Here’s a humble food that can make a significant impact in your health. This tiny seed packs a lot of important nutrition into a small package. These seeds are especially good for women’s health issues and any inflammatory conditions. Eating them is one of those small habits that you can incorporate daily to make a big difference in how you feel!
I’m talking about flaxseeds. How are they so beneficial? To begin with, flaxseeds contain lignans, which are plant-based phytoestrogrens that can either enhance or inhibit estrogen’s affects in the body. In other words, flaxseeds can help to balance your estrogen levels naturally, regardless of whether they are too high or too low. In women who are in their reproductive years, flaxseeds can balance estrogen dominance, and potentially aid in treating infertility, menstrual problems, breast tenderness, acne and premenstrual syndromes. In post-menopausal women, flaxseeds can cause the body to produce less active forms of estrogen, which may reduce breast cancer risk. In addition to the lignans they contain, flaxseeds are also rich in alpha-linolenic acid, a type of omega-3 fat that has been linked to suppression of breast cancer cells, and even cause breast cancer cell death.
Flaxseeds can also aid in reducing inflammation in the body. Like asprin, omega-3 fats boost production of a recently discovered class of anti-inflammatory fats called resolvins. These in turn inhibit the activity of inflammatory cells. Flaxseeds may benefit those suffering from osteoarthritis, RA and other forms of chronic inflammation which can inflame organs as well as joints.
Flaxseeds are also a rich source of fiber. Fiber feeds the good bacteria that reside in the gut, and can flip off the appetite switch. Fiber prevents fat from forming inside your belly, inhibits blood sugar rushes, allows us to eat saturated fats without the increased risk of heart attack or stroke. Fiber also stimulates satisfaction and sleep hormones. Flaxseeds can treat chronic constipation and help to bulk up the stools, effectively cleaning out the colon in a gentle manner.
Just 1-2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed meal daily can deliver results. Most people begin to notice benefits after taking it for at least a month. Flaxseed is best bought as whole seeds and ground as needed in a coffee grinder. If this is not practical, flaxseed meal can be purchased and stored in the refrigerator or freezer to protect the delicate fats from rancidity.
Ground flaxseeds can be combined with fresh minced rosemary, garlic powder and enough water to make a dough, rolled out thinly and then baked until crispy like a cracker. You can also stir ground flaxseeds into oatmeal or any cooked grains to thicken the porridge. Flaxseeds are also easily added to a smoothie. Try blending flaxseeds, cacao powder, instant espresso powder and Greek yogurt for a healthy mocha smoothie.
You can also try this gluten-free, high protein, blueberry muffin recipe:
Blueberry Flax Muffins
1 c. ground flaxseed meal
3/4 c. almond flour
1/4 c. brown rice flour
1/2 T. baking soda
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. salt
1/3 c. plain Greek yogurt
5 T. maple syrup
1 c. blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flaxseed meal, almond flour, rice flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add in the egg, yogurt and maple syrup and mix well. Gently fold in the blueberries.
Spoon into 8 muffin cups coated with coconut oil, or muffin liners.
Bake for 20 min, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove muffins and let cool on a wire rack.
You can also find a great hormone-balancing smoothie recipe that incorporates flaxseed plus other beneficial ingredients on this page!