flax seeds

Revitalive’s Pick of the Week: Flax Seeds!

flax seeds
At Revitalive Café, we offer a delicious menu of smoothies, which are made fresh when ordered. You may have tried our Berry Bliss smoothie, the classic Evergreen, or our rich Maca Mocha. But we also have a variety of options of smoothie boosters to give an extra kick of protein, flavor, antioxidants, energy, omega 3’s…you name it! Flax seeds, one of our smoothie boosters, provide several of these benefits.

Flax seeds have a unique and powerful combination of omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, and fiber. They are also a great source of protein! By themselves, these nutrients have a number of health benefits, and acting together, they are capable of even more. Lignans, the lesser known of these, have antioxidant effects, and flax seeds are the best source of them in human diets. Flax seeds have seven times the amount of lignans as sesame seeds and over 300 times the amount as in sunflower seeds!

Flax seeds are also one of the best food sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases.

The fiber in flax seeds is a combination of both insoluble fiber and soluble fiber, which work together to keep things moving in the digestive system, not too fast and not too slow. Flax seeds are especially known for their soluble fiber content, called mucilage. Mucilage can improve the body’s absorption of nutrients by forming a gel that slows down the rate that food travels from the stomach to the small intestine.

Together, the nutrients in flax seeds may have the following benefits:
• Reducing inflammation
• Protecting against cancer, especially breast, prostate, and colon cancers
• Improving cholesterol ratio
• Regulating digestion
• Lowering blood pressure
• Preventing of heart attacks
• Increasing absorption of nutrients

If you buy whole flax seeds, it is best to grind them before using them; if swallowed whole, they will go undigested through the digestive tract, preventing you from gaining any of their wonderful benefits.

Next time you’re getting a smoothie at Revitalive this summer, try out flax seeds as a booster or try one of our many other nutritious options!

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Photo: http://naturalremediespocketguide.com/8-tips-balancing-cholesterol-levels-without-drugs/

References
SFGate: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-ground-flaxseed-smoothies-5332.html
University of Maryland Medical Center: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/flaxseed
WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/benefits-of-flaxseed
World’s Healthiest Foods: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=81
http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/omega-3/