Flaxseed – Background, Nutrition and My Favorite Brand Review
If you’re currently blending fruits and vegetables into a smoothie you should be adding ground flaxseed. And if you’re not a smoothie-drinker you should still be consuming flaxseed whether in a drink or something as simple as sprinkled over yogurt.
Flaxseed has been consumed since 3000 BC.
Highly-regarded for its high nutritional content, during the 8th century King Charlemange passed a law that forced his subjects to eat the seed due to its enormous health benefits (I wish our government would pass healthy laws like this!).
Flaxseed has beneficial effects against many serious health-ailments including breast, prostate and colon cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Also, flax contains a high amount of both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Those familiar with flaxseed are often aware of its Omega-3 essential fatty acids: these are particularly beneficial for heart health. Flaxseed also normalizes the heartbeat and can also reduce blood pressure as well as inflammation.
And I must add that inflammation is ultimately responsible for numerous chronic diseases (including heart disease, cancer and many more) so having the gift to keep inflammation in check is an amazing safeguard.
Amazingly, numerous studies have stated that diets high in flaxseed Omega-3s can prevent the hardening of arteries as well as keep plaque from depositing in the arteries; this is believed to occur when white blood cells are prevented from sticking to the inner lining of blood vessels.
Kelley C. Fitzpatrick, (the Director of Health and nutrition with the Flax Council of Canada) states, “Lignans in flaxseed have been shown to reduce atherosclerotic plaque buildup by up to 75%.”
Also, consuming flaxseed can also keep cholesterol levels healthy by lowering the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the bloodstream. LDL has been linked to a higher risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
This is especially important as 1 in 3 Americans suffer from hypertension and it’s a heck of a lot healthier to treat this disease with flaxseed as opposed to a potentially dangerous side effect-laden prescription drug.
Flax also contains lignans which contain strong antioxidant qualities. Lignans are believed to help safeguard against cancer by blocking enzymes involved in hormone metabolism as well as obstructing the growth and spread of tumor cells.
In fact, Omaha researchers fed mice a 10% flaxseed supplement and the melanoma tumors were reduced by as much as 63%!
Millions of Americans also suffer from depression. And for many, it occurs because of both a nutritional and chemical imbalance. A Japanese study discovered that patients who suffered from significant depression also had lower levels of eicosapentanoic and docosahexaenoic acids. These acids that are found in a handful of foods including flax.
Also, I’ll mention one more disease—prostate cancer. Flaxseed hinders this disease by—in layman’s terms—disrupting the events that lead to cancer cell production (the lignans alter the way your body metabolizes estrogens into safer forms).
Flaxseed can even reverse less-serious health problems: in fact, two tablespoons of flaxseed can cut hot flashes in half; these results occurred after subjects consumed flaxseed for two weeks (the intensity of the hot flashes were also lowered).
It’s important I mention flaxseed and flax oil are not the same thing. Flax oil only contains part of the seed while flaxseed contains the entire seed.
The best way to consume flaxseed is to eat or drink flaxseed that has been ground up. This is because whole flaxseed is likely to travel through the digestive track without offering maximum nutritional benefit.
Ideally, one should consume 1-2 tablespoons of flaxseed daily.
I consume ground flaxseed. After all—I have loved ones who have dealt with prostate cancer, melanoma, and hypertension.
But it’s important I mention all ground flaxseed is not created equal. Some ground flax on the market today is non-organic and is treated with either harmful pesticides, GMOs or both.
The manner in which flaxseed is ground is also very important. It’s a delicate process and the only proper way to grind flax is to do it through a cold-milled process. If done incorrectly the friction created by the grinding process creates excess heat ruining the potency of the flax (by creating early Omega-3 oxidization).
That’s why I only consume one brand of ground flaxseed. It’s organic (no pesticides, GMOs or any other nonsense) as well as ground correctly (cold-milled).
The company who produces my flaxseed has been in business for over 100 years and they’re the only flaxseed brand I 100% trust.
Their product is also gluten-free.
I hope you consider adding organic flaxseed to your diet as the health benefits are astounding.
Organic cold-milled ground flaxseed is your best choice: