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flax, the superstar

Posted May 12 2010 3:19am
The almighty flaxseed. It gained popularity in 2006 when its health benefits were being touted and companies started adding it to foods. Since then a variety of other things have stolen the limelight, yet the flaxseed has quietly remained on the scene.. I, for one, am going to bring it back.. I want it right up there with the star of the hour, chia seed!
Flaxseeds are extremely versatile and are one of the most powerful of plant foods on the planet. These tiny seeds are known to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.
There are 3 major reasons for flax being so amazing
1. omega-3: Flax has this essential fatty acid in abundance. 1 Tablespoon of flax has 18 grams of omega-3.
2. Lignans: this is a plant estrogen and has an antioxidant quality 75-800x more than any other!
3. Fiber: Flax has both soluble and insoluble.
THe health benefits to adding flaxseeds to your diet are immense. For one, it seems to have protective effects against certain cancers, particularly, breast, colon and prostate. The plant omega-3s seem to inhibit tumor incidence and growth. The lignans block enzyes involved in hormone metabolism which is huge! This means it interferes with the growth and spread of tumor cells. Omega-3’s also have anti inflammatory actions which normalize the heart beat. They also prevent hardening of arteries and keep plaque from depositing on them.
The plant ALA seems to decrease inflammatory response in humans which has been linked to disease’s such as alzheimer’s..
Flax helps reduce hotflashes!!! Just 2 tablespoons daily of ground flax was shown to cut flashes in half and drop their intensity by 57%. The effects were noticeable in one week and reached maximum benefit in two.
Some tips for using flaxseeds in your diet It is better to consume the actual seed as opposed to the oil. It is better to consume the seed ground as opposed to whole. You can buy them ground, or do what I do and grind them yourself. The shelf life is longer if bought whole. The color of seed doesn’t matter, comes in gold or brown,,,equally as powerful.
Flax has a nutty flavor and is great oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies, soups, or salad.
You can also add it to baked recipes. Substitute it 1/4 to 1/2 cup for flour and your family won’t notice you’ve made a healthy addition.
Store your flax in the freezer to help it not oxidize and lose potency. Whole flax does have a shelf life of about 1 year. Once its ground that diminshes, so I like to grind just small batches at a time. A cheap coffee grinder does the job just great!
Have you tried flax? How are some ways you have added this super seed to your diet? Have you noticed the health benefits??
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