If you wanted to boost your diet with omega-3 fatty acids, what would you take? Perhaps you would eat more salmon and oily fish and vegetarians may eat more walnuts, avocados and cooked soybeans. However, the richest natural source of omega-3 fatty acids by far is flax seed.
Flax seed has been part of the diet of many ancient civilizations for thousands of years. These tiny seeds are known to help lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar, boost immunity and help maintain bone density among many other health benefits.
Flax seed is high in fiber and includes many powerful antioxidants including lignans. It also manages to pack in a mega-source of plant-based omega-3 known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Flax seed oil has about 50% ALA compared to walnut oil or canola oil which have around 10% ALA.
The Benefits of Flax Seed
Some of the benefits from taking flax seed include it being a good source of natural fiber which is essential for a healthy colon and helps relieve constipation. It contains both soluble and non-soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps prevent the build up of plaque in arteries, a known cause of high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks.
Flax seed not only contains a high proportion of omega-3 fatty acids, it is also high in omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids. It contains B vitamins, zinc, potassium, lecithin and magnesium making it a valuable one-stop source of many of our daily vitamin and mineral requirements.
Those suffering from type 2 diabetes should find that adding flax seed to the diet helps lower blood sugar levels. In recent studies carried out on diabetic rats, those fed on flax seed showed a delay in bone loss, thanks to the concentrated fatty acids found in the seeds.
Those on a diet will find flax seed is beneficial as it expands when ingested, giving a feeling of fullness and helping control the appetite.
Flax seed has also been shown to decrease inflammation which is helpful to sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and psoriasis.
How to Take Flax Seed
Flax seed comes in a variety of forms including tablets, whole seed, ground and oil. Pills are the least effective way to obtain the many benefits of flax seed and you may need to take several each day to get any real benefit.
The easiest way to take flax seed is to sprinkle it on foods. It goes very well with cereals and can be blended into drinks and smoothies. The slightly nutty taste enhances fresh fruit, so sprinkle it on slices of banana for a healthy treat. If you choose to take it as oil, add it to salad dressings and remember to keep it in the refrigerator as unlike other oils, it does not have a long life. Taken whole, flax seed provides a good source of fiber but for the maximum benefit flax seed should be ground to access the rich source of those essential omega-3 fatty acids.
Did you know that Flax-seed could provide so many natural remedies for a number of health issues?