Flaxseed is a great diet addition if you are looking to reduce your risk for heart disease. Flaxseed is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, and phytochemical lignans.
Flax is an option for individuals that dislike fish, but want to boost their intake of omega 3 fatty acids which are known to decrease heart disease risk by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Also, the fiber content makes meals “heavier” so you feel full longer, decreasing your likelihood to overeat. The fiber also promotes a lower LDL cholesterol level. Lignans found in flaxseed have been linked to cancer protection.
Aim for adding 1 teaspoon of flax oil to your diet each day or 1 tablespoon of milled flax. Adding flax to your diet is very simple. Here are a few options:
1. Flaxseed must be ground in order for your body to utilize the omega 3 fatty acids within, so buy your flaxseed ground and add to cereal, yogurt, salads, baked goods, and hot dishes. You are able to grind whole flaxseed with a coffee grinder or blender. Be sure to keep ground flaxseed refrigerated
2. Flax oil can be used as part of a salad dressing or in recipes that call for oil. Flax oil contains the beneficial omega 3’s, but no fiber.
3. Use flaxseed as a recipe substitute for fat and eggs. Substitute 3 tablespoons ground flax for 1 tablespoon butter, shortening, or vegetable oil. To use flax in place of eggs, mix 1 tablespoon ground flax with 3 tablespoons water and let mixture set until gel like (1-2 minutes). Use mixture in place of 1 egg.
Lisa Nelson RD, a registered dietitian since 1999, provides clients step-by-step guidance to lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure, so they can live life and enjoy their family for years to come. Because her own health is the foundation of her expertise, you can trust that Lisa will make it truly possible for you to see dramatic changes in your health, without unrealistic fads or impossibly difficult techniques. She can be found on Twitter @lisanelsonrd and Facebook at hearthealthmadeeasy.