Healthy Ingredient Spotlight: Flax Seed
Welcome to a new month, as well as a new feature on a key ingredient in our exceptionally delicious vegan protein and nutrition bars – focusing on the amazing benefits of the flax seed. First cultivated in the Babylonian area at about 3000 BC, flax seed was quickly discovered to be an easy to grow, nutritious, grain-like food that packed a powerful nutritional punch. By adding flax seed to your diet you can feel healthier and help your body fight off disease. Here’s what flax seed can do:
Recent studies have indicated that the Omega-3 fatty acids found in flax seed helped to reduce tumor occurrence and growth. Additionally, the lingans that occur in flax seeds can help to protect against certain hormone-sensitive cancers without causing interference with drug treatments. The lingans are thought to block the enzymes related to hormone metabolism which aids in reducing the spread and growth of tumor cells.
The plant omega-3 fatty acids found in flax seed are also thought to be great for helping maintain heart health – by lowering blood pressure, reducing and preventing plaque deposits, and helping to treat heart arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat), as well as reducing cholesterol levels. That’s a lot of benefits for one little seed!
Diabetes and Inflammation
There is some information suggesting that lingans may help to improve blood sugar levels, but more research is needed before this can be confirmed. However, there is definite data to indicate that flax seeds can help those suffering from inflammatory illnesses, including asthma, arthritis, and Parkinson’s disease.
As little as two tablespoons of flax seed per day can reduce the hot flashes associated with menopause by as much as 50%, and can also reduce the intensity of each episode. In just one week of adding flax seed to your diet you can see an improvement and achieve full benefits in only two weeks.
Besides getting a dose of flax seed in our Plant Protein Power, you can add flax seed to just about any meal. Flax seed comes as the full seed, or you can get it pre-ground (or grind it yourself) to get the full nutritional benefit. The ground version can be labeled “milled,” ground,” or “flax meal” and are all the same. You can add flax seed to smoothies, oatmeal, soups, salads, chili, or any other dish. For those who do not eat eggs, you can replace eggs in a recipe by making a "flax egg". Just add 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed to 3 tablespoons of water and in a few minutes, you'll get a gelatinous mixture similar to an egg. You can also easily incorporate ground flax seed in baking by taking out an equal portion of flour (up to ½ a cup per recipe).
Plant Protein Power!
In addition to the health benefits mentioned above, flax seed is a great source of plant protein! Our vegan Plant Protein Power contains 5,000 mg of organic flax seed and 22 grams of protein. And you can choose from vanilla or chocolate to add a delicious vegan protein boost to your smoothies! Learn more about Plant Protein Power here. Photo: AlishaV