Flax Offers Beneficial Omega-3s, Carotene, Lignans
The flax seed is one of nature’s best health foods and should be included in the diet. Flax seeds and flax oil contain compounds that support human health.
Flax goes back to antiquity and was treasured for its healing properties. It fell out favor, however, because important nutrients it contained also contributed to faster rancidity and a shorter shelf life.
In recent times, flax has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity as the health benefits of flax seeds have become known.
Flax and Omega-3
Studies have validated the importance of omega-3 fatty acids to human health and flax is believed to be one of the best sources of omega-3.
Flax Seed Nutrition
Flax seeds contain many nutrients that impact favorably on human health. Flax seeds are rich in soluble fiber and contain high quality protein. Vitamins B-1, B-2, C and E, and minerals iron and zinc, plus smaller amounts of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium are found in flax seeds.
Flax Seeds and Lignans
Flax is one of the richest sources of lignan. A spotlight has been focused on the cancer fighting properties of lignans—especially in relation to breast and colon cancer in humans. It is believed that lignans also have anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties.
Flax Seeds and Carotene
Flax seeds contain carotene. Carotenes are antioxidants that neutralize free radicals, which may protect humans against certain cancers.
Why is Flax so Good for You?
As if the foregoing weren’t enough, flax also offers additional benefits to the human body.
Flax Seed Health Benefits:
Flax and Cardio-Vascular Health—Omega-3 fatty acids lower harmful LDL cholesterol levels and blood triglycerides, preventing build-up of harmful deposits in arteries, which can lead to stroke, thromboses, and heart attack. We’ve all heard about the dangers of trans fats and saturated fats. Flax offers us the good polyunsaturated fat that has a protective effect.
Flax Oil and Immune Health—Studies have shown that flax oil can reduce respiratory infections in children and that substances in flax (lignans and ALA) can protect against inflammation, which plays a role in immune function.
Flax Seeds and Colon Health–Flax packs a three-fold punch in relation to colon health. Flax seeds contain fiber, are a natural lubricant, and have anti-cancer properties.
Flax and Diabetes— Flax lowers blood glucose and can stabilize blood sugar levels, thereby reducing severity of diabetes.
Flax and Brain Health—Flax contains important fats that are precursors for brain building.
Flax and Weight—We’ve all heard that certain fats can be good for you. Flax contains fats that are high in essential fatty acids, the beneficial fats that actually increase the body’s metabolic rate, helping to burn unhealthy fats. Through a process called thermogenesis, particular fat cells burn more fat when activated by essential fatty acids.
Flax Seeds: Nature’s Laxative–If you have problems with elimination, soak one tablespoon of flax seeds in ½ cup of water until a soft gel forms. This natural mixture supports good bowel function.
Flax seeds make a crunchy and tasty addition to homemade bread and crackers or can be added to pancake batter.
Grind flax seeds in a flax seed ginder and sprinkle over cereal or add to muffins.
Add 1tbsp. ground flax seeds to fruit smoothies.
Taking flax seed capsules is another way to reap the benefits of flax seed oil
Flax seeds can be stored in an airtight container for up to one year.
Store unused portions of ground flax seed for up to one month in a sealed container in the fridge.
Considering the many health benefits of flax seeds, choosing to incorporate whole and ground flax seeds and flax seed oil into the diet is a good health-protective measure.