Dr. Alicia Stanton, an integrative medicine physician and author of Hormone Harmony and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hormone Weight Loss, says the oil in flaxseeds is the richest plant source of healthy omega-3 fats, which are necessary for the function of every cell. These healthy fats help reduce inflammation, balance hormones, protect against mood swings and depression, and prevent heart disease, diabetes, and inflammatory diseases like arthritis. The superfood is also high in fiber and can help relieve constipation.
Stanton suggests eating 1 to 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds or flaxseed oil daily to reap maximum health benefits. Try adding toasted flaxseeds to salads, soups, and sandwiches for a pleasant crunch. Stanton adds that while flaxseed oil has the highest concentration of the plant's omega-3 fats, it has a low smoke point so it's not recommended for cooking but is good for smoothies, salad dressings, and other foods. Here are a few ways to eat flaxseeds that we're especially fond of right now:
1. Coat your chicken with flax: Jennifer Tuma-Young, a recovered yo-yo dieter who lost more than 100 pounds and bonafide food expert, loves flaxseeds. "Not only are they amazing for your body with powerful antioxidant properties (to help prevent cancer, boost your immune system, and more!), their high-fiber content aids digestion and omega-3 fatty acids keep your heart healthy," she says. They're also a simple, healthy, delicious 'slip in' to almost any meal-flaxseed has a delicate, nutty flavor that does not overpower!For Tuma-Young, a tablespoon of it in oatmeal, cereal, or even a fruit smoothie or protein shake is an easy way to make it a part of your daily diet. She also suggests adding it to the coating of your chicken dishes , coconut-crusted tilapia, or eggplant parm-the healthy kind of parm, that is.
2. Make your french toast fab with flax: Tuma-Young also rolls flaxseeds into her French toast before it hits the skillet. It's a super simple way to boost the health benefits of Sunday brunch .
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3. Put flaxseeds in foods you already eat: "Flaxseeds are tiny but powerful. Don't underestimate these little guys," says Alyssa Phillips, a physician's assistant with a degree in nutrition. "They have one of the biggest 'bang for your buck' around with their abundantly high fiber (helps with weight loss and intestinal health), phytochemicals/antioxidants (including ligans, which help to balance female hormones and can possibly prevent breast cancer and Type 2 diabetes), and Omega-3 fatty acids (fights inflammation ) content!"
To make it a part of your diet, Phillips suggests adding it to stuff you already eat. For instance, you can try mixing it into your meatloaf, meatball, and casserole recipes, Phillips says.
4. Make pumpkin bread with flaxseeds: Since it's that time of year, Phillips suggests adding flaxseeds to your pumpkin bread recipe. That way, not only will you be eating your way to health, you'll be sharing the flaxseed love with your family!
5. Replace eggs with flaxseeds: For any recipe that calls for eggs, Danielle Omar, a registered dietitian with a private practice in D.C., suggests swapping in flaxseeds. "Use 2 tablespoons of flax with 2 tablespoons of water to replace one egg," she says.
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