This little brown seed is a powerful source of healthy fat, fibre and omega 3 fatty-acid, and supports healthy hormones, brain function, digestion and cravings. But that’s just the beginning! Incorporating flaxseeds into your diet will also help clear skin, nourish your hair and keep your nails shiny. So let’s take a closer look at this mighty little seed!
What are flaxseeds?
Flaxseeds, also known as linseeds, are teeny tiny little seeds that are almost shaped like a tear drop. Although they are small, flaxseeds are absolutely bursting with health benefits, just some of these include the high levels of omega 3 fatty-acids and the ability for flaxseeds to help you lose excess weight, but we’ll get into these a little later. First, here is a little history lesson on how flaxseeds have stood the test of time and earned their title as one of the world’s first superfoods.
Where do flaxseeds come from?
Flaxseeds have been around for centuries, cultivating first in Babylon as what is believed to be as early as 3000 BC! In fact, according to this cool little article by
Web MD. King Charlemagne (who, upon further research you will discover was responsible for laying the foundations of modern France and Germany), he
believed in the powers of flaxseeds so much that “he passed laws requiring his subjects to consume it”.
Although this little seed is a superfood, it doesn’t wear the fancy pants that you might find on a bag of organic goji berries. In fact, you’ve probably already consumed some today without knowing it. Flaxseeds are used commonly in products like crackers, or you can find them in breads in the supermarket – just look for the ones that are bursting with nuts and seeds and you’ll be sure to find flaxseeds, like in this one Burgen Soy Linseed.
Why are flaxseeds a superfood?
Let’s get down to business about why flaxseeds are so good for you! When it comes to superfoods, there is one doctor who knows everything there is to know on the subject. Dr. Josh Axe is a certified doctor of natural medicine, chiropractor and clinical nutritionist, and was spreading the word about superfoods on social media long before it was cool. In fact, according to the Dr. Axe Website, his valuable content on topics like superfoods has put his website in the “top 10 most visited natural health websites in the world” with “over 6,000,000 monthly visitors”. So it’s safe to say that Dr. Axe knows a thing or two about the flax! Some of the benefits of flaxseeds he lists are:
- improved digestion
- can help clear skin
- lower cholesterol
- reduce sugar cravings
- balance hormones
- fight cancer
- promote weight loss
Flaxseeds are also full of healthy fats which are what make them a great nutritional supplement to support healthy skin, hair and nails. It’s the high fibre content of flaxseeds that will help you feel fuller for longer and therefore also aid in weight loss. The high levels of fibre will also help remove toxins from the body. One of the biggest health benefits of flaxseeds is their high levels of omega 3s, which are one of the most important nutrients we need to thrive and live our healthiest life. Why, you ask? Let’s take a closer look!
Why do we need omega 3 fatty-acids?
Our bodies work best when our levels of omega 3 and omega 6 are balanced. According to Dr. Axe in the following video on the benefits of Omega 3, most of us are lacking in it, which can lead to inflammation in the body. In fact, cool fact alert – anything that has the term ‘itis’ at the end of it is actually caused by inflammation. Dr. Axe says that the ability to lose weight is also connected with inflammation in the body, as “an inflamed body will tend to hold on to excess weight”. He suggests adding flaxseeds to foods to increase your body’s ability to burn fat. A good way to do this is to add a couple of teaspoons of ground flaxseed to soups, salads or smoothies as part of your weight loss plan.
According to Dr. Axe, flaxseeds are such a great source of omega 3s that these tiny seeds are actually the richest source of a plant-based omega-3 fatty-acid in the world! Dr. Axe says that if we want to reach our optimal level of health “you really do need to get more omega 3s in your diet”. Omega 3-rich food is also found in fish oil, sea foods like salmon and cod, spinach, walnuts and eggs.
What do flaxseeds taste like?
Flaxseeds have a nutty, earthy texture, and because they are a seed, they are super crunchy.
How can I use flaxseeds?
There are endless ways to use flaxseeds and enjoy the health benefits of these little seeds. Flaxseeds are available whole or grounded up into what feels like a gritty powder, sort of like almond meal or hazelnut meal. You can also enjoy flaxseed as an oil and use as a salad dressing or by adding a tablespoon to a smoothie for a boost of healthy fats. Try some of the below ideas for incorporating flaxseeds into your diet:
- Sprinkle on top of healthy muffins before baking
- Adding a teaspoon into your cereal or on top of a smoothie
- Use in dishes like curries or pop a teaspoon in spaghetti bolognaise
- Disguise some in a lasagne for a fibre boost and the kids won’t even know!
Linseed oil is also amazing for keeping your skin hydrated on the outside. Try replacing your current moisturizer for linseed oil and you will see and feel the difference!
Berry Healthy Flaxseed Muffins!
It’s super easy to make muffins healthy – all you need to do is have healthy ingredients! This recipe is for mixed berry and flaxseed muffins. These muffins are very tasty, will keep you feeling full, and will satisfy a sweet tooth. The mixed berries are bursting with antioxidants, which help fight aging and remove free radicals (toxins) from the body. The flaxseeds are going to give you a boost of fibre and healthy fat and the other ingredients, such as hazelnut meal and cinnamon add a little more flavour and a lot more nutrients than standard flour. So let’s get started!
Ingredients for 6 muffins:
- 2 x cups hazelnut or almond meal
- 3 x organic eggs
- 1 x cup frozen mixed berries
- 1 x very ripe, mashed banana
- 2 x teaspoons flaxseed
- ½ cup water
- Sprinkle of cinnamon
Combine all the ingredients into a bowl then stir, slowly adding more water if needed until mixture resembles a cake mix. Lightly grease a muffin tin or six small ceramic bowls and pour the mixture into the tin or bowls. Sprinkle with a pinch more flaxseeds and a dash more cinnamon. Place in the over at 180 degrees for 10 mins.
This is a super tasty way to get more nutrients into your diet. You can even give it a bit of a superfoods spin by adding a teaspoon of spirulina powder, or try a handful of cocoa nibs for a chocolaty twist.