This week’s SUPERFOOD: Flaxseeds!
Flaxseeds can come whole, as seeds, or pre-ground. If you purchase the whole seeds you can easily ground them in a coffee grinder and actually store them in an airtight container for a few months. I also refrigerate my flax, which seems to enhance and extend the freshness. Ground flaxseed is recommended because the whole flaxseed may pass through your digestive system undigested, meaning you’ll miss out on the health benefits.
So, what are the health benefits of flaxseeds? The big one is FIBER! They also contain omega-3 fatty acids and lignans. (which are phytochemicals). Flaxseeds have demonstrated the potential to treat irritable bowel syndrome and constipation due to their fiber, as well reducing cholesterol levels and some research suggests it can combat certain types of cancer. The omega-3 benefits include a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, and just 1 Tablespoon of ground flaxseed (the expert recommended daily serving) provides 1.6g of omega-3s. Although there is no official recommendation for a daily intake of omega-3s, recent research suggests getting at least 500 mg – equivalent to 2 servings of fatty fish per week.
Working flaxseeds into your daily diet is easy. Flaxseeds are super versatile. You can add them to smoothies, cereal, yogurt, or anything you may be baking. Flaxseed oil can also be used in salad dressings or on steamed veggies. You can also use flax as an egg substitute by dissolving 1 Tablespoon of ground flax seed into 3 Tablespoons of water. Just think of the possibilities! Find added fiber in any meal with the addition of flaxseeds!
This week’s recipe is full of super foods: lentils, oregano, thyme, cayenne, peas… and of course, flax! Enjoy
Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie