…F as in flax. Flax seeds are like the iconic Adidas Stan Smith tennis shoes – you know, the ones with the three strips, a shelled toe and a coloured heel patch. They have been around for many years, but have regained a lot of popularity in the last decade - with good reason of course. Flax seed's superb nutrient profile has landed its role in potential preventative measures against cardiovascular disease and cancer, blood sugar management, and weight management. One tablespoon of ground flaxseeds provides approximately 37 calories, 1.3g protein, 2g of carbohydrates,2.0g fibre, 3.0g fat (of which 0.5g is monounsaturated fat and 2g is polyunsaturated fat). The polyunsaturated fat content consists of 1.59g of omega-3 fatty acids – what’s the big deal you might be thinking? Omega-3 fats are heart healthy fats that serve many important functions in our body (e.g. role in brain and nerve development). There are three types of Omega-3 fats: alpha-linolenic acids (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). While our body can make small amounts of EPA and DHA from ALA, a diet adequate in all three fats is essential. Health Canada recommends an intake of 1.6g/day of ALA for men 19 and older, and 1.1g/day of ALA for women 19 and older. Since the primary type of omega-3 fat found in flax is ALA, depending on your needs, one tablespoon of ground flaxseed may meet your daily ALA requirement – pretty easy to meet, right? By simply adding one tablespoon of ground flaxseed to your yogurt or cereal, you can easily reap the benefits of this functional food. While flax can be consumed in various forms (oil, whole seed or ground), a popular question asked by clients is which form (ground or whole seeds) is best? Drum roll please - ground is better than whole form. Consuming ground flaxseeds allows the body to readily absorb the nutrients as whole seeds can be more difficult to digest. In fact, they can pass right through your digestive system! Not sure if you are meeting your omega-3 requirements? Connect with me – let’s talk flax, fish, and fortified omega-3 products.
Note: Flax may not be appropriate for everyone thus if you are on medication (e.g. blood thinners) or have a medical condition, check with your physician before including flax in your diet.
Choco-Banana Flaxseed Cookies
Makes approximately 12 servings.
2 medium bananas, ripe
1 tbsp vanilla, pure
2 tsp cinnamon, ground
1c oats, rolled
½ c flaxseed, ground
¼ c almonds, slivered
1/8 tsp salt
½ c 70% dark chocolate chunks
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper and set aside.
In a mixing bowl mash the bananas with a fork. Once the mixture is relatively smooth, add the vanilla, cinnamon, oats, flaxseed, almonds and salt. Mix well. Add the chocolate chips and continue to mix.
Using your hands mold the cookie mixture into 12 equal sized balls and place 6 on each baking sheet. Press down lightly on each cookie.
Bake cookies for approximately 15 minutes. Let the cookies cool for approximately 10 minutes before eating. Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts (per one serving):
Calories: 120 kcals Protein:3g Carbohydrate: 12g Fibre:3.5g
Fat:6g (approximately 1.5g saturated fat)