There is little or no benefit in consuming whole flax seeds since they will simply go right through your system. To get the nutritional benefit, flax seeds must be sprouted or ground.
Whole flax seeds can be stored for a very long time when stored in a cool dark place, preferably the fridge or freezer. But once ground, flax seeds will quickly go rancid so it is best to grind shortly before consumption.
Ground flax seeds have a delicious nutty flavor. Grind enough for a couple of days and then store in a jar in the fridge. Sprinkle on cereals, in soups and salads or add to smoothies and fruit or vegetable juices.
Due to the high fiber content it is essential to drink plenty of healthy liquids (water, fruit juice, herbal teas) after consuming ground flax to avoid constipation. When consumed with plenty of liquid, the flax fiber will mildly stimulate your colon.
Flax oil will also go rancid quickly if exposed to light or heat. It is best stored in the fridge and pay close attention to the use-by date.
Cooking with flax oil will damage the fat resulting in oxidized cholesterol, a serious health hazard. Use flax seed oil in salad dressings or mixed with yogurt on fruit or meusli.
Flax seeds and flax seed oil are key features of Dr Johanna Budwig's cancer-curing oil protein diet.
Flax seeds are an abundant source of fiber and the essential fatty acid Omega-3. Studies show that a diet deficient in Omega-3 is a leading cause of general inflammation. Chronic inflammation weakens your immune system and is now recognized as the likely cause of all sorts of illnesses including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, depression, inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's or ulcerative colitis and other autoimmune conditions. A daily dose of flax seed or flax seed oil is very beneficial for a healthy diet.
Flax seeds are one of the few foods that provides a balanced combination of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Flax Oil on the other hand is deficient in Omega-6 because the process for extracting oil from the seeds eliminates Omega-6. A deficiency in the Omega-6 fat can cause health problems but it occurs rarely and the more common problem is excess consumption of Omega-6. Diets in the western world are typically deficient in Omega-3 and contain too much Omega-6 because of the high consumption of saturated fats and trans fats.
An excess of Omega-6, saturated fats and trans fats, is associated with cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease. Whether you have too much Omega-6 depends on the type and amounts of fats that you eat. The goal is to get the right ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids (somewhere around 4 to 6 parts of Omega 6 to 1 part of Omega 3) and flax seeds are an excellent balance. Fish oil is another great source of Omega-3.
In addition to being a good source of the fatty acids, flax seeds are also an abundant source of plant lignans that are rich in antioxidants. The lignans in flax seeds are phytoestrogens and these are shown to prevent breast, colon and prostrate cancer. Phytoestrogens also contribute to the prevention of cholesterol, osteoporosis, and menopause symptoms. Flax seeds are also a good source of the micronutrients
and the minerals
The fiber in flax seeds is also very high and contributes to lower blood pressure, prevention of gall stones, and aids constipation. Two tablespoons of ground flax seeds contains as much fiber as 1-1/2 cups of oatmeal. This is approximately 4 grams and 20% of recommended daily requirements. Adequate fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system and will reduce or prevent the accumulation of toxins in your body.
Acting as a natural yet subtle laxative, flax seeds are a toxin-absorbing lubricant for the colon. They may help reduce the toxic side effects of cyclosporine including kidney damage and high blood pressure and prevent ulcers associated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Add flax seeds to your diet today!
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