Lots of people ask me about healthy foods and which ones they should check out. Flaxseed is one that's at the top of my list. It's a real food that's easy to find, not expensive, tasty, and offers a host of health benefits, including terrific fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3s. (Have you seen those omega-3 eggs now offered in markets? The omegas get in the eggs because the hens are fed ... you guessed it ... flaxseed!)
It's the easiest food in the world to work into a daily diet: I simply dump 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed onto my morning cereal or oatmeal. (Note that you have to grind the seeds -- I use a coffee grinder, or buy preground flaxseed meal from Bob's Red Mill. The whole seeds pass right through the digestive system. Either kind needs to be kept refrigerated.) Aside from keeping me "regular," I swear it's made my hair stronger and shinier, too!
I asked fellow mom and nutritionist Keri Glassman, author of The Snack Factor Diet, about how to use flaxseed. She replied:
"Flax can be incorporated into any meal, at any time. Flax is easy to add to foods you already are eating every day. Sprinkle it on your morning cereal [see, what did I tell you?], in your smoothie, and over salads or fruit. It also can be added to soups, pasta sauces, or your favorite baked goods. With February and Heart Health month, it’s important for us to think about foods that decrease our risk of heart disease. Studies have shown flax may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and lower blood pressure. Add 2 tbsp. of flax to your daily routine by sprinkling it on everything!"
Many food products now add flaxseed to increase their nutrients, so look for it on labels of cereal, bread, pasta, chips, etc. And for flaxseed recipes (and a wealth of information), visit this well-designed website: www.healthyflax.com.