May 3, 2010

Flax- A Health Benefit

I am usually reading lot of information on healthy eating and recipes. I love the challenge of keeping my family healthy and doing what I can in order to insure my family is feeling their best.

One thing that I have added to our diets, in a pretty seamless way, is Flax. I have mentioned before that in adding any new healthy ingredient into our diets, namely whole wheat, sometimes can be hard. Which is OK. There are ways to slowly get into things, and we don't have to jump all at once. In fact, with somethings, slowly easing into the "new" can be easier on your body too.

Like Flax. Adding flax seed to your diet, you need to make sure your body can adjust. You can insure this by having adequate amounts of water in your diet.

A while back, I picked up some flax seed in our local bulk foods store. I started adding it into baked items. And no one even knew the difference. The only thing different I noticed was a new more golden color with my bread. It was beautiful!

Flax is a wonderful source of Omega-3Fatty Acids (good for brain, eyes, heart and nerves), and for fiber. About 4 tablespoons of ground flax seed meal has about 6 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber.

I have been adding ground flax seed to just about everything I bake, and it hasn't changed anything much. I haven't had to change other ingredients to try to balance out the flax seed. I actually have been just dumping it in. For my grandmother bread recipe, I add approximately 1/2 C. to the regular recipe.

How can you add this to your diet? Well, a bag of flax seed isn't very expensive. You can usually get them at a bulk food or health store. You can buy ground flax, but you can lose vitamins and minerals the longer it has been ground. It can also go bad quicker. If you buy whole flax seed, you can grind the seeds in a coffee grinder. ( I am going to be reviewing a coffee grinder from CSN Stores, an online retailer that sells everything from baby cribs to cookware. It has different levels of coarseness for grinding which will be nice.) This is going to be the best way to have flax, and add the most health benefits to your diet.

**Make sure you also have a good amount of water in your diet also. Watch that children who are eating food with extra flax in it or extra fiber in general, are getting adequate amounts of water.

I am not a doctor, and I can only tell you what I have done for my family. Please don't do anything because someone else has done it! DO the research YOURSELF! There is a LOT of info on Flax and flax seed in your diet. Please check it out. HERE is a good resource for info.

Step by step, you CAN make changes that are habit. And make a greater effort to be healthier. Flax is a great (secret!) way you can move in that directions with your family!


Sara A Broers said...

Nice post and helpful information.

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

Sarah, I've heard something about not heating flax seed oil. Is this only for the oil? I've avoided adding ground flax seed to baked goods because I thought it would loose it's nutrient value. Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Has somebody been watching Oprah?

Sarah said...

Anonymous- Actually, not an Oprah fan, plus we don't have TV channels.

Amy- I have only heard about flax losing nutrients when it has been ground for a while. But that IS something to look into! If you find anything out, let me know. All I have read says baking with flax seed is good for you... but it WOULD be interesting to see if it is only the oil or not.

Megan said...

I've just started doing this in the last week or so!! You definitely can't tell and I've read nothing but good things too!!

I didn't realize it had that much fiber!! Double win!!

Another thing I've started to add is wheat bran... It has 7 g. fiber per 1/4 cup (double whole wheat flour) Check into it, it also is very hard to tell it's there!

I added 1/2 cup wheat bran and 1/2 cup ground flax to my grandmother bread this morning. I then used high gluten flour and it was beautiful!!

love these little secrets!!

Anonymous said...

Oprah had a show a while back that they talked about how good flax seed was for you. I had never even heard of flax until that show.
How do you grind your seeds do you have a grain mill? Do you think a coffee grinder would work?

Sarah said...

Anon- I don't have a grain mill. I am going to get a coffee grinder for the major reason of using it for the flax (hubby has been wanting to get whole bean organic coffee too). My MIL has used her coffee grinder for them and she has a normal (not a fancy, expensive) coffee grinder.

Up until now, I have had to buy already ground flax. You can keep it better in the refrigerator. But we are still loosing nutrients. SO we are going to be getting the whole from now on!

Anonymous said...

I seen some lady on Youtube use a grain mill to make corn meal for corn bread out of pop corn kernels.
That got me wanting one but the nicer ones are out of my budget for a while.

Holly said...

You should also sprout your flax seeds before you grind them.The sprout has an exceptional nutrient value (vitamins and enzymes) that are sometimes completely absent (otherwise present in minute amounts)in unsprouted seeds. the sprout shows up only big enough to be seen, then you can let it dry, and then grind it.
Just a thought.
-Oprah ;)