Flaxseed was eaten like nuts by the early Greeks and Romans. You may eat the natural untreated seeds whole, ground into meal, or sprouted. Used in small amounts, they add a crunchy quality when making muffins, waffles, pancakes, granola, or cooked cereals. When ground, Flaxseed can be added to breads, muffins, hot cooked cereals and smoothies, and is one of the most powerful, natural cholesterol controllers.
What's inside each flaxseed and found in flaxseed meal could be better health, spelled F-L-A-X:
F is for Fiber. It's amazing how much fiber a little flaxseed contains. Just two tablespoons of flaxseed meal delivers 4 grams of fiber, as much fiber as 1-1/2 cups of cooked oatmeal! Studies prove that when flaxseed meal is added to the diet, harmful LDL cholesterol drops, while good HDL cholesterol stays put. Regularity improves, also.
L is for Lignans. Here's where the flaxseed story gets major points. Flaxseed contains high levels of lignans, a natural antioxidant and a member of the family of plant estrogens (Phytoestrogens). The lignans in flaxseed can maintain breast and colon health by binding circulation estrogens and other substances that might promote unchecked cell growth. Many plant foods have some lignans, but flaxseed has at least 75 times more than any other. To get the lignans that are in just two tablespoons of flaxseed meal, you'd need to eat about 30 cups of fresh broccoli.
A is for Alpha-linolenic Acid. Modern diets-even healthy ones- are routinely deficient in omega-3s. Flaxseed is a megasource for the plant version of Omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid. The oil in flaxseed is about 50 % alpha-linolenic acid. Canola and walnut oils, the next higher sources, have about 10 %. But most foods have far less. One serving of flaxseed meal contains 2400 milligrams of omega-3.
X is for EXcellent choice. Should you consider adding flaxseed meal to your diet? "Absolutely." say many doctors and nutritionists.