seed is a high quality source of alpha linoleic acid, an omega 3
fatty acid. It was used as a food source as early as Egyptian
times, and is one of the few non-animal sources of omega 3 fatty
acids. Because of the importance of omega 3 fatty acids in the
body, flax seed is highly recommended as a daily supplement for
those who avoid eating animal
Flax Seed Does:
Flax seed is one of
the richest sources of alpha linoleic acid, one of the essential
fatty acids that the body requires to create new cells and
repair old ones. Specifically, the EFA that is contained in flax
seed is an omega 3 fatty acid, which is in short supply in the
typical American diet. The prevalence of omega 6 in our diets
and the relative scarcity of omega 3 are being correlated with
the rise of such illnesses as diabetes, depression,
schizophrenia, hypertension, bipolar disorder, coronary
disorders and Alzheimer’s disease.
Omega 3 fatty acids
like those found in flax seed are essential for your body to
create healthy neural and brain tissue. While the body can use
other fatty acids in building and rebuilding neural cells and
brain cells, those that use omega 3 fatty acids function best.
In addition, flax
seed contains a number of phytonutrients called lignins.
Lignins show a lot of promise as antioxidants that may help
prevent several forms of cancer, heart disease and stroke. The
Phytonutrient Lab of the USDA is studying flax seed very
seriously as a possible preventive for cancer, and according to
director Beverly Clevidence, ‘Flax seed is a grain that holds a
lot of promise.’
flax seed is a good source of high quality fiber in the diet,
which can promote healthy digestion.
Benefits of Flax Seed:
A number of studies
have shown that including flax seed in the diet helps lower LDL,
the ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Regulates Insulin/Sugar Levels in Diabetics
Research at the
University of Toronto has linked flax seed with lower blood
sugar levels in patients with diabetes. This is borne out by
other studies which suggest that flax seed and omega 3 fatty
acid benefit the body’s regulation of insulin at a cellular
May Prevent Cancer
National Cancer Institute has singled out flax seed as one of
the six foods that deserve special study. Because flax seed
contains a high amount of phytonutrients that serve as
antixodants, and because omega 3 fatty acids seem to play a role
in preventing the formation of abnormal cells in the body, many
doctors recommend eating flax seed every day.
Flax seed is high
in both soluble and insoluble fiber. In fact, one ounce of flax
seed contains 32% of the US RDA for fiber. Fiber in the diet
promotes healthy digestive functioning and regular bowel
movements, which can be a major concern as people grow older.
Flax may be
beneficial to people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. In
one 1996 study, patients who added flax seed to their diet on a
regular basis showed marked improvement in their condition, with
inflammation levels dropping by nearly 30 percent.
May reduce the symptoms of menopause
in flax seed may help alleviate some menopausal symptoms and
reduce the need for estrogen replacement therapy in menopausal
Reduces the Risks Associated with Heart Disease
There’s a large and
growing body of work that highlights the effects of flax seed on
heart disease. Among other things, it helps lower cholesterol,
reduces clotting time and promotes health cell regrowth. All of
these are associated with a lowered risk of heart disease.
Bolsters the immune system
The lingans and the
EFA present in flax seed seem to bolster immune system
operation. Because many of the diseases mentioned above are
suspected of being, at least in part, auto-immune disorders,
there is every reason to believe that flax seed can keep the
immune system intact.
May help alleviate symptoms of depression
The effects of
omega 3 essential fatty acid on neuropsychological disorders
like schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, OCD, ADD is well
documented by various studies. Because flax seed is high in
omega 3 fatty acids, it may help reduce the symptoms of
depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.
Side Effects of Flax Seed:
seed has no reported harmful side effects.
flax seed is the richest vegetable source of omega 3 fatty
acids, it is often included in health supplements that benefit
neurological and brain function. There is a great deal of
evidence to support the benefits of adding flax seed, flax seed
oil or flax seed extract to your daily diet to help improve your
immune system and fight off some of the most common diseases of
the modern world.