SUPERFOOD SERIES: Flaxseed

Posted by on 24th July 2017

DSC 0713  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Flaxseed

After a natural hair treatment? Look no further. Did you know that flaxseeds are not just for consumption? The omega-3 fats that are in flax also benefit hair by promoting growth and overall scalp health. You can impart these great nutrients onto hair by boiling the seeds and making a hair gel.

Although flaxseed has recently been praised for its many health benefits, it has been around for more than 4,000 years. It was used by Hippocrates in 650 BC for the relief of intestinal discomfort. Today, research shows that this sweet and nut-flavoured seed provides essential nutrients, including protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and fibre that all help protect our health.

Flaxseed benefits could help you improve digestion, give you clear skin, lower cholesterol, reduce sugar cravings, balance hormones, fight cancer and promote weight loss… and that’s just the beginning!

Flaxseeds, sometimes called linseeds, are small, brown, tan or golden-colored seeds that are the richest sources of a plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in the world!

One of the most extraordinary benefits of flax seeds is that they contain high levels of mucilage gum content. Mucilage is a gel-forming fibre that is water soluble and has incredible benefits on the intestinal tract. The mucilage can keep food in the stomach from emptying too quickly into the small intestine which can increase nutrient absorption. Flax is also is extremely high in both soluble and insoluble fibre, which can support colon detoxification, fat loss and reduce sugar cravings.

The soluble fibre content of flax seeds trap fat and cholesterol in the digestive system so that it’s unable to be absorbed. Soluble fibre also traps bile, which is made from cholesterol, in the gallbladder. The bile is then excreted through the digestive system, forcing the body to make more, using up excess cholesterol in the blood and lowering cholesterol overall.

The healthy fats and fibre content of flax will help you feel satisfied longer so you will eat fewer calories overall which may lead to weight loss. ALA fats may also help reduce inflammation.

Using flax is a great way to naturally replace gluten-containing grains which are inflammatory whereas flax is anti-inflammatory.  So flax seeds are great for those who have Celiac disease or have a gluten-sensitivity. They may also be a good alternative to omega-3 fats in fish for people with a seafood allergy.

Amongst its other incredible nutrition facts, flax seeds are also packed with antioxidants. Lignans are unique fibre-related polyphenols that provide us with antioxidant benefits for anti-aging, hormone balance and cellular health. Polyphenols support the growth of probiotics in the gut. Lignans are also known for their anti-viral and antibacterial properties, therefore consuming flax regularly may help reduce the number or severity of colds and flus.

As mentioned earlier, if you want healthier skin, hair and nails then consider adding two tablespoons of flaxseeds to your smoothie or one tablespoon of flaxseed oil to your daily routine. The ALA fats in flaxseeds benefits the skin and hair by providing essential fats as well as vitamin B which can help reduce dryness and flakiness. It can also improve symptoms of acne, rosacea, and eczema. This also applies to eye health as flax can reduce dry eye syndrome.

Like many seeds, flaxseeds are hard for your body to digest, so try grinding them to help your body get them most out of them.

BRASSERIE SUPERFOOD SALAD

Ingredients

long beans
mizuna
green mango, sliced
local basil
fresh orange segments
flaxseeds
garlic, sliced, boiled and roasted
chickpeas
lime juice
orange juice, freshly squeezed
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
salt and pepper

Method

Combine lime and orange juices with olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper, and flaxseeds, to make the vinaigrette. Dress the mizuna leaves. Drape the long beans on plate in a circle and place the leaves inside the beans. Dress the mango and orange segments and scatter delicately on top of the mizuna. Sprinkle the garlic chips and flaxseeds over the salad and serve.

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