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Could flax seed be the next 'Wonder Food'? Benefits and recipes included

Let's talk about flax seed. Why, you ask? Simple: flax seed is not only delicious but may very well be the new "Wonder Food", and it is easy to incorporate into smoothies, baked goods, trail mixes, salads and cereals.

Homemade bread enriched with flax seed
Homemade bread enriched with flax seed
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This powerhouse is a tee-niny little seed that has been around for millenium, possibly as early as 3000 BC, says the Flax Council of Canada. Believe it or not, in the 8th century, King Charlemagne passed a law requiring his subjects to eat flax seed; now that's seriously believing in a food product.

Flax seed has tons of health benefits including:

  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids which are "good" fats, shown to have heart healthy benefits. There are about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s in each tablespoon.
  • Lignans, a property that has antioxidant qualities, as well as plant estrogen. Flax seed contains 75-800 times more Lignans than other plant foods.
  • And Fiber - good old fiber, of the soluble and insoluble variety.

Researchers have found that flax seeds' possible health benefits, such as reducing the risks of certain cancers and cardio and lung disease, while not 100% conclusive, are more than probable.

The seed has been shown to reduce total cholesterol and bad cholesterol and may also help to lower triglyceride levels, as well as blood pressure stats. And it provides fiber, which not only gives you a feeling of fullness that lasts longer, but also keeps your body moving right along - and fiber is thought to help in the fight against diseases like breast cancer.

Enough of the health and science lesson, though, let's get on to the good part; Eating! I teamed up with King Arthur Flour on this assignment, not only to test their Flax Seeds and Flax Meal, but also to try out a couple of their flax seed recipes.

Now, flax seed are good by themselves, on yogurt, over oatmeal or sprinkled in cereal or on ice cream, but the best way to eat these little buggers is by incorporating them into your healthy baked goods. And by the way, King Arthur's flax is fresh, flavorful and not too bad on the pocketbook, and you can even order flax seed grinders and mills. Check all the KA flax products on their website.

Also, make sure to follow the links below to find some recipes from King Arthur, which will give you a good start on adding these crunchy little gems to your daily diet regimen. Now, get some King Arthur Flax Seeds/Meal and get cooking!

But first, a couple of my flax seed tricks:

  • Sprinkle the seeds on top of your pizza before baking
  • Make a poppy seed dressing, substituting flax seed for the poppy seed
  • Layer flax seeds in between your lasagna noodles and use with Parmesan for a crunch topping.
  • Sprinkle over popcorn (after popping) to add nutrition and crunch to your snack!
  • Don't let your imagination be limited in dreaming up uses for these healthy tidbits

King Arthur's Sharing Bread - featuring flax seed

Oatmeal and Flax Cranberry Cookies

Flax Seed Pizza Crust

Blueberry Flax Muffins

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