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Flaxseed has been grown and consumed for at least 50 centuries for its health-giving qualities. Though official substantiation is forthcoming in 2011 for its many benefits, various studies show that eating foods like flaxseed muffins can help the body resist cancer, stroke and heart disease as well as ease the inflammation of Parkinson's disease and boost blood sugar for diabetics. These muffins are made much like other muffins, with ingredients like flour, flaxseed meal, oats, baking powder, egg, milk, and honey or sugar. The flavorings are up to the cook, from simple raisins or bananas to complex mixtures of cinnamon, vanilla, applesauce, carrot slivers and pineapple.
According to health author and columnist Elaine Magee, at the WebMD Web site, flaxseed muffins are loaded with three essential ingredients that are credited with numerous benefits: omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and lignans. Experts urge more research into flaxseed's worth, but Magee notes several studies that show at least cursory benefits in fighting and avoiding cancer, lowering blood pressure and resisting the hardening of the arteries. Studies also have shown flaxseed's worth in reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol and even quelling hot flashes in menopause. A common recommended daily dose is no more than 2 tbsp. (about 30 g).
Aside from store-bought supplements, recipes for foods like flaxseed muffins help to disguise the fiber-like flavor of this seed. One basic recipe, offered at Runner's World magazine's Web site, has cooks mix 1 cup (about 225 g) of white flour, 0.5 cup (about 113 g) of wheat flour, 0.5 cup (about 113 g) of easy-made oats, 0.5 cup (about 113 g) of flaxseed meal, 0.5 tsp. (about 2 g) of baking soda and 2 tsp. (about 10 g) of baking powder. Then, separately, two eggs or 0.5 cup (about 118 ml) of egg substitute is blended with 0.66 cup (about 150 g) of raisins, 4 tbsp. (about 57 g) of honey and 1 cup (about 225 ml) of buttermilk. After the wet and dry ingredients are combined, the mixture is poured into greased muffin tins and baked for no more than 25 minutes at 400°F (about 205°C).
Flaxseed should be turned into a meal in a coffee grinder before being used in flaxseed muffins or any other recipes. Recipes are readily available for cookies, cakes and snack bars, too. Some also use flaxseed oil in recipes for an extra dose, though this is thought to have less nutrients than flaxseeds. Even savory dishes like chicken pot pie or fried chicken can have some flaxseed disguised within. Flaxseeds, meal and oil are each available commercially.
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