I work full-time by day, study for a graduate degree in Interior Design by night, building a event planning business on the weekends, and try to maintain some semblance of a normal, active, healthy life as a daughter, sister, friend and girlfriend, all at the same time. Who has time for sleep with a task list like that? I’ve I have found that my once solid and consistent bond with sleep has become undone. I used to require 8 hours of sleep. I’ve learned to adapt, function and even be pleasant on less. My concern is for my health. It is during sleep that the body restores and rejuvenates all that is lost to the stresses of the day. Rest or lack there of can boost or destroy the immune system, and weak immune system makes for a “very sick, inactive, underpaid, all around cranky” me.
So when fellow blogger, Nik, from TheMopTopMaven.com (blog=inspirational) told me that Flaxseed, namely Flaxseed Smoothies, were her “secret weapon” for keeping her energy high with her hectic schedule, I was intrigued. I did a little research, which echoed the earlier claims and indicated additional health benefits, and hit the nearest Whole Foods to make a purchase.
Flaxseed. What is it? What does it do?
Flaxseed has become to some one of the most powerful plant foods. According to the Flax Council of Canada, (Yup, there's a whole council set up for this food! That's power.) it was cultivated in Babylon as early as 3000 B.C. and King Charlemagne forced his subjects to eat in the 8th century.
Today it can be found in waffles, oatmeal, cookies, crackers and cereal, just to name a few. Check some of your ingredient lists for "flax" or "flaxseed."
There are 3 elements contained in flaxseed that make it healthy:
1. Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids- "Good" fats
2. Lignans which have plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities (Antioxidants have been shown to block free radicals which can cause Cancer-berries are also high in antioxidants)
Flaxseed Consumption has been linked to:
- Reduction of cholesterol
- Improved blood sugar rates
- Reduction of inflammation (related to asthma and other illnesses)
- Hot flashes
- It's available ground or whole-ground is easier to digest and allows for better nutrient absorbtion (whole flaxseed lasts longer-you can grind it your self in a cofee grinder)
- Store flaxseed in the freezer to keep product from oxidizing and nutrients from escaping
- Can be used for baking, and in your favorite meals and snacks. Since it does not have much of a taste or flavor you will barely notice.
I’ve been sprinkling (recommended dosage is 1-2 tablespoons/day) Flaxseed on everything for the last 3 weeks and while I am still tired some days. I am able to get up and do what I need to do and I don’t have a 3, 4 , or even 5 pm crash.
I’ve tried it with:
Smoothies and Juices
Cookies (I don’t have time to bake home made cookies but I sprinkle flaxseed on the "pre-cut" kind as they’re baking-Yum!)
Keep in mind I do have a somewhat healthy lifestyle in general, (no smoking, drinking in moderation, exercise, eat lots of veggies, rest adequately) which probably has a lot to do with my results, but flaxseed, in it’s various forms, offers healthy benefits even if for those less health conscious. As with many natural foods and remedies, these benefits are not FDA approved and have only been exposed through research and study. So far the results have been positive and it's working for me, but when it comes to dietary changes its always wise to do a little fact checking of your own.