- A low-carb porridge breakfast idea that’s great for diabetics
- How these super-nutritious seeds could be the ideal vegan alternative to fish oils
- Bowel troubles? Here’s a way to ‘stay regular’
It’s been a weirdly warm autumn…
Well, for most of us in the UK anyway.
But now that it’s getting all wintry and December is fast approaching, I thought I’d give you an idea for a warming breakfast meal.
The good thing about this one is…
It has a LOT of health benefits packed into a single dish.
I’m talking about an easy daily way to get all the benefits of omega-3s, along with cancer-fighting antioxidants, minerals for lowering hypertension and tonnes of fibre to keep you ‘regular’.
What’s more, this is vegan, low-carb and gluten free.
So pretty much anyone reading this email would be able to try it.
And if you’re one of those who cannot try fish oils or krill oils for ethical or dietary reasons, this could be a great alternative.
Introducing the many health benefits of flaxseed
Flaxseeds are an ingredient that you will probably have seen before in health shops or recommended on health blogs.
I’ve mentioned them in the past because they contain substantial amounts of omega-3 fatty acids – those ‘good’ fats that help protect us from heart disease, lower inflammation and offer relief from arthritis, ulcerative colitis and inflammatory bowel diseases.
It is this inflammation that is often the cause of what most people refer to as bowel troubles.
But that is where Omega-3’s come into their own.
We cannot make these fats in our own bodies, which is why it’s so essential to consume a regular supply of foods that are rich in them.
I write a lot about krill oil and fish oils but if you want a vegan option, then a tablespoon of flaxseed gives you more than double the amount of your daily recommended intake.
They’re jam-packed with vitamin A, D and E, carotene and lecithin. They also contain massive amounts of polyphenols known as ‘lignans’ – almost 800 times more than you get in other plants. These are believed to be effective at lowering the risk of cancer.
This is because lignans are broken down in your gut to form enterolactone and enterodial, two compounds that interfere with the cancer promoting effects of oestrogen, especially breast cancer.
Flaxseeds could potentially help with improving and protecting bone health in postmenopausal women too, according to a review of studies in the Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2014.
Already that’s a lot of benefits.
But there’s more…
Flaxseeds also contain potassium, a mineral that’s vital for cell and muscle function but can also help control hypertension.
(Little known fact, but flax oil has more potassium than bananas!)
And finally, they are a source of insoluble fibre, the kind that helps you form a healthy stool, eliminate constipation, regulate your bowel movements and flush toxins from your body properly.
A tablespoon of flax seed has roughly 3 grams worth of dietary fibre, which is 8% to 12% of the amount you need in a day.
Oh, and they also contain soluble fibre, which gets absorbed in your digestive tract, helping to reduce cholesterol levels and regulate your blood sugar levels.
So there you have it…
That’s quite a CV for a humble little seed!
Now, you can simply buy and eat these seeds, of course.
But I want to show you a healthy way to get them into a filling, warming winter breakfast that could also help you avoid eating carbs and gluten.
How to make flaxseed porridge
To start, all you need to do is blend flaxseeds along with some nuts of your choice for about 30 seconds.
If you cannot eat nuts, then find other kinds of seed to use instead. You could also chuck in some banana too, for sweetness or add some coconut sugar (I love that stuff in coffee).
You should have a nice coarse mix.
Now add some warm almond or oat milk and keep mixing it to avoid getting any lumps.
You can heat this up gently over a hob for a minute or two, or stick it in the microwave for 30 seconds if you prefer.
And that’s it!
Add a bit more almond milk if you want a looser consistency but beware that flaxseeds get thicker and gloopier as they cool.
For extra sweetness and flavour, add more fruit on the top of it – apples, figs, dates and banana all work well.
Give it a go and see what you think…
But if you don’t like the texture or decide it’s not for you, there are alternatives.
You can grind flaxseeds into a powder and then add them to a three egg omelette or chuck some ground seeds with fruit into a smoothie.
What’s good about eating flax seeds for breakfast is that they can make you feel full for longer and the dietary fibre will help suppress your appetite, and resolve the symptoms of common bowel troubles.
One final thing…
Make sure that you drink water whenever you take ground-up flaxseed on its own, as the liquid will help them move through your intestines.
Oh, and don’t keep ground flaxseeds hanging around for too long as they start to oxidise very quickly… and that can undo all of yopur good work as it could be the cause of bowel troubles!
That’s it from me – I’ll be back with more ideas soon.