Add a Nutritional Boost to Your Family’s Diet With Flaxseed
As a mom and the primary cook in our household, I’m always looking for ways to make the meals that I serve more nutritious. Adding a little bit of ground flaxseed is one quick and easy way to do this.
Flaxseed is a whole grain that is low in carbohydrates. It will add three important things to your family’s diet: fiber, lignans, and omega-3s. Fiber helps to regulate the digestive system and is known to maintain healthy levels of HDL cholesterol while reducing harmful levels of LDL cholesterol.
Lignans are a natural source of antioxidants, which help to eliminate free radicals in the body. According to WebMD, free radicals are often linked to heart disease, cancer, and other medical conditions such as diabetes.
Omega-3s, also called alpha linolenic acids, are proven to increase healthy brain development in children and reduce the symptoms of childhood conditions such as ADHD, asthma, and depression. There is also evidence that omega-3s may lower the risks of cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, and many other ailments.
Here are some foods that I add flaxseed to as a way to enhance my family’s diet.
Baked Goods –
I add flax to pancakes, muffins, or bread. I usually just add a few tablespoons to the batters, but you can also use flax as an egg substitute. To do this, combine 1 Tbsp. of flax with 3 Tbsp. of water, and then add the mixture to your batter instead of an egg.
We sometimes sprinkle flax onto cold breakfast cereal, but my children prefer it in hot oatmeal to which we may also add raisins, dried cranberries, or fresh berries.
Meat Dishes –
I especially like to use flax in spaghetti, chili, or in taco meat. My kids don’t even know it’s in there!
We are huge fans of smoothies, and they are the most frequent way that I incorporate flaxseed into our diets. Try my family’s favorite smoothie recipe. Adjust ingredient amounts to suit your tastes.
1 Cup Skim or 1% Milk
1 Cup Vanilla Yogurt
3-4 Frozen Strawberries (Blueberries and raspberries also work well.)
2 Tbsp. Ground Flaxseed
1-2 Tsp. Peanut Butter (optional)
2-3 Ice Cubes (optional)