* Prices may differ from that shown
I first noticed the brightly coloured packets of Linwoods Milled Flaxseed, Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Walnuts and Q10 in Holland and Barrett during one of their "buy one get one half price" promotions. Displayed in a bright pink packet this is part of Linwoods "super food" range and currently retails for £5.69 for 360g.
Flaxseed is something we have always enjoyed in our daily diets in our house. It is thought to be extremely good for well-being - possibly anti cancer and heart healthy. These two issues concern my family greatly as my husband has two sisters - both of them developed cancer in early life, and he sadly lost his mother to cancer last year. My father is battling cancer and my mother is disabled due to a severe stroke, so these diseases are very much in our lives.
As our family are all vegetarians we miss out on the omega three fatty acids found in oily fish, and rely in part on the source provided by the flaxseeds that we eat daily. It is these omega three fatty acids that are thought to be heart healthy. Flaxseeds also contain lignans which are plant oestrogens that also have anti-oxidant qualities and which also may have anti-cancer properties. It is easy to get carried away by product claims, but there does seem to be evidence that flaxseed is especially important in its preventative role in relation to breast, prostate and bowel cancers.
Whatever the health benefits no one wants to eat rabbit food unless it tastes good, and this product really has been designed to appeal. 69% of the ingredients are made from flaxseed alone, but it is the additional ingredients which include almonds, walnuts and Co-enzyme Q10 which complete the nutritional picture and enhance the taste. Co-enzyme Q10 is thought to increase energy and is also a powerful anti-oxidant. The mix contains selenium, magnesium, iron and vitamin E and as it is also full of fibre it may help to lower cholesterol.
So what is the mix like?
First of all I like the packaging as it has a self sealing top so you can press closed after use. The mix has a slightly nutty aroma on opening and is a golden colour.
It is recommended that you add two dessert spoonfuls to your breakfast, or to any lunch or evening meal dish such as soup or stew. Personally I just use it for breakfast as it mixes beautifully with any cereal. Alpen in particular is really nice with the addition of the flax, as it becomes a more luxurious cereal. The nutty flavour is so enjoyable, but as it has been ground it is easy to eat with no hard nuts to crack fillings or crowns. I also like it mixed into plain Greek yogurt, and it is really good when added to more whole food granolas and muesli based cereals.
Each serving of two dessertspoons is 167 calories - which is quite a lot and is due to the nuts which are high in fatty acids. These are good fats to have as they are not the saturated fats thought to be bad for the heart and circulation.
I think this product is a really lovely addition to breakfast in particular, and has been awarded the prestigious "Great Taste" award in 2010. I can understand why it won the award as it has certainly been enjoyed in our house for some time now. I find that it compliments the cereals and yogurts I have tried it with, and does not overwhelm them with too many nutty flavours.
More information can be found at www.linwoods.co.uk where there is also more about the other varieties in the range which I have tried and can recommend. The range includes milled flaxseed married with various seeds including pumpkin and sunflower, cocoa and berries, and there are several combinations to choose from.
This product is stocked at many supermarkets and whole food stores and is something really tasty to add to meals. I really enjoy it, and the possible health benefits are an additional attribute that I hope might help to keep us free from these major diseases for longer.
I think it is very expensive and so I only purchase when I can buy on offer. Holland and Barrett have an excellent mail order service and a new rewards card so this is well worth looking into. At the full price this product lasts for 12 days and each serving costs 47p- not cheap. For this reason it gets 4* from me but if you can purchase when on offer then it is certainly worth looking at.
This review is also published on Ciao under my user name Violet1278.