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