothie! Both cucumbers and melons are super high in water content replenishing fluids after a hot summer day. Whiz this up and have a tasty treat!
This smoothie is packed with ingredients that are just going to make you FEEL GOOD. Chia and pumpkin seeds for energy, flax seeds for good digestion, cucumber for more hydration, spinach for its high iron count, blueberries and plums for antioxidants, and a banana for potassium. This is one of my favorite post- workout smoothies!
This smoothie is packed with ingredients that are just going to make you FEEL GOOD. Chia and pumpkin seeds for energy, flax seeds for good digestion, strawberries, apples, and beets for antioxidants, kale and spinach for calcium, and tart cherry juice for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Every ingredient in this green smoothie counts: pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, apples, pineapple, kale, spinach, and ginger. Its a crazy color, but don't let that put you off. Its delicious, super nutritious, and filling. Give it a go and I promise you won't regret it!
Most of my smoothies are green due to the amount of kale and spinach I put in them. This week I mixed it up a bit and made a pink smoothie with beets. It still has kale and spinach, but the intensity of the cooked beets really makes this smoothie a beauty! And it is QUITE delicious.