Flaxseed is very high in omega-3 essential fatty acids. These are the good fats.

Their positive effects on lowering cholesterol, stabilizing blood sugar, lowering the risk of breast, prostate, and colon cancers, and reducing the inflammation of arthritis, as well as the inflammation that accompanies certain illnesses such as Parkinson's disease and asthma, are now being investigated.

Proven benefits of flax seed include lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the Bad cholesterol) levels, lowering blood triglyceride and blood pressure.

Flax seed is also rich in fiber, both the soluble and insoluble type. Omega 3 essential fatty acids are particularly important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral functioning.

Flax seed should be used moderately as long-term use could be toxic.

Flax seed muffins

• 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup ground flaxseed
• 3/4 cup oat bran
• 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
• 2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
• 1-1/2 cups shredded carrots
• 1 cup pineapple tidbits, drained
• 1/2 cup raisins
• 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon egg substitute
• 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 cup skim milk
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. Oven should be preheated to 350°F.
2. Mix flours, flax, oat bran, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
3. Add carrots, pineapple and raisins - stir
4. Combine eggs, milk, lemon juice, applesauce and vanilla in a separate bowl.
5. Add liquids to dry ingredients, stir until moist.
6. Coat muffin tin with non-stick spray. Pour batter in tins.
7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they turn golden brown.

Recipe: The Amazing Flax Cookbook, by Jane Reinhardt-Martin