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Botanically Speaking

Top 10 Healthiest Foods, #2 - Ground Flax Seed and Flaxseed Oil

Brown Flaxseed - photo credit, Sanjay AcharyaFlax seed is also known as linseed, and it is among the "Top Ten" on my list of healthiest foods. 

The major reason I consider flax seed to be so healthy is that the freshly ground seed is one of the best sources of an important Omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha-linolenic acid.  

I eat a tablespoon or two sprinkled on my salads, smoothies, soup or dessert every day. The mild nutty flavor of the fresly ground seeds make improving my diet a delicious and easy proposition! 

Flax seed is also a good source of some Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids, which serves to provide the body with a nice balance of the various kinds of fatty acids it needs to thrive.  

Health Benefits of Flax Seed (Lindseed)

According to Dr. Andrew Stoll of Harvard Medical School, flaxseed oil aids in the prevention of several degenerative diseases, including cardiovascular disease and arthritis.  

Lignans in Flax Seed       

Flax seed is protective against hormone-sensitive cancers too, due to its lignan content.  By increasing sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG), lignans help to prevent breast, prostate and uterine cancers by binding estrogen which is then eliminated from the body.  

And since the lignans are phytoestrogens they may also be helpful in relieving menopausal symptoms. Lignans continue to be studied as a viable alternative to hormone replacement therapy as well.        

Flaxseed Oil and Prostate Health

In another study published in Urology, Duke University researchers showed that men with prostate cancer who were given three tablespoons of flaxseed oil daily along with a low-fat diet demonstrated a reduction in cancer cell growth.  

Lignans have been shown to interfere with the production of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) which is, in some ways, the culprit for hair loss and BPH (benign prostate hyperplasia), a frequent precursor to prostate cancer. 

Anit-inflamatory and Antioxidant Benefits        

Freshly ground flaxseed offers anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits as well, while providing an abundance of soluble fiber.  Four tablespoons of ground flaxseed will provide 6 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber.  All of these attributes work to promote cardiovascular, colon, and skin health, while helping to stabilize blood sugar. 

Nutritional Values

2 tablespoons of Ground Flax Seed (14 grams) = 76.8 calories and provides:

Nutrient
Amount
Daily Value (%)
Nutrient Density
Source Rating
Omega-3 fats
3.19 grams
132.9
32.0
Excellent
Manganese
.35 mg
17.5
4.2
Very Good
Vitamin B-1
.23 mg
17.5
4.2
Very Good
Fiber
3.82 grams
15.3
3.7
Very Good
Magnesium
54.88 grams
13.7
3.3
Good
Tryptophan
.04 mg
12.5
3.0
Good
Phosphorus
89.88 mg
9.0
2.2
Good
Copper
.17 mg 
8.5
2.0
Good

Important Notes:

  • Flaxseed oil should always be bought under refrigeration in a dark colored glass bottle. After purchase and each use, continue to store it immediately in your refrigerator to ensure freshness. Heat and light cause oxidation of the valuable oils which can lead to rancidity. This will give your oil a bad smell and make it unhealthy to consume. Discard any unused oil after the expiration date.
  • Flax seed should be purchased whole (under refrigeration if possible) and ground in a spice mill or coffee grinder on an as-need-basis in order to preserve its freshness. Store unused whole seeds in the refrigerator and treat them as described for the oil, above.




3 Comments to Top 10 Healthiest Foods, #2 - Ground Flax Seed and Flaxseed Oil:

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Fastin on Friday, May 11, 2012 1:01 AM
Good post and right to the point. Thanks and maintain up the good work .
Reply to comment
 
Maria Blanco on Friday, May 11, 2012 10:06 AM
Welcome, Fastin! I'm glad to meet you :)


www.creativebioscience.com on Wednesday, February 06, 2013 3:09 AM
Your tips are really helpful for me as well as for my friends also. Thanks for sharing and keep updating your blog.
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