Flax Seeds

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: