Get the skinny on Flax! Fabulous flaxseed- all fats are not created equal.

One of the best attributes of flaxseed is it is one of the richest sources of omega-3 fats in plant-derived foods.

Most people, if they have listened to industry and advertising would think that fats need to be limited to prevent heart disease and negative effects on cholesterol, however nothing could be farther from the truth.  All fats are not created equal.  Our brains are 70% fat!  We need lots of good healthy fat to fuel our brains efficiently, ward off the onset of Dementia and Alzheimer’s, absorb fat soluble vitamins- A, D and E and much more.  Fats are not only good for us- fats are exceptional!  Adding fat to each and every meal is key.   You will need a bit of guidance from a health professional when you embark on your new lifestyle of fatty foods, so be sure to talk to someone about the type of fats there are and what ones you should be having. 

Omega 3 fats found in flaxseed Chia seeds other vegetarian sources and Salmon for example are probably the most important fats to focus on, as the ratio of Omega 3: Omega 6 fats is well out of balance for most of the general public, people are getting an almost 20:1 out of balance consumption from the foods we eat.  20 parts omega 6 and 1-part omega 3- which is terrible.  4:1 is ideal.   So do your best to understand the importance of your poly unsaturated fats, mono unsaturated fats and saturated fats- these are all excellent sources of fats, unlike your trans fats, triglycerides & hydrogenated fats.

So back to flax-  not only is flaxseed full of healthy omega 3 ALA fats, flax has another outstanding health benefit that helps launch it well into the nutritional troposphere-   Lignans.    Lignans are plant derived compounds that, when eaten, act like weak versions of the hormone estrogen.  These compounds called phytoestrogens are beneficial in offsetting the unpleasant physical manifestations of menopause, particularly night sweats and hot flushes.  Flaxseeds are also the richest known source or Lignans in the entire plant kingdom and have been known to help fight against cancer.

When purchasing flaxseeds- you are best to purchase the seeds and keep them in an airtight glass container in the fridge- a mason jar is easy.   Then as you need your flaxseed, you can grind it up in your little coffee grinder on demand.   You don’t want to grind it all up at once, as the grinding of the flax seed eat time you require flax meal for your breakfasts, smoothies, soups or salads will crack open- oxygenate the fatty acids on the inside of the shell- oxidation is a natural occurrence when anything touches oxygen, foods start to lose their nutritive qualities, and in the case of flaxseed- it is the omega 3 fatty acids that start to deteriorate as soon as you have ground them- so grind fresh each time you need them.

Keep in mind that flax in high in fibre-another great quality, this means that it will soak up a lot of liquid, so if you are using it as a healthy thickener is your soups etc, add it at the very end.

How to use your flaxseed- Recipe ideas

Berry Flax Supreme
1 cup of nut milk
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup of frozen organic berries
2 tablespoons of flaxseed- fresh ground
Berry Cream
1 cup of nut milk
60grams of Silken Tofu
1/2 cup frozen vanilla yogurt- dairy free
1/2 Cup Frozen Raspberries
2 tablespoons of Chia Seed
2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed
Antho buster berry smoothie
1 1/4 cups of nut milk
1/2 frozen banana
50 grams of frozen Acai (Amazonia have frozen Acai in 100grams portions available at selected stores)
1/2 cup of Greek natural yogurt
2 Tablespoons ground flaxseed
Blueberry flax pancakes
2 cups of buckwheat flour
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 cup of ground flaxseed
1 whole egg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup of organic blueberry’s
Smoothies and pancakes are just the tip of the flaxseed when it comes to recipes.   Flax will make a super healthy gluten free pizza dough mixed with other flour.  Are a staple in any healthy cook’s vinaigrettes.  Flaxseed crackers are a winner if you have a dehydrator.  Sprinkle ground flaxseeds onto your salads, mix into meatballs or soups to thicken without using the usual gluten filled flours available.
One of my favourites:   Coating for meats
Seasoned Flour-
1/2 cup all-purpose gluten free flour
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Egg Wash-
1 egg beaten
1/4 cup milk
Flax Breading-
1/2 cup of gluten free bread crumbs
1/2 cup of ground flaxseed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh parsley- or dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning salt
First, coat your food with seasoned flour, then dip in egg wash, and lastly apply the breading.
Your chicken, pork, veal, beef or turkey is now battered in a healthy season and ready to slightly pan fry.

At the end of the day- you need to remember one thing… gastro intestinal inflammation?!   Flaxseeds, unlike the soft gelatinous consistency of chia seeds, have a hard to crack outer shell.   Considering most of us are suffering with a reduced ability to absorb nutrients as it is (speak to your Nutritionist or Naturopath) the digestion – proper digestion, of flaxseed is difficult.  Those hard outer shells will either get caught in your small or large intestine- with the ability to cause inflammation and in some chronic cases, that inflammation of your fermenting flaxseed can cause diverticulitis.  We have 25ft of intestine… Flaxseed is easily caught up and left to ferment.  Or, rather than getting stuck, the seeds are so hard that they can go sailing on through your intestine, with no absorption or breakdown and no nutritional benefit what so ever and pass out via your back end!