Flaxseed may be the easiest super food to incorporate into your diet. Just two tablespoons contains 2400 milligrams of Omega-3 fatty acids, something Americans’ diets are lacking! It is not the latest pill claiming superior health benefits, but whole ground flaxseed. Not only is flaxseed a great way to get Omega-3 into the diet, but also fiber and lignans. Just adding a couple tablespoons (one serving) to your morning breakfast can prevent a wide array of diseases.
There are 4 grams of fiber in one serving of flaxseed. That is as much as a serving of oatmeal. Adding flaxseed to oatmeal doubles the fiber content of breakfast. Starting the day off with a high fiber breakfast promotes regularity, and prevents overeating throughout the day. The fiber found in flaxseed is soluble and insoluble. Flaxseeds are a natural, gentle laxative. Not only does flaxseed help the digestive track, but it also helps the respiratory system. Known to help alleviate asthma, flaxseed also decreases the severity of other inflammatory respiratory problems. Its anti-inflammatory properties are what contribute to the effect flaxseed has on slowing down the progression of atherosclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Lignans are phytoestrogens and a natural antioxidant. The lignans in flaxseed bind circulating substances that cause cancer. Lignans bind with bile acids to remove them from the body. Ingesting enough lignans may be one of the best natural defenses against gallstone formation and colon cancer. It also lowers cholesterol and helps alleviate diabetes symptoms. Flaxseed has more 75 times more lignans than any other plant source, and as much as 30 cups of broccoli!
Omega-3s are a lifeline for the brain and heart, and essential for normal growth. While American diets are more than sufficient in levels of Omega-6 essential fatty acids, it is deficient in important Omega-3s. Alpha-linolenic acid is the form of omega-3s contained in flaxseed. It is the best source of Omega-3s as it contains at least five times more Omega-3s than any other plant source. Flaxseed fights breast, prostate, and colon cancers thanks to its high content of this important nutrient. It lowers cholesterol, reduces inflammation, and stabilizes blood sugar. This super food also is linked to curing and preventing macular degeneration. As the studies on flaxseed increase, so do the known benefits.
Flaxseed has a nice, nutty flavor. It adds substance and texture to cereal, baked goods, and is a great substitute for butter when mixed with peanut butter or natural honey. It can be added to smoothies, tossed into salads, sprinkled on top of yogurt, or even used as a substitute for breadcrumbs. Flaxseed is available in whole seed, ground seed, or oil form at health food stores and supermarkets. Ground seed is the favored form because all of the nutrients and compounds are intact, and it is easy to mix into other food. Flaxseed oil is easier to digest, but lacks the fiber that the other two forms provide.
The Omega-3 and Lignan quantity is what makes flaxseed so remarkable. No other food source can provide these nutrients as well. There are so many variations one can do when cooking or baking with flaxseed. It has been used for thousands of years for its health benefits, and only recently has received the credit it deserves here in America. It is good for so much more than just alleviating a variety of different medical conditions. Adding one to two tablespoons of these nutty-flavored seeds to your daily diet can provide the insurance for health that America has been longing for.