Day 31-Products Week-Just the Facts on Flax & Chia

I’m going to be honest here, I don’t remember my flax and chia everyday.  I really should get back in the habit because I’m missing out on some fabulous benefits. Lately, I find myself only adding them to my smoothies, when there are so many other ways to use them. What are the facts on flax you ask? First of all, flax is more digestible if you use the ground version. Besides, whole seeds don’t release the nutrients properly.

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Flax is a superb source of omega 3 fatty acids, only fish oil can beat it! Omega 3’s are what fight inflammation in the body, so as you can imagine, getting in your diet helps prevent a plethora of problems including heart disease, diabetes and many more. Consuming flax can help prevent osteoporosis and menopausal symptoms as well. Omega 3’s also have been proven to reduce the risk of many types of cancer and  the eye disease macular degeneration.

The high fiber content of flax also helps your digestive tract, keeps your heart healthy and helps maintain normal blood sugar in diabetics. It provides both types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, the first being good for the tummy and the latter helping out the heart. The healthier your digestive tract is, the lower the risk for colon cancer, a reason to make it a big part of your diet.

Its an immune booster, dynamic for dieters (since it keeps your stomach full) and some say the lignans found in flax actually help level out your hormones and assist in reproductive health.Flax consumption also makes for beautiful skin and strong bones, due to the abundance of vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, potassium and iron.

Flax tastes slightly nutty and provides texture in baked goods and smoothies. You can even use it as an egg replacement by mixing 1 tbsp of flax with 2.5 tbsp of water. I have done it, and it works! Mix it in oatmeal, yogurt, salads and even ice cream without changing the taste. Bake it into cookies, muffins and bread and reap all the benefits without noticing.

Now let’s chat a bit about chia seeds. You know them as what makes chia pets grow, but they are really a nutrition powerhouse. Use them in many of the same ways as flax, but what most people don’t know is to make a thickener for puddings and smoothies, mix chia seeds with water and make gel. 1tbsp chia seeds to 2 tbsp water in a small container overnight and you’ll have about 1 1/2 tbsp of gel to work with.

Chia seeds are also high in fiber and omega 3’s and are great for providing a boost of energy. If you’re dragging by lunch, toss some on your favorite salad or add em to your smoothie and you will feel it in no time. I have personally put them to the test! My problem is remembering to use them because I naturally reach for the flax first. I keep it in the freezer with my other smoothie ingredients like unsweetened coconut flakes and fruits. The chia seeds are in the cabinet next to the dark cocoa powder and coconut  palm sugar, so they get used less. My BAD! This little pep talk has me convinced I need to utilize them more frequently and practice what I preach. Just being honest here.

Not a milk drinker? Eat chia seeds, since they are high in calcium. Need more fiber? Eat chia seeds, since a one ounce serving provides 11 grams of dietary fiber. Want stronger bones and teeth? Again, chia is the answer because of all the manganese and phosphorus the tiny seeds provide. High protein means they are great for vegetarians, one ounce gives you 4.4 grams worth! Lower LDL and triglycerides means they are also good for the heart.

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However you choose to use them, do try these amazing seeds and watch your health improve. I plan on adding them to more foods myself, I’ve been slack-a-lackin for too long! Now that vacation is over, I’ll get back on track by sprinkling them in my Greek yogurt, or adding them to salads for a little extra crunch. I haven’t had a baked good in quite awhile either, I can mix both seeds in the batter next time I make some plantain and sweet potato waffles, yum! Makes me want to woop out the almond and coconut flour and get busy, alas, it’s almost bedtime. Maybe tomorrow, if I find some time. See you then on the patio! 

 

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