What makes flax seed so healthy?
Flax comes from the blue-flowered plant crop grown mainly in cool, northern climates such as that of the western Canadian prairies and the northern plains of the US. The omega-3 fatty acid and fiber in flax are nutrients that help keep us healthy and well.
The flax seed is one of the most nutritional seeds on the planet. And while it’s not a grain, it has a similar vitamin and mineral profile to grains, but, flax seed is very low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for people who limit their intake of starches and sugars. And its combination of healthy fat and high fiber content make it a great food for weight loss and maintenance — many dieters have found that flax seed has been a key to keeping them feeling satisfied.
Flax seed is high in most of the B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese, but this little seed is just getting started.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a key force against inflammation in our bodies. Mounting evidence shows that inflammation plays a part in many chronic diseases including heart disease, arthritis, asthma, diabetes, and even some cancers. This inflammation is enhanced by having too little Omega-3 intake (as found in fish, flax, and walnuts), especially in relation to Omega-6 fatty acid intake (in such oils as soy and corn oil). In the quest to equalize the ratio of these two kinds of oils, flax seed can be a real help.
Most of the oil in flax seeds is alpha linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is an Omega-3 which is a precursor to the fatty acids found in salmon and other fatty cold-water fish (called EPA and DHA). Because not everyone is able to easily convert ALA into EPA and (especially) DHA, it is best not to rely solely on flax for your Omega-3 intake, but ALA also has good effects of its own, and definitely helps in the Omega 3/6 balance.
Flax Seed is High in Fiber: You’d be hard-pressed to find a food higher in fiber — both soluble and insoluble — than flax. This fiber is probably mainly responsible for the cholesterol-lowering effects of flax. Fiber in the diet also helps stabilize blood sugar, and, of course, promotes proper functioning of the intestines.
Phytochemicals: Flax seed is high in phytochemicals, including many antioxidants. It is perhaps our best source of lignans, which convert in our intestines to substances which tend to balance female hormones. There is evidence that lignans may promote fertility, reduce peri-menopausal symptoms, and possibly help prevent breast cancer. In addition, lignans may help prevent Type 2 diabetes.
Hormonal Effects: Lignans contain phytoestrogens which research has shown to be beneficial.
Tips for flax seed users:
• Drink plenty of water. There is so much soluble fiber in flax that it is important to drink plenty of water when eating flax products, otherwise constipation may result.
• Remember to start slowly if you aren’t used to a high fiber diet.
Source: Carrington Farms
“My husband and I love your organic milled flax seed! We make fresh smoothies for breakfast every morning and enjoy putting flax seed in them. It eases our minds knowing that we’re getting our daily dose of omega-3’s, fiber, and other health benefits.” – Katherine
“Hello, I love the convenience of your milled flax paks. I always love the nutty flavor of the flax seed on my morning yogurt.” – Denise
“The allergen free part of the title is extremely important to me. Having a child with life-threatening food allergies can be restrictive of a lot of everyday foods. My goal is to take what my daughter can’t normally have and make it safe and better for her. Nature Valley has nothing on us!” – Annie (Annie included a great recipe!)
Annie B’s tasty granola bars (peanut, nut, and dairy-free)
2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup of Carrington Farms organic milled or whole flax seed
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup of all-purpose unbleached flour
3/4 cup of raisins, dried currants, or craisins
3/4 tsp of salt
1/2 cup of honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease, or spray with cooking spray, a 9×13 inch baking pan.
2) In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, flax seed, cinnamon, flour, raisins, and salt. In a small bowl, mix together honey, beaten egg, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Make a well in center of dry mix and pour in wet mixture. Mix well. Spread mixture evenly into prepared pan.
3) Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in preheated oven, until bars turn a deep golden color. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting.
Source: Carrington Farms