I’ve noticed that a lot of times when new “trends” emerge, they turn out to be something that’s been available for a long time; people simply weren’t aware or making use of it. A good example of this is flax seeds. I recently bought a mini blender that doubles as a tumbler. It charges through USB, takes 30 seconds to clean and will grind almost anything. But more to come on THAT in another post. Today, I want to talk about flax seeds…
Mornings for me have a tendency to be rushed. Once my alarm goes off, I usually hit the ground running to prepare lunches for myself and my son Nathan, shave, shower and get dressed before rushing out the door. This usually leaves me with very little time to consume anything for breakfast. Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re going to say; I could just get up a bit earlier. I hear that a lot and I honestly don’t get what people have against sleeping in. But I digress…
The bottom line is that I’ve been trying to find something to kickstart my day that ISN’T simply grabbing a protein bar or eating take out food. So, I’ve started making smoothies in the morning. Five minutes to throw some fruit, milk, flax seed and whatever else I want into the blender and I’m off to the races. Almost literally. But I can gulp down the smoothie while I get ready for my day, making it practical and quick.
I make reference to the concept of people thinking something old is new because there’s a lot of hype in nutrition circles surrounding flax seed, for all of its health benefits. But according to an article posted by WebMD, “Flaxseed was cultivated in Babylon as early as 3000 BC.” It’s been around for quite some time and the health benefits were suspected as early as the 8th century when King Charlemagne passed laws requiring his subjects to consume it because he believed so strongly in how good it was.
Flax seed is found in a lot of different foods as an ingredient. But you can purchase flax seed itself either ground up or in whole form, although most sources I’ve read recommend consuming the ground up version since the whole seeds are harder to digest. But there are a ton of benefits and I’ll list a few of them here. I got most of them from a list posted by HealthLine.com, but some are simply what I’ve observed.
First and foremost, flax seed is loaded with good stuff that your body needs, including fibre and omega-3. But they also have all sorts of nutrients and good stuff to help your body along. The fibre aspect is a big win for me, and flax seed has lots of it. In fact, flax seed apparently has soluble and insoluble fibre, helping you feel full for longer, reduce the amount of glucose released in the body and keeps those bowel movements on the regular.
Good digestive health is important for weight loss, fitness, overall health and blood sugar control. I know that I don’t consume as much fibre as I should, and this has become an easy way for me to increase my intake. But flax seed has also shown the potential for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure; two things that I currently take “preventative” pills for, every morning.
Flax seed also packs a decent amount of plant-based protein and since the fibre aspect helps keep hunger at bay by making you feel full for longer, it can potentially help with a bit of weight loss since you may not snack as frequently if you still feel full. I like it because it adds a bit of a nutty flavour to my smoothies, it’s reasonably inexpensive for a lot of it and it covers off a bunch of aspect one might want from any meal, all consumed within a glass of liquid.
It’s only been about a week, so I can’t boast that I’m seeing all these results from consuming a shake every morning. But what I can say is that with about a half dozen blueberries, a cup of milk, a tablespoon of flax seed and a pinch of Splenda for sweetness, I’ve enjoyed working through my mornings without feeling hungry or snacking. It also prevents my bad habit of skipping breakfast all together, which helps with proper blood sugar control and helps me get on with my day with a bit more energy. Flax seed… the 3,000-year old “new” superfood. ☯️