As vegans, we work hard to ensure we are getting the right nutrients for healthy, sustainable living. One of the more interesting facts, now that I am vegan, is that I am more conscious about where I get my nutrients. When I was eating the Standard American Diet, I NEVER worried about how much calcium, vitamin D, omega 3, and b12 I was getting. You know what? After looking back at my food diaries from that time, I should have been more concerned! I was not eating a balanced or nutrient dense diet. As a vegan, I am getting adequate nutrients from a plant-based, high wholefood/starch based diet.
People always question vegans on how we get our protein, but truth be told, Vegans are living a much more nutrient dense diet than those following a Standard American Diet. Vegans should be questioning Standard American Diet eaters on how they get their omega 3 and 6, how they get vitamin d, calcium, vitamin C and how they are reducing their cholesterol.
So, why do we add flax to our meals???
Our bodies do not naturally produce Omega 3 so we need to get it from the food we eat! Enter flaxseeds!!! Flaxseeds (also called linseeds) are a rich source of micronutrients, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3. So how does all that benefit us?
With the addition of flaxseeds to your meals you may see:
- Higher fiber intake
- Healthy skin and hair
- Reduction of cholesterol
- Gluten free source of omega 3
- Digestion friendly/colon cleansing
- Cell membrane growth
- Controlling blood clotting
- Metabolism increase (help with weight loss)
I hope this helps you see the importance of adding whole food ingredients that supply the body with essential nutrients to your daily meals. So get a bag of ground flax and add it to your smoothies, oatmeal, or top your pasta or brownies with it – be creative. Just get your daily dose to ensure you get those necessary omega 3 fatty acids! As you create ways to incorporate flax into your meals, comment below.