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Flax Seed in all its glory!

Flax seed is one of humanity's oldest grains dating as far back as 4,000 years ago; it has been a long-held staple of the human diet in Africa, Asia and Europe. Much later in history, flax seed has garnered much attention in North America for its many nutritional benefits in fighting against life-threatening diseases.

Flax seeds might be tiny but they are loaded with goodness through and through. They contain high levels of dietary fiber and an abundance of micro-nutrients and are a rich source of lignans, which has plant estrogen as well as antioxidants. Studies have revealed that flax seeds may lower cholesterol levels, and may lessen the severity of diabetes by stabilizing blood-sugar levels.And as far as Omega-3 plant foods go, flax seed stands high above all the others.

There are two types of flax seed: one is gold-colored and the other is brown;both add a subtle nutty flavor to food.Flax seed can be bought as a whole seed or grounded as a fibrous substance. Use ground flax seed instead of the whole seed before consumption because the whole seed passes through the digestive tract without releasing its beneficial components. Whenever possible, it is best to grind the seeds right before using and you can do this with an ordinary coffee grinder.

Sprinkle flax seed on cereal, oatmeal, veggies, yogurts, smoothies and salads. You can use flax seed in pancake mix, and for baked goods such as muffins, and breads. Flax seed makes a good substitute for bread crumbs when coating chicken or fish. For best results, store ground flax seed in the refrigerator.

Just one ounce of flax seed contains 32% of the daily fiber recommended by the US Department of Agriculture. Remember to drink plenty of water whenever you increase your consumption of flax seed.

Below is an easy recipe for making a delicious and nutritious breakfast:

Simple Yogurt Breakfast

2 cups plain yogurt

1 banana

3 strawberries

1 Tbsp freshly ground flax seed

1 Tbsp maple syrup

In a bowl, add chopped banana and strawberries to the yogurt. Sprinkle ground flax seed over the yogurt and drizzle the maple syrup.