easy must-dos for good health

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Flaxseed- Benefits & 

How Best To Use It....

For years now I have been secretly adding ground flaxseed in kids' pancakes, cereal, 'raita' (an Indian yogurt item), smoothies, roti dough, bhatura dough and even in various batters like the omelet batter, bread batter, dosa batter, and yes, even cake batter. They never knew the difference and never complained. But I realized how easy this healthy must-do really is, when lately I noticed my daughter (who has recently started making her own breakfast on weekends) putting a table spoon of ground flaxseed in her pancake and scrambled egg. Apparently, my 'secret' was not really a secret. But I realized, if she can do it, it certainly qualifies as an 'easy must-do for good health'.

We asked doctor Rupal Mohan, MD, to list out the benefits of flaxseed. According to her -

  • Flaxseed is a rich source of Omega-3, lignans and fiber. That gives it an excellent cholesterol lowering capability.  A study of menopausal women showed a decrease in LDL level after the women ate 4 tablespoons of ground flaxseed each day for a year. Of course, lower levels of LDL, the 'bad' cholesterol, helps in reducing risk of heart diseases.
  • Being a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, it has good anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Being a good source of lignans, makes it useful in reducing the risk of breast cancer in women and prostrate cancer in men.
  • Being a good source of fiber, it helps in keeping the bowel movements regular. 

Doctor Mohan also provides some good tips with regards to flaxseed. She says-

  • Try to eat about 1 to 2 table spoons of ground flaxseed daily. For a general idea, if you're making a 'roti' dough for 5 people, say 2 cups of flour, you could get away with adding about 4 to 8 table spoons of flaxseed. Remember to start slow to avoid bloating.

  • Ground flaxseed is best as whole may pass the system without being digested. You may buy whole and grind it yourself using a coffee grinder.
  • Store pre-ground flaxseed in a freezer. Take out enough amount to last you a month in a container that you could place next to the salt container- that'll serve as a reminder to use it as often and as easily as you use salt. Whole flaxseed will last longer, but having to grind it before use, might make it a cumbersome task. The idea is to use it as easily as you use salt.

Lastly, where to get it from? We get our yearly stock of milled (meaning ground)flaxseed from Costco (picture above), but you can get it from any grocery store or whole foods store.

So if you don't already consume this very easy to use food, get it today and start tomorrow. It pays to be mindful of eating healthy.

(by Sonal Kulshrestha)

easy must-dos for good health

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