How To Use Flax in Smoothies
I recommend flax quite a bit to my clients. Often, flax is well tolerated by a lot of people with digestive issues like constipation, bloating, and diarrhea. It is also one of the foods that we test for in my signature 90 Day Gut Reset program.
One of my favorite ways to use flax is throwing it into a smoothie. A spoonful of flax into your smoothie can really add a lot of nutrients and doesn't add any weird taste or texture.
Disclosure: I received free samples from Manitoba Milling in exchange for sharing this flaxseed smoothie post. All opinions are my own.
Why flaxseed in smoothies?
No. 1 | Flaxseeds are a good source of lignans
Dietary lignans are a type of phytoestrogen-a plant nutrient with estrogen-like properties. While studies have been contradictory, one small study showed 40 grams of ground flaxseed to help with menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes and night sweats.
In addition, the lignans in flaxseed may help reduce the risk of cancer, including breast cancer and prostate cancer.
No. 2 | Flaxseeds help boost your fiber intake
Providing a combo of both soluble and insoluble fiber, flaxseed can help alleviate constipation and support your gut microbiome, as well as overall digestive health. If you have IBS ground flaxseed in generally well tolerated.
No. 3 | Flaxseeds can help with weight management
Another benefit of adding more fiber to your diet, is that it can help keep you full, leading to less overeating.
For my ultimate guide on how to build a gut healthy smoothie check out this post here .
With more and more coffee shops, ice cream stands, and juice bars offering smoothies as a ‘healthier’ option, it's important to remember that not all smoothies are created equal! It ultimately comes down to the ingredients.
Below are a few tips for choosing or making a healthier smoothie.
Make it Last
If a smoothie contains primarily fruits and juices, it can provide a quick boost of energy but leave you feeling hungry soon after. To prevent this quick rise and fall in blood sugar - try adding a source of protein, fiber, or healthy fat to make your smoothie a more satisfying and satiating meal or snack.
Rather than blending the smoothie with juice use a dairy or plant based milk. This will add protein and other nutrients depending on the type of milk you choose. Nuts, seeds, or nut and seed butters can also contribute protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. Manitoba Milling Smooth Whole Milled Flaxseed is a great addition to make your smoothie a little more filling. Not only does it offer healthy ALA Omega 3 fats, fiber, and plant based protein but because of its smooth texture and mild flavor it is the perfect addition to any smoothie.
Regardless of which combination of ingredients you choose, adding in healthy fats and a good source or protein will make a smoothie more satisfying and keep blood sugar levels stable, which translates into sustainable energy (as opposed to a quick rise and crash leaving you feeling hungry an hour later!).
Green smoothies are more than just Insta-worthy, they’re great for packing in extra nutrition without negatively impacting the taste.
Most people fall short on vegetable intake throughout the day, and this is a simple and tasty way to get an extra serving (or two) with your breakfast, lunch, or snack. Plus it can be a great way to help choosier eaters or kids get in their greens!
I’ve found that spinach blends the best, but if you have a high-powered blender, kale works great too. Both options provide a good source of vitamins A and K, folate, and antioxidants. Don’t be afraid to experiment with other veggies too. Cauliflower and sweet potato are also fairly mild tasting and another great addition. A new veggie I have heard people are trying in smoothies are frozen zucchini. I got this tip from Nutrition Stripped. She recommends adding frozen chopped zucchini. It’s supposed to give a creamy (and green) element to the smoothie without having to use banana.
Naturally Sweeten with Fruit
Many smoothies, while marketed as ‘healthy’ can be loaded with added sugars from various types of juice mixes, protein powders, coconut water, honey, agave or other sweeteners.
Fruit is naturally sweet and often doesn’t need anything extra to boost the naturally sweet taste. The Tropical Green Smoothie recipe below uses pineapple, which provides plenty of natural sweetness - no additional honey or maple syrup necessary!
Of course fruit isn’t “bad” but since it’s being blended into a small volume, it can be easy to consume multiple servings in a short period of time once in smoothie form. A good rule of thumb is to choose 1-2 fruits totaling up to one cup.
This is the fun part! Choose “boosters” for additional flavor, texture, and nutrition. Think spices, unsweetened protein powders, nut and seed butters, or fresh herbs.
You can also add in two of my favorite fiber foods, chia and walnuts, to your smoothie. Both chia and walnuts will add a healthy fat and give your smoothie a thicker texture.
Manitoba Milling Smooth Whole Milled Flaxseed is incredibly smooth and blends seamlessly into any smoothie recipe without altering the taste or texture. Just one serving (2 tablespoons) provides 3g of ALA Omega 3 (meeting your daily needs!), 4g of dietary fiber, and 3g of plant based protein.
Use a Spoon
While slurping down a smoothie through a straw is convenient, especially while on the go, it can make you consume a meal (or snack) much quicker than you normally would. Try using a spoon to slow down, be more mindful, and pay attention to your hunger and fullness. A spoon can also help with managing bloat and burping. It’s super easy to gulp down the smoothie with a straw but with a spoon it forces us to slow down.
This tropical summertime smoothie will take you to the beach any time of year. It includes a hefty portion of greens and is naturally sweetened with pineapple and ginger. It is boosted with Manitoba Milling Co. Smooth Whole Milled Flaxseed.
Tropical Green Smoothie
A light, refreshing, and healthy snack or meal making you feel like you're somewhere on the beach.
3/4 cup frozen pineapple
1 packed cup of spinach
1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup plant based milk
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
2 Tbsp Manitoba Milling Co. Smooth Whole-Milled Flaxseed
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Cetisli NE, Saruhan A, Kivcak B. The effects of flaxseed on menopausal symptoms and quality of life. Holistic Nursing Practice. 2015 May-Jun;29(3):151-7.
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-flaxseeds#section2 Prostate and breast cancer references)