Consuming seeds may go a long way in ensuring a healthy heart and weight, due to the presence of special fatty acids in them. Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be made inside the body and hence it is important that we consume these essential fats through our diet. Omega-3 fats are integral parts of the cell membranes throughout our bodies and they hence, have an impact on the function of cell receptors. They are also responsible for hormones that regulate inflammation and blood clotting in the body. This is the reason why omega-3 fatty acids are said to be beneficial against cardiovascular diseases. Nuts and seeds are some of the most common dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids, with fish and other seafood being the choice of non-vegetarians.
A number of edible seeds have become popular as dietary sources of omega-3 fats, including sunflower seeds, chia seeds and flaxseeds. Among these, flaxseeds perhaps have the most wide-ranging culinary uses. Flax seeds can be added to an array of dishes, from smoothies and smoothie bowls, to breads and baked goods and even desserts and puddings. Flaxseeds are used in both whole form and ground form to add a punch of fats and fibre to these dishes and drinks. But why exactly are flax seeds so popular among the so-called ‘health nuts’?
Healthy Post-workout foods: Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Flaxseed Benefits: Let’s look at some of the benefits of flaxseeds-
1. Flax seeds make for great gluten-free sources of fibre to dishes.
2. Flax seeds are rich in protein, which is why they are added to a number of pre and post-workout foods.
3. Flax seeds contain Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is the most common form of omega-3 fats. ALA is used by the body for energy.
4. Flax seeds have been known to lower blood pressure and levels of triglycerides, offering protective benefits for the heart.
One of the best examples of healthy, gluten-free desserts made from flax seeds is this barfi recipe from YouTube chef Manjula Jain. This recipe also contains other omega-3 rich nuts including walnuts, almonds and cashews. Although this recipe contains refined sugar, you can easily swap it with healthier sweeteners like organic honey or maple syrup. All the nuts and seeds are ground coarsely, roasted and then simple sugar syrup flavoured with cardamom is added to it. The mixture is then set and cut into squares of desirable sizes.