Flaxseed – A Nutritional Star is Born!
The votes are in and flaxseed is poised to be the next nutritional superstar…the American Ideal of a truly healthy food!
Flaxseed achieved stardom because it contains awesome amounts of vitamin E, folate, vitamin B-6, copper, zinc, magnesium and more potassium than seven bananas!
This accomplished seed is also high in fiber and contains a high quality protein that has many “essential” amino acids that your body can’t make on its own. This makes it particularly popular if you’re trying to meet protein requirements on a vegetarian diet.
But wait… there’s more! Flaxseed contains phytochemicals called lignans, which have received much publicity for possible cancer-fighting properties. With just a tablespoon of flaxseed a day you can help:
- Fight off the risk of cancer
- Strengthen your heart
- Lower your cholesterol and blood pressure
- Regulate your bowel functions (that’s always a plus!)
- Improve the health of your skin
- Increase appetite control
Not even Simon Cowell can dispute these talents!
BrandAid Flaxseed Guidelines
Flaxseed can be purchased in three forms: whole, ground and oil. But all three do not qualify as nutritional superstars. Use these BrandAid guidelines to get the most from your flaxseed:
- Oil is the easiest to buy and consume – but it provides the least nutrition because it doesn’t have all the fiber, lignans and protein found in ground flaxseed. It’s better than nothing, but not worthy of superstar status – or the hefty price.
- Whole flaxseed can be purchased in bulk, which is super-cheap, but it must be ground to release all the awesome nutrients. Flaxseed’s hard shell keeps the nutrients locked up. You can chew on it for hours and not crack through the shell to access the goodies.
- Ground flaxseed is the real superstar here. Grinding the seed breaks up the hard, outer shell and allows your body to more easily digest all the nutrients. Pre-ground flaxseed can be purchased in the store, it’s a bit more expensive but well worth it for the convenience!
- Ground flaxseed is very perishable because it’s light sensitive, so it MUST be stored in an opaque container in the fridge or freezer. The freezer is ideal, because it’s always ready to use and will stay fresh for up to 90 days!
- If you want to buy in bulk, you can store whole flaxseed right on your kitchen counter (it will keep for years!) and just grind it when you need it. For grinding you can use your jaw (ouch!), a blender, a food processor, or a coffee grinder!
Okay, so you’ve ground your flaxseed-now what?
Flaxseed is so easy to use; you can add a sprinkle to almost anything! Add a bit to your coffee or your cereal; add an extra crunch to your yogurt or fruit smoothies. Barbecuing? Add flaxseed to hamburgers, meatloaf or potato salad!
But… before you start bathing in the stuff, take a moment to chew on this old adage: Everything in moderation.
This nutritional superstar also has a laxative effect, a result of being high in fiber. Just one ounce contains 30% of your recommended daily fiber intake!
Here’s our recommendation: If you’re new to flaxseed, start by using just a quarter-teaspoon a day, and then slowly increase your flaxseed intake to 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed a day. But no more than a couple tablespoons a day: a little bit of flaxseed goes a long way!
These varieties and brands below have met the Brand Doctor’s standards for ingredients and taste and can be found in most local grocery store chains.
Spectrum Organic Essential Ground Flaxseed
Spectrum Organic Essential Whole Flaxseed
Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed Ground
Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed Whole
Note: There are a plethora of other BestBrand flaxseed options available online and in most health food stores.
Remember, when you’re armed with a little eBrandAid know-how, you’re in control at the grocery store.
In Our Opinion: The information contained in the eBrandAid e-newsletters is strictly based on the opinions of the eBrand Doctors. We have created a set of guidelines that we believe will help shoppers to better understand and decode food labels on products found in most grocery stores. Our mission is to help shoppers find the healthier brands that have the least amount of chemicals and other junk ingredients.