Smoothies are not just for fruits and greens anymore. For health nuts, athletes, people with busy schedules, and kids alike, smoothies have been a go-to breakfast, snack, and meal replacement.
It is no wonder that they serve this purpose with their versatility, and high nutrient content. Now, they are the delivery system for many power foods as well, such as flaxseeds. But, are flaxseeds something that should be in your smoothie?
Benefits Of Flaxseeds
- Flaxseeds are touted as a major power food, and for a good reason. They can help with weight management due to their high fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids content. One tablespoon contains 3 grams of fiber!
- They help combat diabetes by stabilizing blood sugar.
- They protect you from cancer – breast cancer in particular, thanks to high levels of lignans. Flaxseeds are the highest known source of lignans. They contain seven times the amount of the next highest source, sesame seeds.
- Phytochemicals in flaxseeds help balance female hormones.
- High omega-3 content also reduces inflammation in the body, which can help with arthritis, headaches, asthma, and more.
- Rich in antioxidant levels, they detoxify cells.
- The ALA fat content is great for hair, skin, and nails.
- Flaxseeds help with the symptoms of dry eye syndrome.
A Note Of Caution
Because flaxseeds can have an effect on female hormones, it is generally not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you are pregnant or nursing, consult your doctor first to see if these are safe for you, and to find the correct amount.
Why Put Flaxseeds In A Smoothie?
Did you know – Flaxseeds are an excellent thickening and binding agent? Less ice in your smoothie in place of a few flaxseeds, and your smoothie is not only more nutritious, but much thicker too.
They do have a slight nutty flavor. So, if you are a fan of blending nuts into your smoothies, flaxseeds will work wonderfully.
How To Use Flaxseeds In A Smoothie?
Flaxseeds can be added whole, and then blended with the rest of the smoothie. They are very small and thin, so even if they are whole, you probably would not notice them. However, if you like a very smooth smoothie, or you want them added for thickening purposes, you can grind them first, and then add them in.
Alternatively, flaxseed oil can also be used in smoothies. You lose a few of the benefits, such as the high fiber aspect, but retain most of the others.
What Else Can I Use Flaxseeds In?
The possibilities are endless when it comes to flaxseeds. Not only can they be blended in smoothies; they can also be added to baked goods, pancakes, parfaits, and more.
My personal favorite use of them is to add them to my granola. Flaxseeds are gluten free, so they can be a wonderful boost to your baked goods.
Some studies have even shown that when added to (for example) a bread, the glycemic levels of the bread lowers significantly in the body, than if the same bread were consumed without flaxseeds. How incredible is that?
Next time you visit the grocery store, do not forget to pick up a package of flaxseeds, and watch your health improve day by day.