IF you're going to be buying anything when you visit the health food store, flaxseeds should be the first item you pick up. Rich in fibre, this plant-based food also provides healthy fats and antioxidants that will not only keep you in optimal health, but make you lose weight as well.
Workout developer Mesha-Gaye Wright says flaxseeds are among the new wonder foods and as more and more people pay attention to a healthy lifestyle, they've been embracing these plant additions to their diet.
"The major benefit is that it's high in fibre, and fibre helps regulate your body, keep you full, and naturally leads to weight loss, shrinking belly fat, for example," Wright said. "Add in its full complement of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, B vitamins, thiamine, magnesium, and phosphorus and you have a superfood."
A 2017 study on flaxseeds consumption, published in the journal Obesity Reviews, found that supplementation of whole flaxseeds in individuals with a high body mass index may reduce body weight.
"What the fibre does is suppress your appetite and make you feel fuller and more satisfied for longer," Wright said. "That way there's less of an urge to snack as you will feel satiated. It also helps to balance your blood sugar and insulin levels, which also help with weight management."
She suggests these ways to add flax seeds to your diet.
Add to your porridges
"When you're buying flax seeds, buy the ground type instead of the whole seeds, as that's easier to use. Sprinkle it on top of your porridges and oatmeal," Wright said.
Add to your smoothies
"In the same way you use in porridges, sprinkle the ground-up seeds in your smoothies," Wright said. "If all you have are the whole seeds, you can use your blender or food processor to grind them down and store it in a canister so it's easier for you to use. Plus the ground seeds are easier to digest than the whole seeds."
In your sandwiches
Making a tuna, corned beef, or cheese sandwich? Making burgers or potato salad? Add ground flaxseeds to your mayo, mustard, salad dressing, or dipping sauce, and spread and enjoy your sandwich.
Add as a hot chocolate topping
In the same way some people enjoy a sprinkle of nutmeg to their hot chocolate or egg nog, sprinkle some flaxseeds on top of these beverages. You can even sprinkle the seeds in your whipping cream before you whip it up to top your sundaes or cold brews.
In your cookies and muffins
Whipping up a quick batch of cookies, banana bread, or muffins for dessert? Add flaxseeds to the batter or sprinkle on top directly after you take the baked goods from the oven.