Flaxseeds for Your Health and Athletic Performance

flax 3Flaxseeds for Your Health. Flaxseeds are added to numerous foods from crackers to frozen waffles to breads. You can purchase them either milled (ground) or whole at your local supermarket. Flax seeds have a tremendous amount of health and athletic performance benefits!

Whole flax seeds contain protein, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. They are a great source of insoluble fiber. Because of the seeds hard outer shell your body cannot break down these tiny seeds and they pass undigested through your system. In order to reap the additional benefits that flaxseeds offer enjoy them ground or milled.

Flaxseeds Reduce Chronic Disease. Ground flaxseeds are excellent sources of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid that is essential for health. Just one tablespoon for females and two tablespoons for males provides the recommended daily amount of this important fat. You receive the most health benefits by enjoying freshly ground flaxseeds since the beneficial antioxidants present in the seeds decrease overtime once exposed to air and light. To enjoy freshly ground flaxseeds, grind in a coffee grinder. If this proves challenging, purchase ground flaxseeds and refrigerate in an air-tight container to preserve freshness.

Studies have shown show that these tiny seeds may be effective in reducing your risk for various types of cancers, diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease. They are also great for digestive health and can alleviate both constipation and diarrhea. If you suffer from IBS, gradually work up to 2 to 3 Tbsp. ground flaxseeds daily making sure to drink plenty of water. This will help you maintain your digestive health.

Flaxseeds for Athletic Performance and Heart Health. Flaxseeds have also been shown to optimize athletic performance due to their omega-3 fatty acid content, fiber and lignans which all have cardioprotective qualities. Omega-3 fatty acids have a host of health benefits that positively affect athletic performance. This type of fat reduces inflammation, enhances immunity, produces anti-arrhythmic effects, increases cardiac pumping, reduces muscle oxygen consumption, and improves fat oxidation which spares carbohydrate use when exercising so that you can train/compete for a greater length of time.

How to enjoy.  Add to granola, cereals, yogurt, salads, pasta dishes, sandwiches such as PB&J, etc. Be creative!
You can enjoy flaxseeds in a variety of different ways. Add a tablespoon to your cereal in the morning or your yogurt with fruit. Sprinkle on salads or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Be creative!

Ground flaxseeds can even replace eggs, oil and butter in recipes. For example, replace half of the oil in baked goods with the same quantity of ground flaxseeds plus twice the amount of water. For instance, ¼ cup oil can be replaced with ¼ cup ground flaxseeds mixed with ½ cup water. Let mixture stand for at least 10 minutes before adding to other ingredients.

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