You will never hear me tell you about a “magic” pill or potion, because that simply doesn’t exist. Improving your fitness level, your health, and losing or maintaining your body weight will best be achieved through maintaining a healthier lifestyle. In order to be successful, you will have to put in some consistent effort, and you will need to be disciplined. The GOOD news is that it is NOT impossible, and it honestly isn’t as hard as some people believe. There are some “super foods” that can help us achieve and maintain a healthier lifestyle!
Let’s look at a true super food that nature gives us – NO chemicals or preservatives required!! It’s flaxseed! You can find it in many forms – ground, whole seed, and oil. The whole seed is the only form not recommended, simply because the hull stays intact, and digestion does not take the nutrients. Either ground flaxseed or flax oil can easily be added into your favorite recipes. It’s SO easy! I mix it into my protein coffee in the mornings.
Flaxseed has multiple benefits. I researched several resources – WebMD, Cleveland Clinic, HealthLine, BetterMe, and Women’s Health to find that they all agree on the top benefits. These are:
- Omega 3 essential fatty acids: These are the “good” fats that have been proven to improve heart health.
- Prevent cancer: Many recent studies show that flaxseed may have protective effects against certain cancer cells. The plant omega 3 fatty acid found in flaxseed inhibited tumor growth in some studies.
- Lignans: These have both antioxidant and estrogen properties.
- Helps prevent Cardiovascular disease: The plant omega 3 fatty acids are at work again! Flaxseed also has anti-inflammatory properties that aid in normalizing the heart beat. Newer research shows that flaxseed also can aid in lowering blood pressure AND cholesterol. There have also been studies showing that diets which include flaxseed omega 3’s aid in preventing the hardening of arteries!
- Helps decrease inflammation: Two components in flaxseed, ALA and lignans, may help reduce the inflammation that accompanies certain illnesses.
- Helps decrease hot flashes: Many studies have proven that the addition of flaxseed decreases not only the occurrence of hot flashes, but also the severity. I can attest to this personally. I am post menopausal, but recently I felt “under siege” with hot flashes. My personal research and discussions with dieticians and nutritional experts convinced me to add flaxseed into my daily diet. It may take up to two weeks to feel the full result, but it definitely works! Initially I added 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed into my protein coffee. I’m now using flaxseed oil. I have seen a definite decline in how often the hot flashes occur, as well as in how severe and how long they last. I definitely recommend the use of flaxseed – if for no other reason than help with these!
- Boosts immunity: Flaxseeds are a great source of magnesium, which is a mineral essential for the proper function of our nervous system. It also helps regulate our blood sugar levels, and can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and even migraine headaches. If you’re experiencing any of the following, you may have a magnesium deficiency – diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, insomnia, and migraines. Try adding in some flaxeed!
- Promotes weight loss: Due to the high fiber content of flaxseed, it can help improve your gut health and help you feel fuller when you eat. This also helps prevent constipation and keep your digestive system working properly.
So, flaxseed sounds amazing, doesn’t it?! Are you ready to add a little into your daily routine, but wondering how? There are so, so many fabulous options! Try adding either the ground flaxseed or flax oil in any or all of these options:
- Protein shakes or smoothies
- Sprinkled into yogurt
- Sprinkled over a salad or into salad dressing
- Baked into muffins or breads
- Add it into soups or stews
- Add into casseroles
- Add into oatmeal
- Mix into water and drink
- Mix into coffee
Give flaxseed a try! Just remember to use either the ground flaxseed or the oil rather than the whole seed. No, flaxseed alone won’t change your life. However, it will certainly aid in improving many areas of your health and in maximizing your efforts in cleaning up your nutrition! Make sure you keep consistent workouts in the mix, and you are well on your way to your best self!
If you find that you want or need any additional help or support with your exercise or nutrition, I would love to help you! Your health is definitely a wise investment – for your family as well as for yourself!