Flaxseed is the very definition of an ancient grain. It's been cultivated by humans since the dawn of civilization. It was given the Latin name Linum usitatissimum, which quite literally means "very useful."
Not only does the flax plant produce strong fibers that can be used in everything from clothing to paper, flaxseed also has a rich history as an important source of healthy food.
Flaxseeds are very nutrient-dense, meaning they contain lots of beneficial nutrients in a small volume. One such nutrient is lignan which is also a phytoestrogen. A phytoestrogen is similar in structure to the hormone estrogen, but research has found that lignans from flaxseeds decrease and slow breast cancer cell growth.
They result in APOPTOSIS (which means programmed cell death of breast cancer cells). Studies have been performed on both estrogen positive as well as negative breast cancers with the use of flax being beneficial in both.
Eating flaxseed has also been shown to have a positive impact on reducing colon cancer risk, lowering blood cholesterol, bowel regularity, and improving gut health. The healthy gut bacteria feed off the fibers that flaxseeds provide. If that isn't enough reason to add to your daily intake, it also contains omega-3 fats which help control insulin and blood sugar issues.
Recommendations for using Flaxseed
- Grind flaxseeds or purchase ground flax for proper absorption of nutrients
- Benefits found using 2-4 Tablespoons ground flax per day
- Gradually build up intake of flax as fibers can cause gas if you aren't used to them
- Start with 1-2 teaspoons per day and build up gradually as tolerated
- Consume ground flax 1 hour before or 2 hours after medications as the fiber content can potentially decrease the absorption of certain medications.
Adding in ground flax is one more tool in your toolbox of eating intentionally, using food as medicine. Consult your oncology dietitian for more advice.
Quick, low-carb single-serve way to get your flax in! Can be multiplied and baked in the oven as well by baking in ramekins for 12-15 mins at 350°F/180°C. Additions can add flavor and texture such as raspberries, orange and lemon zest, blueberries or crushed nuts.
1 teaspoon extra virgin coconut oil, melted at room temperature (see step 1)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup flaxseed meal
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- OPTIONAL: 1 tablespoon honey or real maple syrup
Melt coconut oil in the cup to be used for muffin.
Whisk the egg, oil, and vanilla together in a bowl.
Add the remaining and any optional ingredients and stir well.
Place in a mug and microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds on high. Make sure your mug is 2.5 inches in height so that the muffin doesn't spill out.
Rest for 1 minute before eating.
Serving: 1mug cake | Calories: 283kcal | Carbohydrates: 11.7g | Protein: 11.8g | Fat: 21.9g | Fiber: 8.7g
If you haven't used flax meal, you may want to start by eating ½ muffin at a time to build your tolerance to the fiber.