I have got to admit, before researching for this blog, I wouldn’t have thought to go out of my way to purchase a little packet of flaxseeds to add to my food and they have really only more recently been on the general public radar, but they are in a number of foods already such as certain breads and cereals and have actually been used for centuries in dishes. They have a number of great health benefits and aren’t particularly strong in taste so are quite inoffensive to add in without altering the taste of your food too much.
They are high in fibre, omega-3 and protein and are particularly helpful for someone choosing to eat a vegetarian or vegan diet to get the essential fatty acids we need, instead of oily fish for example.
Omega-3 is essential for brain health and low omega-3 levels can apparently contribute to depression and anxiety. Flaxseeds can also help with cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation in your arteries. These little beauties also contain antioxidant properties and can help to lower the risk of cancer.
Finally, they are also a good source of soluble fibre which can help to keep you regular without causing bloating (which is similar to oats) – start with 1-2 tbsp a day on cereal or in yoghurt, but make sure to consume with an extra glass of fluid.
In oil form, flaxseed can be drizzled on salads as dressing or added to smoothies. The seeds come in two varieties, (golden and brown) and can be added to hot or cold breakfast cereals, baked into bars, cookies or bread. I have tried adding them when making GF bread, in the bread and sprinkled on top, and when making protein bars to boost the levels and add a bit of bulk – works really well and zero sugar which always helps!
One tablespoon of Flaxseeds (7g)