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omega 3 essential fatty acids
flaxseed oil
essential fatty acids
free radical scavengers
free radicals
omega 6
fish oil
10 Reasons Why You Should Take Ground Flaxseed Every Day
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10 Reasons Why You Should Take Ground Flaxseed Every Day

Oh the mighty power of the tiny Flaxseed. How can something so small have such big and enormous benefits to your health? The benefits of ground flaxseed are numerous. One of nature’s most powerful healers, flax is loaded with a high amount of essential fatty acids (EFAs), fiber, and lignans which are powerful free radical fighters. It is well known that essential fatty acid supplements are beneficial for more than just cardiovascular support. See list below.

When it comes to essential fatty acids I take both flaxseed oil and fish oil. Most times I will consume flaxseed in its non-supplement ground/milled form and a fish oil supplement. Why both? When it comes to flaxseed oil vs fish oil, flaxseed comes out on top, though fish oil does naturally contain EPA and DHA. Like fish oil, flaxseed oil does contain omega 3 essential fatty acids but it also has omega 6 and 9 EFAs. If you do not like the taste of ground/milled flaxseed, taking the supplement will also be quite beneficial.

FREE RADICALS, WHAT ARE THEY & WHY ARE THEY BAD?

Free radicals are really bad for the entire body as they will damage healthy cells if left unchecked. When cells become damaged by free radicals they can become cancerous if enough of them form together. Technically speaking a free radical is a molecule that has a single unpaired electron that are highly reactive. Though there are many ways that free radicals are formed in the body one of the main ways is through oxidative stress.

To put it in simple terms, the air we breathe that keeps us alive also causes oxidative stress. A perfect example of this is what happens to an apple after you cut it in half and leave it exposed. Eventually the air in which we are breathing will turn the inner part of the apple brown. This process is a good visual example of oxidative stress.

So how do we combat free radicals in our bodies? By taking antioxidants and other free radical fighters, also known as free radical scavengers. The lignans in flax are powerful free radical scavengers.

WHAT CAN FLAX DO FOR ME?

Flax can do many great things for the human body. Here is a brief look at 10 ways to benefit from this mighty little seed.

Powerful protection against free radical damage. - Flax has the most abundant source of lignans which are free radical scavengers.

Promotes normal cholesterol levels. – With the combination of both EFAs and fiber, flax will help to keep your cholesterol levels healthy.

Promotes healthy blood pressure. – The EFAs in flax maintain normal blood thickness (viscosity), which supports healthy blood circulation.

Helps sharpen your mind. – The oils in flax are a huge plant source of alpha-linolenic acid, which is an Omega-3 essential fatty acid. The body converts alpha-linolenic acid into DHA and EPA, the same types of fatty acids found in fish oil. Just like fish oil they support optimal brain function.

Promotes normal blood sugar levels. – The soluble fiber in flax helps to slow the breakdown of dietary carbohydrates. This results in a more stable blood sugar and insulin levels.

Helps with healthy body weight. – Again the soluble fiber in flax promotes a sense of fullness, making you feel satisfied and no longer hungry.

Healthy free moving joints. – The Omega-3 EFAs in flax help to maintain a proper inflammatory response throughout the body. This is especially beneficial to your joints.

Maintains regularity. – The abundant amount of insoluble fiber in flax bulks up the stool and helps it pass through the intestines. This helps to keep your bowel movements regular and thus gives you a healthy digestive system.

Eye health. – Research has shown that the Omega-3 EFAs in flax (and fish oil) help in overall eye health as we age.

Healthier skin. – Because of the amount of EFAs in flax it can literally moisturize your skin inside and out. Research has shown that a diet with a quarter cup of ground flaxseed everyday can give you healthy moist skin.

THE BEST WAY TO ADD FLAXSEED TO MY DIET

The best way to incorporate flaxseed into your diet is to grind it. If you do not have a grinder, there is no need to worry. I myself do not use a grinder. You can easily buy it already ground (milled). I buy a 15 ounce vacuum sealed bag of USDA organic ground/milled flaxseed from the store (Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Wegman's, Health Food stores,…). This bag will last about a week and it costs anywhere from $5-$12 dollars depending on where you buy it. You can also get it online.

After you open the bag it is best to put it into a re-sealable container and put it in your refrigerator. You should take one quarter cup every day. I always add it by sprinkling some in both cold and cooked cereal. I also add some to scrambled eggs, pancakes, soups, salads, sauces, smoothies, and my favorite is adding some to a glass of low sodium V8 juice.

Ground milled flaxseed has a mild nutty flavor that isn't overpowering, so it mixes well with many foods and drinks. If you do not like the taste then you can take flaxseed oil supplements, which is still beneficial but without the fiber that the ground/milled version provides.


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