Health Benefits of Flax Seed
Flax Fights Cholesterol
The consumption of flaxseed is associated with a reduction in
total cholesterol, including the LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides.
Study after study has shown a positive response to eating ground
flax seed daily. Eating low fat foods, increasing your exercise,
limiting the salt, sugar and eating flax seed daily are a few ways
that you can win the battle against high cholesterol.
Flax Fights Diabetes
Nutritionists are instructing their diabetic patients to eat
flax daily. It has been discovered that the omega-3 fat and high
fiber in flax may play a role in the fight against diabetes. In
a study conducted by the University of Toronto, participants who
ate flaxseed bread had blood sugar levels 28% lower an hour after
eating than their counterparts who ate bread made with wheat flour!
Flax Fights Cancer
Flaxseed is high in lignans, up to 800 times the amount as in
any tested plant food. Lignans (a phytoestrogen) have been called
by H. Adlercreutz (in his article “Phytoestrogens: Epidemiology
and a Possible Role in Cancer Protection”), natural
cancer-protective compounds. Flax seed is also high in alpha linolenic
which has been found to be promising as a cancer fighting agent.
The American National Cancer Institute has singled out flaxseed
as one of six foods that deserve special study. Flax seed's high
fiber aspect is also beneficial in the fight against colon cancer.
Epidemiological studies note that diet plays a major
role in the incidence of colon cancer. Research has shown that
increasing the amount of fiber in your diet reduces your colon-cancer
risk. Flax seed, high in fiber, lignans, alpha linolenic acid,
is a key player in the fight against cancer, particularly breast
and colon cancer.
Flax Fights Constipation
Flax is high in both soluble and insoluble fiber. One ounce of
flax provides 32% of the USDA’s reference daily intake of
fiber. Flax promotes regular bowel movements because it is high
in insoluble fiber. Flaxseed's all natural fiber helps to absorb
water, thereby softening the stool and allowing it to pass through
the colon quickly. When adding fiber to your diet, it is important
to make sure that you are drinking at least eight glasses of water
daily. Without enough liquids, fiber can actually cause constipation!
In the fight against constipation exercise, eat fruits and vegetables,
drink eight glasses of water daily and add two to four tablespoons
of flax to your daily regime!
Flax Fights Inflammation
Flax is high in Omega 3 essential fatty acids. That’s good
news for people who suffer from inflammatory disorders, including
rheumatoid arthritis. Health experts, such as former Surgeon General
C. Evertt Koop, recommend eating foods high in Omega 3’s
for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. It is the inflammation
within the joints that cause so much of the pain associated with
arthritis. The January 1996 issue of the American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition reported that the participants in a study that took flax
oil daily reduced inflammatory responses by as much as 30%.
Flax Fights Menopausal Symptoms
Hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, moodiness…ah, the
joys of menopause. Can flax really help? Yes it can! Flax, like
soy, is a phytoestrogen. Phytoestrogens are estrogen-like substances
that are found in plants. Flax is the richest known plant source
of phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens act as a natural hormone therapy
and help to stabilize hormonal levels. This stabilization of hormonal
levels helps to lesson the symptoms of menopause.
Flax fights Heart Disease
Heart disease, the number one killer in America, has claimed the
lives of too many of our family and friends. Years of a sedentary
lifestyle, super size meals and processed foods has finally caught
up with us. Can flax help? Yes it can. Numerous studies have been
done on the effect of flax on heart disease, yielding many positive
findings. Flax has been found to help reduce total cholesterol,
LDL levels (the bad cholesterol), triglycerides. Flax helps to
reduce clotting time and thereby reduces the chance for heart attacks
and strokes. Regular intake of flax protects against arrhythmias
and helps keep the arteries clear and pliable!
Flax and the Immune System
Across the table, your co-worker sneezes, no tissue in sight,
you feel a light spray hit your face and shudder. Standing in a
crowded elevator, in a busy mall, or in an airplane, you sometimes
feel like you can’t escape getting at least one or two colds
each year…or can you? Research has found that eating flax
daily favorably affects immunity, the body’s ability to defend
itself successfully against bacteria and viruses. Two components
of flax, lignans and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), have been found
to affect immune cells and compounds that control immune reaction.
Flax fights “The Blues”
It’s that tired feeling that a good night's rest won’t
shake… that listless down in the dumps feeling that you just
can’t get rid of. We call it “the blues”, otherwise
known as atypical depression, the most common form of depression.
Preliminary research suggests that eating a diet rich in flax could
slash your risk of ever feeling “down in the dumps”.
Follow up studies show that just 2-3 tablespoons of flax daily
can help up to 2/3rds of severely depressed women bounce back within
eight weeks. Flax, says Udo Erasmus, PhD, has a mood boosting ingredient:
docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that is essential for the proper function
of brain cells, yet up to 85% of women aren’t getting enough
of it. Early research conducted by Dr. Martha Clare Morris of Chicago’s
Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center notes that a
diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids is believed to be important for
brain development. She stated that some participants in the study
saw a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s from eating a diet high
in Omege-3 fatty acids(Flax is the richest source of Omega 3’s
in the plant kingdom). More research is needed in the area of
flax and its relation to depression and brain function,
however preliminary research is very promising.
Buy Flax Now
How can Golden Valley Flax help you?
- Flax is very high in lignans, which have anti-tumor properties—lignans
act as antioxidants that could mirror the results of Tamoxifen,
the anti-cancer drug for breast cancer.
- Flax is a natural food that has been consumed
for thousands of years by many civilizations with noticeable
no artificial drug side effects.
- Omega 3’s—flax
is recognized as the richest source of essential fatty acids
(EFAs) such as alphalinolenic acid (ALA
and Omega-3 fatty acids).
- Lignans—flax contains high
levels of lignans, which are natural compounds that help prevent
many types of cancer, such
as breast, colon and prostate cancer.
- Fiber—as a whole
grain, flax contains high levels of both soluble and insoluble
fiber, which has been recognized by the
National Cancer Institute as an essential part of your diet
for the prevention of many cancers.
- Your body cannot make the
essential fatty acids, Linoleic (Omega-6) or Linolenic (Omega-3),
from other elements; instead, they
must be consumed as part of your daily diet. Research has
indicated that we consume too much Omega-6’s and not enough
but flaxseed contains these essential fatty acids in perfect
- In proper balance, omega-3’s and omega-6’s
work to form the membranes of every cell in your body, play
a vital role
in the active tissues of your brain, and control the way
cholesterol works in your system.
For more information about the health benefits of flax, contact
us and we’ll do our best to help.
Some of the information above is from Flax
Your Way to Better Health by Jane Reinhardt-Martin,
RD, LD and Flax, A Health and Nutrition Primer by
Diane H. Morris, Phd, RD.