Looking for a life-hack for your nutrition? We present you with the flax seed!
Our modern lives are lived at a progressively frenetic pace. With our ever increasing connectedness, we are able to do more, with more people, faster, all the time. This is great for productivity and for disseminating information, but it means many of us are busier than ever. And in our busyness, we are constantly looking for ways to get what we need faster and more efficiently with shortcuts and hacks.
We’re even looking for shortcuts to our nutrition. In addition to the general goals of eating plenty of unprocessed plant foods, now we search for super foods, or foods that are naturally packaged with unusually high nutritional benefits. This term has only been popular during the last two decades, but there are several food items which immediately come to mind when thinking of superfoods: acai berries, goji berries, and kale. In fact, there are many, many whole plant foods that fit this description, but one in particular may not be at the forefront of our minds: flaxseeds.
Flaxseeds are an extremely important superfood that should be consumed every single day for two major reasons. The first is their excellent concentration of n3 (omega-3) fatty acids, and the second is their lignan content.
Omega 3 fats are a nutritional buzzword for very good reason. Eating some fats in our diet is essential for health and performance, and the balance of fatty acids we consume plays a big role in this. Eating exclusively unprocessed plant foods would provide a healthy balance of fatty acids without any extra effort, but since in modern society many of us eat far too many processed foods and animal products, our balance of fatty acids is a long way from ideal. The fatty acids we lack most are omega 3s. By putting forth a little extra effort and taking in some source of omega 3s every day, such as flax seeds, we are doing ourselves a big favor in lowering inflammation, bolstering immune function, and decreasing the risk of several chronic diseases.
In addition to the important n3 fatty acids, flax seeds also boast an impressive concentration of the extremely important compounds lignans. Lignans are a polyphenol phytochemical that have potent anti-estrogen effects after passing through our guts. This allows them to balance our hormone levels and gives a powerful anti-cancer effect when consumed regularly, especially for reproductive cancers such as breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers. And, since cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the developed world, this is a very good reason to be getting more lignans in!
Now, I know you’re busy with dozens of other things grabbing your attention at the moment, but remember, when selecting nutritional shortcut superfoods to maximize your health, flaxseeds are a must! Strive to get 1–2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed daily and your body will thank you!