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As a whole food and a complete protein with all essential amino acids, flaxseed is a shoe-in as a staple Thrive food. Flaxseed is most well known for its omega-3. But there’s more.
Just a tablespoon-sized dose of flaxseeds every day will not only give you omega-3s – it will also provide a host of other health benefits.
· OMEGA-3: Flaxseed has one of the highest levels of omega-3 of all the plants in the plant kingdom. Omega-3’s cannot be produced by the body, and therefore are essential in a healthy diet. The high omega-3 levels mean that flaxseed has anti-inflammatory properties, reducing inflammation caused by movement. Flaxseed will also allow the body to more efficiently burn body fat as fuel, as omega-3 plays an integral part in the metabolism of fat.
· POTASSIUM: Flaxseeds are high in potassium, which is an integral electrolyte for active people, as it’s in part responsible for smooth muscle contractions. The body loses potassium when it sweats, so this mineral must be replaced regularly to keep the body’s levels up. Potassium also regulates fluid balance, helping the body keep hydrated.
· FIBRE: Flaxseed contains both soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre slows the release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream, helping control insulin levels and prolonging energy. Soluble fibre, when consumed, gives the body a sense of fullness, signaling its hunger mechanism to shut off. For this reason, people who are trying to lose weight should increase their consumption of soluble fibre. Insoluble fibre is important for digestive system health, as it plays a cleansing role by ensuring that toxins don’t build up and spread to the bloodstream.
How to buy flaxseeds
Be sure to choose whole flaxseed rather than flaxseed meal. Flaxseed meal is what is left over after the oils have been extracted from the whole flaxseed. Whole flaxseeds contain all their health promoting oils, nutrients, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.
How to use flaxseeds
Because flaxseeds are small with hard shells, they will pass through the system undigested if consumed whole. Grinding them will expose their oils and nutritional value so they can be efficiently utilized by the body. Whole flaxseeds can be ground in a coffee grinder and stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Ground, they will keep for up to three months.
How do you incorporate flaxseed into your diet? Post a comment to share your tips and recipes with the community.