Next up in our power-ups series is flax! Flaxseed may be relatively new to “superfood” marketing, but it’s actually one of the oldest superfoods on earth! Flaxseed has been grown as a crop since the beginning of civilization, and for good reason. It provides protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids but also contains B vitamins, folate, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
The omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed contain alpha-linolenic acid (or ALA), which is one of the two essential fatty acids that your body needs. Essential, meaning your body can’t make them on its own, so you have to consume them. ALA is an important factor in preventing heart disease. Studies show a reduced risk of health attack, atherosclerosis, and stroke with this important nutrient. Consuming ALA is especially important if you don’t eat seafood, as it is the only plant source for omega-3 fatty acids.
Flax is also a great source of fiber, both soluble and insoluble, which comes with a host of health benefits. In regard to gut health, fiber not only prevents constipation but also acts as a prebiotic, improving the microbiome environment. Fiber is also beneficial for satiety, helping you feel fuller, longer, after eating and therefore helpful in weight loss.
Flaxseed contains protein as well. As a plant-based protein, flaxseed packs a punch with 1.3 grams of protein per tablespoon. Studies have shown flaxseed protein can improve immune function, has anti-fungal properties and can even lower cholesterol levels. Pretty nice perks to your protein!
One of the best things about flaxseed is the serving size! It only takes a tablespoon of these tiny seeds, which makes it easy to add to not only your smoothie as a power-up but also various things at home! Spaghetti sauce, meatballs (craving Italian food yet?), yogurt, muffin or cookie batter, soups or stews, possibilities are really endless with this slightly nutty flavored seed. Need another reason to love flaxseed? You can actually use it as an egg replacement! Perfect for reducing calories or converting a recipe to be vegan-friendly.
Try our flaxseed power up in your next smoothie to enjoy all these benefits and add a little extra healthy to your day!