The Incredible Benefits of Flax Seed, the world’s number one source of Omega 3-s!
Chia seeds have made the press a lot in recent years and no doubt you’ve heard of their amazing health benefits as an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Flax Seeds Takes First Place for Vegetable Sources of Omega 3s
What you may not have heard as much about is the humble flaxseed, which actually ranks ahead of chia in first place for the richest sources of omega-3s! And the great things about flaxseed is that it’s about a third the price of chia, making it very affordable for everyone!
Flaxseed oil is the world’s richest source of omega-3 fatty acids, containing 58% by weight, over two times the omega-3s found in fish 1 though it is a different type of Omega 3.
The Benefits of Omega 3s
Omega-3 essential fatty acids play a vital role in strengthening immunity and cleaning the heart and arteries, they reduce blood viscosity and lower lipid levels.
Omega 3s Can be Beneficial to Many Diseases
Over 60 health conditions can benefit from omega-3 essential fatty acid supplements including acne, allergies, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, atherosclerosis, breast pain and tenderness, cancer, dementia, diabetes, eczema, heart disease, hypertension, immune disorders, inflammatory conditions, menopause, MS, neurological disease, obesity, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, to name a few.
The Typical Western Diet is Highly Deficient in Omega 3
It’s estimated that the modern Western diet only has one-fifth the level of omega-3 oils found in traditional diets (2) and given the importance of omega-3s in maintaining good health, it is little wonder we are seeing such a rising tide of health issues.
Flaxseeds and Fibre
Researchers also rank flaxseeds as number one among all commonly eaten food in fibre-related polyphenols called lignans, with flaxseed having about seven times as many lignans the second-runner-up, sesame seeds.
Lignans are polyphenols that have antioxidant benefits, fibre-like benefits and act as phytoestrogens which help regulate estrogen levels by escorting excess estrogen from the body. This makes flaxseeds highly beneficial, especially for women.
The Amazing Health Benefits of Flaxseed (in a nutshell)
Here’s why including flaxseed in your diet is a great idea, in a nutshell:
- Cardiovascular benefits (including lowering blood cholesterol levels)
- Antioxidant benefits
- Anti-inflammatory benefits
- Immune boosting benefits
- Cancer prevention benefits
- Digestive health benefits (helpful for treating a range of GI complaints, from constipation to leaky gut syndrome.)
- Hair, skin and nail benefits
- Phyto-estrogenic properties (phytoestrogens help regulate estrogen levels by escorting excess estrogen from the body)
Don’t let a day go by without eating at 1-2 tbs of flax seed.
Great ideas on how to include flaxseed in your diet.
Safety of Flaxseed
As flaxseeds contain moderate amounts of oxalate, those with a medical history of oxalate-containing kidney stones should avoid consuming too much.
1Murray, M. (2005). The Encyclopaedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books.
2Ref: Rudin, D.O. “Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Medicine.” 1984-1985 Yearbook of Nutritional Medicine. J. Bland, Editor. New Canaan, CT: Keats Pub., 1985, p41
3The World’s Healthiest Foods http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=81
Murray, M. (1996). The Encyclopaedia of Nutritional Supplements. New, York, NY: Three Rivers Publishing.