Where do I begin talking about the many benefits of flaxseed? It’s surprising how much goodness a tiny seed can bring to the overall optimum functioning of the human body. From brain development, to eye health, cardiovascular and immunity support, great for joints, muscles, bones, hair, skin and nails, not forgetting digestive health – the list is endless!
Linwoods kindly sent me a variety of different products to try, and loving a good food related challenge, I set about looking for ways to incorporate this healthy seed into as many different tasty meal ideas as possible!
I have always sprinkled Linwoods flaxseed on my breakfast to give myself a healthy kick-start to the day. And you can read more about the many benefits of breakfast, especially with the addition of Linwoods Flaxseed with Probiotic & Vitamin D added in the mix on my previous post: The Importance of Good Nutrition: Breakfast
Slow cooking stews
A few weeks ago, we treated ourselves to a slow cooker, which has proven fantastic for making quick & easy nutritional meals with little effort. I added a sachet of flaxseed & goji berries into my curried butternut squash & lentil stew for an additional superfood health-kick. Goji berries are powerful little berries native to China. In fact many Asians eat goji berries to increase longevity, an ingredient often occurring in Chinese medicine for this very reason. Goji berries are rich in antioxidants, protecting the liver and kidneys, they aid in circulation, even releasing the hormone HGH (Human Growth Hormone) responsible for making us look & feel younger! You can find more recipes for Vegetarian & Vegan Stews, Soups & Broths here.
Flaxseed makes a superb nutritional addition to smoothies. The seeds have a high dietary fibre content supporting good digestive health, along with that they are also an excellent source of Omega-3, essential for heart health lowering LDL cholesterol. One type of Omega-3 present in flaxseed called Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is said to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease whilst found to be beneficial for the prevention and treatment of a variety of cardiovascular disorders including heart attacks and stroke.
The lignans are the fibres found in flaxseed and their role is to aid in regulating the body’s estrogen production which in turn helps reduce the risk of breast, prostate and colon cancers, and cardiovascular disease.
Who said sweet treats needed to be unhealthy? I made myself Gluten Free Almond Butter & Pumpkin Seed Cornflake Cakes with added Flaxseed Cocoa & Berries, and they tasted delicious. The best thing about them is that every ingredient is good for you, which unlike some cakes that are heavily laden with butter and heaps of sugar. Cocoa is loaded with antioxidants …“This delicious mix of ground Flaxseed, Cocoa, Strawberries and Blueberries contains Flavanols which are highly effective antioxidants that may help maintain a healthy heart and efficient circulation throughout the body.”
There is only 1.1g of sugar and 1.2g of saturated fat in this mix, which you would be hard pushed to find in any other form of chocolate. And who would have thought eating a Cornflake cake would provide you with a good dose of omega-3, fibre, vitamin B1, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and selenium…
If you are wondering what this it, it’s kale chips with olive oil, curry power and hemp seeds, and they tasted pretty damn good. If you like crunchy seaweed you will like this healthy little snack, which took me only 10 minutes to prepare & bake. What is hemp (and most importantly, will it make me high?) Although hemp comes from a variety of Cannabis plant, it contains very low to no levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) – the active ingredient in marijuana that makes you high. So Linwoods hemp is used purely for its nutritional value and not for any kind of mind altering purposes…
“Linwoods Shelled Hemp contains all the essential amino acids that our bodies need but cannot make. These amino acids are the building blocks of Protein and are important for the growth of muscles and skin.” On top of that, hemp seeds are excellent for vegetarians and vegans as they provide a natural source of iron (21% of your RDA), vital for the production of healthy blood cells, transporting oxygen & boosting energy. Hemp also contains 39% of your RDA of magnesium, supporting healthy bones, muscles, nerve function and energy metabolism. And like the other Linwood flaxseed varieties it is high in fibre, omega-3, and protein whilst being low in sugar.
Finding ways to add Linwoods flaxseed into everyday ideas has proved very fun indeed… on Sunday afternoon I made Cinnamon Vanilla Popcorn with Flaxseed, Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds to go with our film. Popcorn, if made yourself, can be a very tasty and nutritious snack. Forget cinema popcorn which is drizzled in toffee, heavy in sugar and saturated with fat – instead make your own in a few minutes & add your own healthy ingredients!
Sunflower seeds are an excellent source of Vitamin E, an antioxidant that travels through the body neutralising free radicals aiding in the prevention of cancer – Linwoods flaxseed, sunflower & pumpkin seeds provides 25% of your Vitamin E intake per 30g serving. Healthy skin, hair, nails and bone density are all benefited by increasing your Vitamin E intake. Add to that the pumpkin seeds and you have a healthy dose of zinc, an immunity & energy level booster, mixed in with a source of iron, omega-3, protein & fibre! All round, a guilt-free nutritious snack… now all you have to worry about is picking a good film…