SUPERFOOD: FLAX SEEDS
By Stefanie Cassetto
Everybody looks for ways to boost their brain-power. This week’s superfood will help you get the edge you need for quick thinking, and a memory you rely on. Flax seeds are loaded with omega 3’s—one of the important nutrients for a healthy brain.
Omega 3’s are fatty acids that are good for you. When eaten in appropriate amounts these fatty acids can be key players in health promotion and disease prevention. These healthy fats help prevent a range of medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, depression, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. Omega 3’s also contribute to memory and cognition, clear skin, and increased energy. The three most nutritionally important omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Flaxseeds are a great source of alpha-linolenic acid.
These seeds, a little larger than sesame seeds, boast a earthy, nutty flavor and while they are an excellent source of omega 3’s, they also have a healthy amount of dietary fiber, manganese, folate, and vitamin B6. Flaxseeds are also loaded with the minerals magnesium, phosphorus, and copper.
Including flaxseeds in your diet has been directly linked to bone health, protection against heart disease, prostate cancer and diabetes, as well as controlling high blood pressure and lowering cholesterol. There has also been research that shows that as little as one ounce of flaxseed each day can promote women’s health and hormonal balance.
These tiny seeds that pack a powerful nutritional punch can be found year round at your local grocery store, pre-packaged or in bulk. Ground flaxseeds and flaxseed oil also carry the nutritional benefits of regular flaxseeds and can be found at the grocery store. Make sure you always check dates and freshness and never cook with flaxseed oil. It should be added to foods after they have already been cooked.
Flaxseeds can be added to homemade baked goods, or used to increase the nutritional value of a breakfast shake. They can be sprinkled on top of yogurt or cereal or tossed with steamed vegetables. Ground flaxseeds are easier to digest and easier to add into recipes.
With flaxseeds, you can change your health and boost your brainpower with just a small amount each day. Check out flaxseeds the next time you are at the store and continue your journey towards more healthy living.
SHAVED ASPARAGUS SALAD
- 1 bunch asparagus with medium-size stalks
- lemon tahini dressing
- Sunflower seeds (replace with Flax seeds and Chia seeds)
- Shredded aged white cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper
Wash and dry the asparagus stalks. With a vegetable peeler, peel slivers off the asparagus until the stalk won’t yield anymore. (Usually, as the stalks thin, they’ll break off and become irascible.) Repeat with all the stalks of asparagus.
Drizzle lemon tahini dressing over the top. Toss the salad with your hands, coating all the asparagus with the dressing. Add the sunflower (and/or flax) seeds and cheese, in the amount that suits you best. Taste, then season with salt and pepper, if you need it.