By Gary, on February 2nd, 2013
If “D” is for Dill and “E” is for Endive then
“F” is for Flaxseed.
What benefit do you get when you use flaxseed in your meals? Well, the health benefits of eating flaxseeds are surprisingly significant.
Without delving into bio-chemistry, I went to several web sites to see what chemicals are normally found in flaxseed that assist our bodies and make us healthier. Now – if you haven’t used flaxseed in your food when cooking, you are missing out on a very simple way of having a healthy diet. When you use it once, you will continue to use it again and again. I am positive there are other foods that can be substituted for flaxseed, providing your body nearly the same benefits. For now though let’s take a look at the “health benefits of using flaxseed”.
What is flaxseed? Flaxseed is the seed from the plant Linum usitatissimum. It is also called linseed.
As early as 3000 BC it is recorded that flaxseed was cultivated in Babylon. It has been agreed upon that this plant originated in Egypt and in the 8th century, King Charlemagne passed laws requiring his subjects to consume it because of its health benefits. Currently, some experts say that we now have the research to back up what Charlemagne suspected.
Flaxseed is found in all kinds of today’s foods from crackers to frozen waffles to oatmeal. The Flax Council estimates close to 300 new flax-based products were launched in the U.S. and Canada in 2010 alone. Not only has consumer demand for flaxseed grown, agricultural use has also increased. Flaxseed is used to feed all those chickens that are laying eggs with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
Flaxseed contains plenty of fiber, along with the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linoleic acid and phytoestrogens called lignans. These substances found in flaxseed provide a variety of health benefits.
Without being a bio-chemist, how do these improve my health, you may ask? Well, the chemists tell us this about flaxseed: Click here for more information.
- 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 health benefits and 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 Omega-3’s, but flaxseed contains these essential fatty acids in perfect balance.
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.
Including flax in your diet and in your cooking is very affordable and available.