Flaxseed has been growing in popularity as a nutritional superfood. This article will examine five attributes of flax that makes it so beneficial and several easy ways to more flax into one's daily diet.
#1: Omega-3 / Omega-6 Ratio
Flax has a higher concentration of Omega-3 fatty acid, which is also known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), than any other healthy plant-based oil. The National Institute of Health reported that the ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids in the typical American diet is dangerously high due to the abundant supply of high-fat, processed foods in the United States. Adding flaxseed to the diet is one effective way to begin bringing this ratio into a healthier balance. Eating less omega-6 and more omega-3 fats helps reduce the risks of cancer, stroke, and heart disease while reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol. For more information, click here.
Flax is a superior source of lignans, which act as natural antioxidants, offering up to 700 times more lignans than beans or whole grains. (Source) These lignans suppress harmful free radicals and help slow the aging process.
The lignans in flax also have estrogen-like properties that balance hormones and prevent tumor formation. Clinical Cancer Research published a study indicating that consuming just two tablespoons of flax a day could significantly reduce tumor growth. (Source) These lignans also help treat menopausal symptoms while lowering the risk of diabetes. For more information on lignans in flax, click here.
The ALA and lignans in flax work together to reduce systematic inflammation. A regular intake of flaxseed could delay the progression of arthrosclerosis. For more details, refer to flaxhealth.com/inflammatory.htm.
Flax contains 3 grams of fiber per tablespoon. This soluble and insoluble fiber supports heart, colon, and digestive health while also helping control blood sugar.
To add more flax to your diet, sprinkle a tablespoon over cereal or oatmeal or toss into a smoothie. Substitute up to 1/4 cup of oil in baking recipes with flax. Use three times more flax than the oil called for in the recipe. Flaxseeds work especially well in muffin, waffle, brownie, and cookie recipes. Ground flaxseeds can also replace eggs in baking recipes. Combine one tablespoon of flax seed with three tablespoons of water to replace one egg.
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