Contributing Monkie Sarah Backhouse
Published on April 25, 2008
I’ve eaten flax before and thought it tasted like the sawdust that covers the floor at the circus. But as it is a superfood, I’m determined to unearth all of its amazing health-giving properties and attempt to talk my palate into trying it again. Because, filled as it is with unique nutritious qualities, flaxseed certainly deserves its superstar status.
Flaxseeds are full of lignans — “up to 800 times the amount as in any tested plant food” — which is a promising cancer fighting agent (especially breast and colon cancer). Flax consumption can help reduce total cholesterol, including the bad kind and triglycerides. Which makes it good news for the heart as well. As flax is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, it can help diabetics reduce their blood sugar levels and ease the painful inflammation associated with arthritis.
How? Flax increases immunity, helping the body to defend itself against bacteria and viruses. It also stabilizes hormones, making it a menopausal woman’s best friend. And finally, as flax is full of fiber, it fights everyone’s worst enemy, constipation.
On paper it looks good. Now on to the gastronomic conundrum: how to eat it?
For starters, always purchase whole flaxseed to ensure maximum potency. Grind at home using a coffee grinder of Balmix to unleash optimum nutrient value. Serving suggestions include: sprinkling on cereal or salad; adding a teaspoon or so to smoothies; mixing it into home-made pancakes or muffin batter; making a sweet or savory porridge; or baking flax seed foccacia style bread.
You can also consider swapping out your regular olive oil for the nuttier flaxseed oil, bearing in mind that while it may have the omega-3s, it lacks the lignans and fiber. If you’re still stuck for ideas, check out RecipeZaar’s 774 flaxseed recipes.
Whatever you do — don’t just shove a spoonful of it in your mouth. It’ll put you off flaxseed and circuses.