Healthy Living A to Z: F is for Flaxseed

This is a flax seed "egg." Copyright 2013 by R.A. Robbins
This is a flax seed “egg.”
Copyright 2013 by R.A. Robbins

Not everyone may be familiar with flaxseed.  Flaxseed is high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as phytochemicals called lignans.   It is used to improve digestive health and may help lower total cholesterol, LDL or “bad” cholesterol, and reduce heart disease risk.   Ground flaxseed is easier for the body to digest.  Grind your own in a coffee grinder or purchase flaxseed meal.

You may add flaxseed to a variety of foods including yogurt for a little extra nutritional boost.  I like to replace 1/4 cup of the flour in my baked goods with flaxseed meal or use it as an egg substitute.  Mix one Tablespoon with 3 Tablespoons of hot water for each egg you are replacing.  Let sit until the consistency of egg whites.  When Colette Martin told me about this I didn’t think it was possible, but it does work.

There are other seeds on the market now with similar benefits including chia and hemp seeds.  Flax is usually less expensive.

For more information: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/flaxseed/AN01258

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