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Weight loss is hard. But when you replace unhealthy food with equally delicious and much more nutritious alternatives, it becomes a lot easier. If you are used to a giant, calorie-dense breakfast, it can be a little hard to start drinking flaxseed smoothies in the morning. But once you realize how much time and effort you save, you will never want to go back.

Do you ever feel sluggish when you wake up in the morning? Do you sometimes struggle to make it through your workouts? Incorporating flaxseed smoothies into your diet will fuel your brain and your workouts and provide incredible health benefits. Plus, they are so quick and easy to make, you can even sleep in. Keep reading to learn how to make the most delicious, nutritious smoothies with flaxseeds.

Flaxseed: What It Is And Why We Love It

kiwi smoothie with slices of kiwi beside it

image source: Pixabay

Flax seeds have been eaten for centuries for the health benefits they provide. Today, these nutrient-dense seeds are known as a "superfood." Here are ten benefits of flax seeds that science has proven:

  • Loaded with nutrients
  • High in omega-3 fats
  • Rich source of lignans, which mitigate the risk of cancer
  • Rich in dietary fiber
  • Improve cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Contain high-quality protein
  • Control blood sugar
  • Keep hunger at bay
  • Versatile

Nutrition

Primarily, we love the nutritional value that flaxseed provides. A single tablespoon of ground flaxseed provides you with only 37 calories through 1.3 grams of protein, 2 grams of healthy carbohydrates (including 1.9 grams of fiber), and 3 grams of healthy fats (including 0.5 grams of monounsaturated fat and 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat), and 1,597 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids. Other key nutrients include:

  • Vitamin B1 - 8% RDI (recommended daily intake)
  • Vitamin B6 - 2% RDI
  • Folate - 2% RDI
  • Calcium - 2% RDI
  • Iron - 2% RDI
  • Magnesium - 7% RDI
  • Phosphorous - 4% RDI
  • Potassium - 2% RDI

Versatility

Both flax seeds and flaxseed oil are easily incorporated into the foods and drinks you have every day. Besides thickening up your smoothies, you can:

  • Add them to water
  • Use flaxseed oil as a delicious, nutritious salad dressing
  • Add them to your favorite yogurt
  • Add them to batter for cookies, muffins, or pancakes
  • Use them as an egg substitute by mixing with water when cooking
  • Integrate them into meat or fish patties
  • Sprinkle them over your cold or hot breakfast cereal

Weight Loss

We cannot praise flax seeds enough for their weight-loss properties. Whether you add them to your smoothies or water, they can stave off hunger pangs that would otherwise derail your diet. Flax seeds are a great source of soluble fiber which slows the digestion process in your stomach. Flax triggers the firing of several hormones responsible for controlling your appetite and increasing your feeling of fullness.


High-Quality Protein

Plant-based protein is bioavailable. This means your body can easily break it down and use it. Flaxseed protein, in particular, is rich in such amino acids as arginine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid. Bioavailable proteins keep you feeling full, so you do not snack between meals and eat less at your next meal. Furthermore, it provides excellent fuel for your workouts and helps your body recover and rebuild afterwards.

Making Flaxseed Smoothies

woman putting flaxseeds in her smoothie

image source: Pixabay

One of our favorite things about flaxseed smoothies is you can make them however you want based on your nutritional needs and flavor preferences. You can have a tropical smoothie with pineapple and mango for breakfast and a cocoa almond smoothie to replace a chocolate cake for dessert. Your options are limited only to the ingredients you have on hand and your imagination.


Strawberry, Banana, And Flaxseed Smoothie

Strawberry and banana is a classic combo that has withstood the test of time. To make a strawberry, banana, and flaxseed smoothie, you need:

  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
  • 1 cup of frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 of a frozen banana, peeled and cut into chunks

Once you have gathered all the ingredients, all you need to do is put them in a blender and puree until smooth. With most blenders, this will only take about five minutes.


Blueberry, Banana, And Flaxseed Smoothie

Blueberries are a great source of flavor and antioxidants. To make this recipe, you need:

  • 1/3 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup vanilla fat-free yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla soy milk
  • 1/2 of a frozen banana

Add all the ingredients except the blueberries and blend on the lowest setting. Once the mixture is smooth, add the blueberries gradually as you continue to blend on low speed. Once you have added all the blueberries, increase the speed and blend until you get the desired consistency.


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Banana, Carrot, Orange, And Flaxseed Smoothie

The banana, carrot, orange, and flaxseed smoothie is truly a nutritional powerhouse. Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 peeled, seedless orange
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 halved banana
  • 1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat cow's milk or nut milk

Add all the ingredients and blend until smooth. Carrots are great for your eyes, especially night vision. Bananas are delicious and an excellent source of nutrients. Spinach is high in iron, calcium, and magnesium and perfect for blood sugar regulation, lowering blood pressure, protecting the health of your bones and keeping your skin and hair healthy. You really couldn't ask for a healthier smoothie recipe.


How To Make Your Own Recipe

If you are more free-spirited and adventurous, you do not need to be restricted by pre-set recipes. You can create your own recipes in four simple steps. First, add your favorite fruits and vegetables. Because of the slightly nutty flavor profile of flax seeds, they are often added to green smoothies (with kiwi, spinach, and avocado). But you can add whatever you want.


Next, add your flax. You need to do this before you blend the smoothie so your flax seeds are distributed evenly within your smoothie. If the flax is too concentrated in one or two areas, the taste and texture of your smoothie will not be ideal.


The third step is to add your base liquid. Water is a great base liquid if you are trying to watch the calories you have for breakfast. Coconut water is packed full of electrolytes, which are great before or after an intense workout. Milk also provides you with crucial nutrients and adequate fuel for your workout. If you are lactose intolerant or vegan, nut milk is a great alternative.


The final step is to blend your smoothie until it is smooth and the flaxseed is well blended. If your smoothie is not well blended or your blender is hard to clean, you need to invest in a better blender; the difference will be amazing. We also recommend investing in some super cute glasses to drink out of. A healthy diet is much more fun when it is chic.

Tips For Buying Flaxseed

Flaxseed

image source: Pixabay

Always check the expiration date when you buy flax seeds, so you can guarantee that they are fresh. The bag the seeds come in should be opaque because light can spoil the oils and destroy the nutrients.


Make sure you buy ground flax seeds because they are easier for your body to digest. The outer shell of the seeds are too tough for your intestines to break down, so you will not reap all the nutritional benefits. If you can't find ground flax seeds, you can grind them in your coffee grinder and store them in an airtight container.


Tips for Whole Flaxseed

If you have enough time in the morning, grind your flaxseeds immediately before adding them to your smoothie. If you are not a morning person, you can grind enough whole flaxseed for a few days (three to six tablespoons) and store it in a dark, airtight container. This prevents light from damaging the oil and the air from degrading the nutrients.


You can store whole flax for up to a year in a cool, dry place. However, to be on the safe side, store your flax in the refrigerator. Cold temperatures are great for preserving nutrients.


Other Tips

You can reap the health benefits of flax with just 10 grams (one tablespoon) of ground flaxseed per day. However, it is best to keep your serving size to fewer than 50 grams of flax seeds daily. Flaxseed oil is another great way to incorporate flax into your diet. It is sensitive to heat and light, so it should be stored just like flax seeds—in a cool, dark place in a dark glass bottle. When cooking with flaxseed oil, do not heat it beyond 350 degrees Fahrenheit to keep all the health benefits of the oil.

Conclusion


Flaxseed smoothies are good for everything from losing or maintaining weight to reducing your blood pressure and improving your cholesterol. The flaxseed provides a natural, earthy flavor and amazing consistency which will elevate your smoothie and give you the perfect start to your day. Now that you know all the benefits of flaxseed, get into the kitchen and experiment with smoothie recipes! What are you waiting for?