Flax seeds are a great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. These important acids help lower LDL or bad cholesterol and help raise HDL or good cholesterol. These little babies are also believed to have an anti-inflammatory property that could possibly lower the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. They are rich in the anti-oxidant vitamin E and several B vitamins. Add to that impressive list a few important minerals: manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc and selenium and it is easy to see why this is a great addition to your diet. They do add a bit of protein as well. Each tablespoon of whole flax seeds has 2 grams of protein.
One important thing to remember about flax seeds is that they and their oils are very unstable and prone to oxidizing and going rancid. It is best to buy small quantities of the whole seeds at a time and grind them up in your spice or coffee grinder just before using them. If you do buy the pre-ground seeds, make sure to store them in the freezer until you use them. The oil should be refrigerated and used quickly. Both the seeds and the oil have a slightly sweet pleasant flavor.
I love to have them ground and sprinkled on oatmeal or yogurt. They are also a nice addition to salad dressing. Flax seeds are a great substitute for eggs in baking. They have incredible binding power. Use 1 tablespoon flax seeds and 3 tablespoons water. Mix them up until they are thick and creamy and voila! You have yourself a very healthy egg sub for your baked goods…like these fabulous cookies: Super Charge Me Cookies from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan (click here for the recipe). I used about 2 tablespoons of currants, 2 tablespoons vegan chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons walnuts for my add ins. These are a great breakfast cookie, snack before or after working out or just a yummy cookie treat.
I used Naturally Nutty Pepita Sun Butter for the nut butter in this recipe. I've posted about this amazing product before, but I have to say it again, this butter has organic flax, hemp, pepitas, sunflower seeds and it tastes amazing. It has 5 grams of protein per 2 tablespoon serving. You want to talk about health benefits? I also threw in a few walnuts for a little more omega power and 4.3g of protein per 1 oz. serving. These three bad boys together? Your heart should be happy and healthy!
As you can see, it is really quite easy to rack up those protein grams without having to touch any animal products!