I hear a lot these days about using chia and flax seeds to improve the nutrition of foods. What is the best way to use these in foods?

Both chia and flax seeds are very healthy additions to your diet! Nuts and seeds are filled with fiber and protein and in addition, flax/chia seeds contain heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. One ounce of chia seeds and flax seeds contain around 11 grams and 10 grams of dietary fiber, respectively. Fiber is very important for our diet because it helps us have regular bowel movements which may help prevent colorectal cancer risk. Fiber also helps us to stay fuller longer, which can help us eat less and be at a healthy weight. Both chia and flax seeds can help lower our cholesterol and blood pressure levels also. This is very important from a cardiovascular perspective, as high blood pressure and cholesterol can increase one’s risk for heart attacks and strokes. Chia and flax seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids (n-3) and healthy phytochemicals, too. These can also be an important factor in helping reduce cancer and heart disease incidence.

So, now that we know how great these two seeds are for our overall health, how do we incorporate them into our daily diets? Chia seeds have a mild, nutty flavor. You can add them to many dishes without altering the overall flavor. They provide a great crunch to whatever you are eating. I like to add them to my Greek yogurt in the morning. Others will sprinkle chia seeds on cereal or oatmeal at breakfast and some will mix these with rice or couscous at an evening meal. Flax seeds are equally as easy to add to your daily diet. Like chia seeds, they can easily be added to the aforementioned breakfast foods, but you might also want to have them with your lunch sandwich. Just combine ground flax seeds with mustard or mayo and top any sandwich for a great nutty crunch.

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