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What The Flax Are You Talking About?

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Health trends come and go and with them a whole new generation of cynical and disillusioned people turn their backs on things like vegan butter, tofurky and wheat germ and just drive through the burger place on their way home from work. It's not too late, though, to recall the very fundamentals of healthy eating and to reach for nuts (never out of style) carrots (a crunchy blessing) and rice cakes instead of chips.

Another new health trend is something called "flax" which, to many of us, reminds us of a ninth grade vocabulary list we had when we had to define some word which vaguely meant people with blonde hair. But the wonders and benefits of this strange product are vast and plentiful. Actually, the real term for it is "flaxseed" and it comes from a tiny seed. It's being touted as a plant food capable of many great things including reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.

King Charlemagne, in fact, believed so strongly in the health benefits of flaxseed that he passed laws which required his subjects to consume it during the eighth century. (He was obviously a very caring king).
But what the flax does it look like and how can we ingest it? There are a myriad of wonderful, delicious and healthy products on the market now containing flaxseed oil, including cereals, granola bars and many others. You can buy flaxseed dry, and add it to pancakes, oatmeal, smoothies and really any recipe. They have a subtle nutty, buttery flavor and will not compromise the integrity of the flavor of other ingredients.
They contain plant Omega 3 fatty acids (as opposed to the ones found in fish) and lignans which help regulate female hormones. They are also very high in fiber and essential B vitamins.
So the next time you are tempted to just order a coke and a burger, harken back to King Charlemagne of the eighth century. What horrors would befall him if he knew!


Aimee Boyle lives, works and writes in CT. She contributes regularly to EmpowHER on sexuality, family, parenting, health and many other topics.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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