Hey Everyone! It’s time for the weekly Healthy Food Series on iScriblr!
I agree that eating healthy isn’t always easy! But committing to a healthy diet can be one of the brightest decisions you’ll ever make! Why? Well, not only can eating well make you look and feel better, it can also save you money on future health expenses! Keeping up with the fad of being cognizant of the health benefits and clean lifestyle, here comes my newest prop to a “healthful lifestyle!”
Our star of the day for Healthy Food Series is – FLAX-SEEDS!
History – For centuries, flax-seeds have been valued for their health-protective properties. With a Latin name that translates to “very useful” – flax-seed has withstood the trials and ordeals of history. As one of the oldest crops, it was originally used as a fiber for clothing and for wrapping mummies, where it was often called by its alternate name, “linseed.” But flax-seed’s role in history hardly stops as an outer-clothing. Research shows that – flax cultivation for medicinal use became a common practice in the Mediterranean region around 4000-2000 BC, while some claim it’s use dates back even further to the Neolithic Era. In China and India, domesticated flax was cultivated at least 5,000 years ago, thanks to its medicinal and therapeutic properties. Nowadays, flax-seeds are emerging as a “super food” as more scientific research points to their health benefits.
Nutrient Content – One tablespoon (7 gm) of ground flax-seeds contains the following –
Protein: 1.3 grams
Carbs: 2 grams
Fiber: 1.9 grams
Total fat: 3 grams
Saturated fat: 0.3 grams
Monounsaturated fat: 0.5 grams
Polyunsaturated fat: 2.0 grams
Omega-3 fatty acids: 1,597 mg
Vitamin B1: 8% of the RDI
Vitamin B6: 2% of the RDI
Folate: 2% of the RDI
Calcium: 2% of the RDI
Iron: 2% of the RDI
Magnesium: 7% of the RDI
Phosphorus: 4% of the RDI
Potassium: 2% of the RDI
Interestingly, flax-seeds’ health benefits are mainly attributed to the omega-3 fatty acids, lignans and fiber they contain.
Health Benefits – For centuries, flax-seeds have been prized for their health-protective properties. Here are a few health benefits of flax-seeds that are backed by science –
1 Flax-seeds are bursting with a class of antioxidant polyphenols called lignans. The powerful seed packs up to 800 times more than other plant foods. These lignans protect against oxidative damage (the DNA damage resulting from environmental pollution as well as poor diets that result in aging), and have been linked to improving cardiovascular health, colon and prostate health, and even cancerous tumors.
2 Flax-seeds are rich in soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, which can help prevent constipation. They can also act as a laxative to treat constipation due to their high content of mucilage gums (a portion of soluble fiber).
3 Flax-seeds benefits for hair include – making it shinier, stronger and more resistant to damage. The ALA fats in flax-seeds benefits the skin and hair by providing essential fatty acids as well as B vitamins, which can help reduce dryness and flakiness.
4 Using flax is a great way to naturally replace gluten-containing grains in recipes. Grains, especially those containing gluten, can be hard to digest for many people, but flax is usually easily metabolized and also anti-inflammatory.
5 Flax-seed protein is made up of abundant amounts of arginine and glutamine, which have been shown to help support our immune system.
6 Flax-seeds keep you full for longer and may help you manage your weight by controlling your appetite.
How To Eat Flax-Seeds – Opt for ground flax-seeds, as they are easier to digest. You can buy whole flax-seeds, grind them in a coffee grinder and store the ground flax-seeds in an airtight container.
Recipe – The easiest way to consume flax-seeds is in a smoothie – with my personal favorite being the “Banana Almond Flax Smoothie!” (Recipe inspired from CookieandKate – The best food-blog available!)
1 medium to large frozen banana (break your bananas into one-inch chunks before freezing)
1 heaping spoonful of almond butter (or peanut butter)
2 spoonfuls flax-seed
½ cup almond milk, yogurt or regular milk
Drizzle of honey, agave nectar or maple syrup
Tiny drop of almond extract (or vanilla extract, but the almond extract makes the smoothie taste almost like candy!)
1 Toss all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
2 Pour into a glass and enjoy.
Why You Should Try Flax-Seeds – As per – “Though tiny, they are rich in the omega-3 fatty acid ALA, lignans and fiber, all of which have been shown to have many potential health benefits. As a versatile food ingredient, flax-seeds or flax-seed oil are easy to add to your diet.” With many proven health benefits and possibly more, there’s no better time than now to grab some flax-seeds from your local grocery store.
Here’s to clean living and a healthy lifestyle! Cheers!