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How to Eat Flax Seeds? Health Benefits, Tips and Recipes

 , NDTV  |  Updated: July 12, 2017 15:01 IST

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How to Eat Flax Seeds? Health Benefits, Tips and Recipes
Flax Seeds - the shiny, nutty seeds have an earthy aroma and a host of health benefiting properties. I first came across this wonder seed while reading up on hair health. Experts seem to agree that if you need some help with hair fall and want to grow your hair, there is nothing like a regular dose of flax seeds. Initially, I had a little difficulty in cultivating taste for it in its raw form, but my love for it grew after a while.

You don't really need to load up on flax seeds, a little helping is enough. Experts and nutritionists recommend a tablespoon of flax seeds a day to meet your essential, daily nutritional requirement. However, you need to be watchful of the way you consume flax seeds. Flax seeds are brown in colour and come with a hard, crunchy covering. Flax seeds, if not chewed properly would render no benefit to your body, this is one of the biggest reasons why many like to soak it before consuming or simply have it in the ground or powdered form.

9 Benefits of Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are enriched with some of the most essential and basic nutrients that our body requires. Take a look:

1. 
They are cholesterol free, hence good for the heart as well.

2. 
They are a good source of fibre, aid in digestion, prevent constipation and help in suppressing hunger.

3. Other nutrients would include protein, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, omega 3 (alpha-linolenic acid), lignin and mucilage.

4. 
Regular consumption of flax seeds is good for skin, cancer prevention and facilitate weight-loss.

5. Flax seeds are great for women's health. The lignans present in them help in battling high levels of estrogen and help in maintaining balanced hormonal levels.

6. 
According to a Delhi-based weigh-management expert and nutritionist Dr. Gargi Sharma, "Flax seeds can help reduce menopausal symptoms, such as flushing and night sweats. Flax seeds can also help women with irregular periods and those with extreme symptoms of PMS - for example, headache, anxiety, mood swings etc. They also help in controlling heavy bleeding during menstruation, reduce the risk of breast cancer and improve uterine function."

7. 
In women, hair fall is often associated with hormonal imbalance and stress. Flax seeds are great for women health and therefore promote healthy hair as well.

8. 
They are also associated with reducing hypertension.

9. 
They are low in LDL (lipo-protein) or bad cholesterol.

seeds

How to Consume Flax Seeds?

There has been quite a lot of debate on how should one consume flax seeds. It is true that flax seeds, when not chewed properly, can go undigested, flushed out your system. Ground or milled flax seeds, in that case, make a better choice. You can also opt for flax seed oil to replace other oils in your cooking. We share with you, some of the easiest ways in which you can incorporate flax seeds in your daily diet.

Dr. Gargi, a leading nutritionist in Delhi, suggests:

1. 
Ground flax seeds can be added in the batter for making rotis, cookies, cakes, breads, pancakes, etc.

2. You can use them for making granola bars, add them to cereal, oats, porridge, salads, soups, and muesli.

3. 
Mix them in shakes, smoothies, dips, accompaniments, soups and stews.

4. You can even have them with yoghurt.
 
healthy seeds

Flax seeds, when ground, get so versatile that you don't even have to think twice to create a splendid array of delicacies. From rotis, parathas, pooris, breads, desserts, drinks to soups, salads, and what not, adding a tablespoon of flax seeds can give any dish a healthy, nutty, toasty spin. Just in case you want a little push to start using flax seeds in your regular cooking, we have got some of the simplest and fuss-free recipes for you to get started.

Flax Seed Smoothie
Recipe by Dr. Gargi Sharma

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp flax seeds
1 cup flavored soya milk
1 cup chilled and roughly chopped strawberries
1/2 cup chilled and roughly chopped bananas
2 tsp honey
Garnish: 2 strawberries and 2 bananas slices

Method:

1. Add strawberries, bananas, flax seeds and honey in soya milk, blend in a juicer till the mixture is smooth and frothy.

2. Pour equal quantities of the smoothie into 2 individual glasses.

3. Serve garnished with a strawberry and banana slice.
 
smoothie

Flax Seed Raita
Recipe by Dr. Gargi Sharma

Ingredients:
1 cup bottle gourd, thickly grated
1 cup low-fat curd, freshly beaten
1/2 cup mint leaves, finely chopped (pudina)
1/4 tsp roasted cumin seeds (jeera)
1/4 tsp black salt
1 1/2 tbsp roasted and coarsely ground flax seeds
Salt to taste

Method

1. Combine the bottle guard with one cup of water. Cover and cook on a medium flame for 4 minutes.

2. Combine all the ingredients, including the cooked bottle gourd in a deep bowl and mix well.

3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and serve chilled.
 
raita


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