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Flax and Chia Seeds Pack Nutritional Punch

Flax seed oil and chia seeds are filled with nutritional benefits that are essential to your overall health. They are filled with both omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids that our bodies cannot make, so we have to get them from food sources.

There are some cautions to consider with flax seed oil, however. Because it is a fat, it can go rancid, and you must take the necessary precautions to avoid that. You need to make sure that exposure to heat, air and light are all minimal or avoided.

In regards to the general quality of the oil, some are enriched with antioxidants to make their shelf life longer. If these factors are unavoidable, you could always stick the bottle in the refrigerator to help prolong quality life. Chia seeds, on the other hand, are full of antioxidants. They don’t go rancid. Problem solved.

If you prefer, you can go the route of flax seeds instead of the oil. They can be ground up to a fine dust and used in the same general manner as the oil. With ground flax seeds, they last longer outside the refrigerator because of their chemical components. Ground flax seeds can be purchased ready to eat, or in the whole seed form and ground as you go. This is also how you’ll find chia seed. You may find both flax and chia seeds in the whole and ground forms.

The addition of flax and chia seeds to your diet will greatly benefit your omega-3 stores, especially for those who are not fish lovers (salmon is the “king” of omega-3). The consumption of flax seed and chia can aid in bone health, reduce the risk of blood clots, and helps control high blood pressure. They also have been linked to the significant lowering of prostate cancer risk in men and can help reduce risk of breast cancer and prevalence of hot flashes in post-menopausal women.

Try flax and chia in pancakes, oatmeal, smoothies, yogurt and baked breakfast muffins, or some of these recipes:

Blueberry Flaxseed Muffins

Quinoa Flaxseed Pizza Dough

Healthier Flaxseed Banana Bread

July 15th, 2010

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