High in omega 3’s and charged with fiber, these little seeds can really fire up your metabolism.
What are they?
The seeds from the flax plant can be used whole, grounded or used to create a vegetable oil known as flaxseed or linseed oil. Flaxseeds are high in omega3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins B, dietary fiber, protein and potassium.
What are the pros?
The high fiber content is beneficial for heart health; the omega3 fatty acids can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Ground flaxseeds slow the growth of prostate cancer tumors.
What are the cons?
Care needs to be taken with storage as flaxseeds are an unsaturated fat. Flaxseeds, whether ground or whole, have a very high fiber content, if you want to introduce them into your diet, introduce them slowly to avoid cramping, bloating or a laxative effect.
When not to take them:
- If you have an irritable bowel syndrome, you should avoid flaxseeds.
- If you have a seizure disorder you should avoid flaxseeds as the omega3 may induce seizures.
- If you are taking blood-thinning medications, blood sugar-lowering medications, steroids, cholesterol-lowering medications or anti-inflammatories you should avoid taking flaxseeds.
Introduce them into your diet:
- If you do not eat sufficient oily fish to ensure you get enough omega3’s, flaxseeds are a great alternative.
- You can buy the seeds whole and grind them in a blender to make meal. Flaxseed meal can be used as a binder or egg substitute in baked goods.
- The seeds can be sprinkled on fruit, vegies, cereal and yoghurt.
- Flaxseed meal can be used in baking or to bulk out meat dishes.
Introduce these seeds into your diet to increase your omega3 and fiber intake and to adopt all the health benefits these little seeds have and to boost your metabolism.