If you visit most health food stores, one of the products you'll see on shelves is flaxseed. You'll see ground and whole versions, golden and dark brown seeds. Regardless of which flaxseed product you choose, you are making a smart choice. There are many great reasons to add flaxseed to your diet. Here are five of them.
1. Flaxseed supplies omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a specific type of unsaturated fatty acids that help keep your arteries supple and your skin soft. Many people do not get enough omega-3s in their diet because the foods that are most often consumed are higher in omega-6 fatty acids, another type of fatty acid. Flaxseed supplies a lot of omega-3s -- more than almost any other plant food.
2. You don't need to eat a lot.
If you rely on other foods for your omega-3 fatty acids, you may need to eat a lot of those foods. Flaxseed, however, is such a concentrated source of omega-3 fatty acids that you only need to eat a couple of tablespoons per day. Most people just need about two tablespoons per day.
3. Flaxseed supplies a lot of fiber.
In addition to supplying omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed is also a great source of fiber. Two tablespoons contain about 4 grams of dietary fiber. Fiber helps reduce the risk of colon cancer and other digestive maladies. It also helps keep your blood sugar levels stable, and it helps reduce the risk of heart-related ailments like heart attacks and strokes.
4. Flaxseed is easy to hide.
There are so many ways you can sneak flax seed into your daily diet! Stir it into smoothies, add it to muffins, sprinkle it on cereal, or even top your ice cream with it. Flaxseed has a very mild flavor; it tastes a bit nutty, and you won't even notice it in most dishes.
5. You can find flaxseed anywhere.
Healthy food stores are great places to get flaxseed, but this food is becoming more common. So, you can now find it at most grocery stores. This makes it easy to obtain flaxseed when you run out. If you buy whole flaxseed, just grind it before you use it since human digestive tracts don't absorb as many nutrients from the whole seeds. A spice grinder will work well to grind the seeds.
For more information on using flaxseed in your diet, contact your local health food store today!