Thursday, December 9, 2010

Flax Seed and Chia Seed

Yesterday, I wrote a post about my super-nutritious oatmeal breakfast. Most of the ingredients are commonly found in regular grocery stores.

Flax seeds have been becoming more and more common in recent years due to the widely acknowledged benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. You can buy flax seed oil for making salad dressing or in capsule form as a supplement as well. (Flax seed oil needs to be kept refrigerated and can not be heated.) When taken as oil, you get a higher concentration of Omega-3 Fatty Acid but you lose some of the nutritional value from flax seeds themselves. Flax seeds are good source of fiber as well. I heard from a nutritionist that you can get more nutritional benefits from ground seeds than whole seeds. The problem is that ground flax seeds tend to go rancid rather quickly. You can keep them fresh longer by keeping them in refrigerator or freezer in an air-tight container.

But I much prefer the taste and texture of whole flax seeds better. Especially the roasted ones have really nice flavor. They may loose some nutritional value in roasting process...but, you know, I'm more likely to keep eating if it tastes good. I usually buy these roasted flax seeds from Trader Joe's. It's only around $3 for a 15oz bag, and t's in a resealable bag!

You may have never had chia seeds, but I'm sure you all are familiar with Chia Pets. (Yes, one of those things you hope you never get for a Christmas gift...) I had never had chia seed either until a friend of mine gave me a bag of ground chia seeds.

According to the Lifemax who sells MILA brand chia seeds, they contain 8x more Omega-3 than salmon, 6x more calcium than milk, 6x more protein than kidney beans, 3x more iron than spinach, etc. when compared gram per gram. They are very nutrition-rich seeds. They don't have a strong flavor, which makes it easy to mix them into a smoothie although the brownish color is not quite appealing to me in smoothies. Though they don't have much flavor, I don't put too much in my food since they get kind of sticky and gooey. Perhaps I should use as a thickening agent like nutritional yeast? I sometimes sprinkle them over my food after I finish cooking, just as I do with flax seeds or sesame seeds when neither of them seem to go with what I cooked.

Anyways, those tiny seeds are packed with lots of nutrition. Keep them handy so that you can sprinkle extra nutrition into your food!

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