seed has been used as a food for centuries in many cultures. It
adds valuable fiber to the diet, promoting good digestive
function. In addition, flax seed is one of the few non-seafood
sources of alpha linoleic acid, one of the essential omega 3
fatty acids that have been identified as basic building blocks
of cells. Omega 3 is used in the formation of every cell in the
body, and is especially important in the formation of neural and
there is a deficiency of omega 3 fatty acids, the body will
attempt to make do by substituting omega 6, which fits the bill,
but is inferior for the job. Flax seed is one of the most potent
sources of omega 3 fatty acid, particularly for those that limit
their intake of animal foods. Omega 3 fatty acids have been
pinpointed as being beneficial in treating depression,
schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and a number of other
neuro-psychological disorders. They have been shown to reduce
the incidence of coronary incidents in patients with coronary
problems, and help reduce and reverse the damage done by
flax seed is one of the highest sources of plant lignins, a
phytoestrogen that has strong antioxidant properties.
Preliminary research shows that the plant lignins in flax seed
may help protect against several forms of cancer, heart disease,
stroke and diabetes.
Beverly Clevidence, director of USDA’s Phytonutrient Lab,
“Flaxseed is a grain that holds a lot of promise.”
flax seed does:
seed is a rich source of LNA (alpha linoleic acid), a form of
omega 3 fatty acid that is used by the body in the formation of
new cells of all kinds. It helps to promote healthy cell growth.
In the absence of sufficient omega 3 fatty acids, the body turns
to omega 6. The effect is rather like making a substitution of
whole wheat flour for white in a cake. What you end up with will
be edible – but it won’t have all the qualities of cake.
Scientists postulate that many of the ailments that afflict
modern society – diabetes, heart disease, mental illnesses and
coronary disease – may all share a common dietary lack of
sufficient omega 3 fatty acids for the body’s needs.
addition, flax seed is a high quality source of soluble and
non-soluble fiber, which helps promote healthy digestive and
elimination functioning in the body.
Benefits of flax seed:
An important flax
seed benefit is cholesterol reduction. A number of studies have
shown that including flax seed in the diet helps lower LDL, the
A flax seed benefit
that is being explored is its role in reducing blood sugar
levels in patients with diabetes. Research at the University of
Toronto has linked flax seed with lower blood sugar levels in
patients with diabetes. This is borne out by other studies which
suggest that flax seed and omega 3 fatty acid benefit the body’s
regulation of insulin at a cellular level.
National Cancer Institute has singled out flax seed as one of
the six foods that deserve special study. Because flax seed
contains a high amount of phytonutrients that serve as
antioxidants, and because omega 3 fatty acids seem to play a
role in preventing the formation of abnormal cells in the body,
many doctors recommend eating flax seed every day. This
important flax seed benefit is being studied closely in many
flax seed benefit is the addition of fiber to the diet. As noted
above, flax is high in both soluble and insoluble fiber. In
fact, one ounce of flax seed contains 32% of the US RDA for
fiber. Fiber in the diet promotes healthy digestive functioning
and regular bowel movements, which can be a major concern as
people grow older.
Flax may be
beneficial to people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. In one
1996 study, patients who added flax seed to their diet on a
regular basis showed marked improvement in their condition, with
inflammation levels dropping by nearly 30 percent.
Fights Menopausal Symptoms
in flax may help alleviate some menopausal symptoms. Further
research is needed to prove its effectiveness, but it appears
that treating the symptoms of menopause may be another important
flax seed benefit.
fights Heart Disease
There’s a large and
growing body of work that highlights the effects of flax seed on
heart disease. Among other things, it helps lower cholesterol,
reduces clotting time and promotes health cell regrowth. All of
these are associated with a lowered risk of heart disease.
the Immune System
The lignans and the
EFA present in flax seed seem to bolster immune system
operation. Because many of the diseases mentioned above are
suspected of being, at least in part, autoimmune disorders,
there is every reason to believe that flax seed can keep the
immune system intact.
fights “The Blues”
The effects of
omega 3 essential fatty acid on neuropsychological disorders
like schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, OCD, ADD is well
documented by various studies.
Side Effects of flax seed
seed, is a natural food that seems to show no adverse side
Because our modern diets are high in foods that contain omega 6
but low in omega 3, supplementing the diet with flax seed – a
potent source of omega 3 – is highly recommended by the American