Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Foods with Benefits: Flax Seeds

  • it's a small golden or dark brown colour seed, not much bigger than sesame seeds
  • high in ALA fatty acids, which is one of the omega-3 fatty acids
  • helps to increase HDL (good) cholesterol and helps reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • helps prevent high blood pressure (in fact, some people have replaced high blood pressure medication completely with flax seeds)
  • good source of fibre
  • helps combat diabetes, cancer, menopause, arthritis and heart disease
  • the seed's external hull is very hard to digest, so one needs to crush or ground the seeds to gain maximum nutritional benefit (I ground mine fine in a coffee grinder)
I sprinkle ground flax seeds over cereals and often add some to baked goods.

I also use flax seeds as a substitute for eggs in baking.  1 tbs ground flax mixed with 1 tbs water = 1 egg (or you can add 2 or 3 tbs of water, depending on how much liquid you want to contribute to the recipe). I've only done this with muffins so far.  They say that using flax as a substitute for egg could make cakes less light and fluffy and more crumbly.

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