Once upon a time, I read somewhere that ingesting flax every day is a healthy habit. This one I needed to research. If I am going to put something into my body, I need to know the facts. This is what I discovered about this very important food.
Flax is a plant-based food. That is always good. In its natural state, it is a seed. You can purchase it in seed, ground, or oil form. Eating it whole is not recommended because it takes a long time to break down in your digestive system.
Because of its many health benefits, it has earned the title “the most powerful food”.
A fun fact: King Charlemagne in the 8th century believed in its health powers so strongly that he passed a law stating that his subjects must consume it as part of their daily intake. It has been around and useful for centuries.
The advantages are all encompassing. Flax has been attributed to preventing heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. This grain bolsters the nutrients we consume by supplying Omega 3 fat, antioxidants, and fiber.
I guess old Charlemagne was right.
Although the research is not totally conclusive, studies strongly indicate that it helps prevent breast, colon, and prostate cancer. Flax suppresses tumor occurrence and expansion.
If you have ingested flax as part of your daily routine, you might also find yourself with shinier hair, stronger nails, less cravings, and improved digestion.
Important: DO NOT use flax seed if you require a low fiber diet.
Foods Containing Flax
The flax council tracked the popularity of the product, and here is what they found. Approximately 300 new flax-based products have reached the markets in the last 10 years.
Chicken farmers feed flax seed to the chickens that lay our eggs. Eggs now provide the all-important Omega 3 fatty acids to egg eaters. I am duly impressed. You can find this grain in frozen waffles, crackers, and oatmeal, among other products.
How to add it to our food
You might even have eaten flax without knowing it. It tastes slightly nutty, but definitely does not overpower a dish. Try to stick to a light grain rather than the dark, which has a sightly earthy taste. Let’s try to get this magic food into our daily lives. Here are some tricks to acquire its benefits:
- Add ground flax seed to chicken or tuna salad
- Use flax seed oil in homemade salad dressings
- Toss roasted vegetables in flax seed oil after cooking
- Stir ground flax seed into chili or stew
- Use it with ground meat (rather than or) along with breadcrumbs in meatloaf and meatballs
- Blend it into your smoothie
- Use it in baking
Important: When storing this grain in any form, keep it in the freezer. The shelf life is not very long, and improper storage can reduce the benefits of the food.
I ingest flax every day and have benefited from it. This is a recipe from King Arthur’s Flour that is yummy.
By the way: You can always use unsweetened applesauce in place of butter. If you do not have buttermilk handy, do this:
For each cup of buttermilk use 1 tbsp. of white vinegar or lemon juice. Stir and let stand, and add enough milk to measure a cup.
Here is another recipe that I know you will like. Deep Dark Chocolate Biscotti.