Sunday 14 December 2014

Flaxseed - An introduction

Flaxseed (also called linseeds; Alasi in Hindi (अलसी) and Aalivithai (ஆளிவிதை) in Tamil) is a well known super food for its abundant health benefits.

Though it has been in use since ancient times, it's only in the recent past that this wonder seed gained much of its attention! 

Flaxseed is rich in vitamins, minerals, omega - 3 fatty acids and fibre; it can also help to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and the symptoms of menopause.

Omega-3 fatty acids are important for maintaining overall health. Oily fishes are a common source of some types of omega-3, while flaxseed are an alternative for non-fish eaters. Flaxseed is an excellent source of the omega 3 fatty acid alpha linolenic acid (ALA).

Whole flax seed are inexpensive and sold at natural-food stores as well as some Indian grocery stores.

Whole flaxseed will pass through without being digested, so be sure to buy them ground or grind them yourself with a coffee or spice grinder.

Store flaxseed in airtight container, as moisture will cause the flax seed to spoil.

It's better to refrigerate and use, if you are going to store for longer periods.

Already ground flaxseed meal is also available in stores. You can add the ground flaxseed into wheat flour and prepare chapathi, cereal, yogurt, smoothies or sprinkle them generously on top of salads, soups and also in baked goodies.

Flaxseed is found in all kinds of today's foods from crackers to frozen waffles to oatmeal.

There is no set dose for consuming flaxseed; however, start in small amounts and check with your doctor before adding flaxseed to your regular diet.

Soon I will be posting some recipes using flaxseed; so stay tuned!

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