The Power Of Flaxseed
As most everyone is aware, there is currently a tremendous resurgence of interest in the health benefits of flaxseed. This could be due to a number of reasons:
- Rising health care costs could mean that more people are turning to ‘old school’ remedies. Also, unemployment is nearly at an all-time high. Many may no longer have a health care provider or, or can’t afford it. If they do have a health care policy, their deductible has increased to where they are paying considerably more out of pocket for traditional services.
- Generally, there is a lot of mistrust in our institutions, including the medical profession. Medical lawsuits are doubtless higher than they have ever been.
- We are inundated with drug commercials. Each new commercial seems to focus on a longer list of possible risks (associated with taking the drug) than with the claimed benefits.
All of this is somewhat disconcerting and depressing. To top it off, we are now told that the following generations will likely have a lower life expectancy than we have achieved to date.
As a result, soy, flaxseed and other plant-based foods are getting a lot of grass-root attention.
Flaxseed has been recognized for its healing and medicinal properties for literally thousands of years.
While originally thought to be a food additive that helped to provide general health and well-being, in addition to aiding in the elimination process, research within the past two decades has shown that this small natural wonder has a much broader list of medical benefits.
While the seed itself might be tiny, when added to the diet, it packs one of the biggest nutrient payloads on the planet. While it’s not technically a grain, flaxseed has a similar vitamin and mineral profile to that of other well-known grains. However, the potency of flaxseed, the amount of fiber, antioxidants, and Omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients, leaves all other traditional grains in the dust.
Additionally, flaxseed is very low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for people who limit their intake of starches and sugars. And its combination of healthy fat and high fiber content, make it a great food for weight loss and maintenance -- many dieters have found that flaxseed has been a key to keeping them feeling satisfied
Flax Seed Nutrition
Yes, flaxseed is high in most of the B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese, but this little seed is just getting started. There are three additional nutrient groups which flaxseed has in abundance, and each has many benefits.
Flaxseed is Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a key force against inflammation in our bodies. Mounting evidence shows that inflammation plays a part in many chronic diseases including heart disease, arthritis, asthma, diabetes, and even some cancers. This inflammation is enhanced by having too little Omega-3 intake (such as in fish, flax, and walnuts), especially in relation to Omega-6 fatty acid intake (in such oils as soy and corn oil). In the quest to equalize the ratio of these two kinds of oils, flaxseed can be a real help.
Its high content of alpha linolenic acids has made the ancient flaxseed become our modern miracle food. Alpha linolenic acid (ALA) is a type of plant-derived omega 3 fatty acid, similar to those found in fish such as salmon. Additional benefits of flaxseed as shown in many studies include lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) levels. Other benefits show that flaxseed may also help lower blood triglyceride and blood pressure. It may also keep platelets from becoming sticky, therefore reducing the risk of a heart attack.
Flax Seed is High in Fiber
You’d be hard-pressed to find a food higher in fiber -- both soluble and insoluble -- than flax. This fiber is probably mainly responsible for the cholesterol-lowering effects of flax. Fiber in the diet also helps stabilize blood sugar, and, of course, promotes proper functioning of the intestines.