December 12, 2008 – It’s a known fact that fiber intake is an important part of any diet. The American Dietetic Association cites the “significant impact” fiber can have in preventing obesity and diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. It’s also believed to play a large role in colon health and the prevention of colon cancer.
“Most Americans don’t get enough fiber in their diets,” says Eric Borchardt of FlaxMatters.com, a flax information website that offers MeadowPure flax products. “While the daily recommended intake is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men, most people aren’t reaching those numbers. One of the problems is that most popular North American foods aren’t high in fiber, particularly foods that are heavily-processed. Flaxseed gives people an easy way to add fiber to foods they already enjoy.”
Flax seeds offer a variety of health benefits. While commonly associated with ALA Omega-3 fatty acids found in the flax oil of the seeds, they’re also a rich source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. In fact, fiber accounts for around 28 percent of the full-fat flaxseed weight.
To help Americans take advantage of the health benefits of flaxseed by using flax to increase their fiber intake, FlaxMatters.com suggests the following ways to add flax seeds to foods already in the user’s diet:
Tip 1: Milled flaxseeds can be sprinkled over salads, cereals, cooked vegetables, and much more. The benefit of choosing milled flax instead of whole flaxseeds is that the body can’t breakdown whole seeds easily to take advantage of the health benefits. If using whole flax seeds, it is vital to grind the seeds before using (a normal coffee grinder will do).
Tip 2: While flaxseeds can be an excellent addition to textured foods like cereals, they can also work well in smooth-texture foods such as soups and yogurts. Just add a tablespoon or two of flax, and mix it in before eating. Flax seeds can even be added to beverages, such as smoothies.
Tip 3: Try adding flaxseeds to favorite recipes. When making burgers or meatballs add some flax to the ground beef before cooking. When baking cookies, bread, muffins, or other baked goods, add milled flax seeds to the mixture before baking.
There’s no need to completely overhaul a diet in order to improve fiber intake. Flax seeds offer an affordable way to turn everyday favorites into fiber powerhouses. While flaxseed oil includes some of the health benefits of flax, it’s important to remember that only the actual flax seeds include fiber content (in the husk).