Monday, February 11, 2008

The Benefit of Flax

There are so many wonderful foods out there that provide us with so many health benefits, unfortunately it seems to be a secret. I still never understand why America is so behind on the natural foods, I guess because we are lazy and want everything the easy way - a pill, something prepackaged and premeasured, something a Dr. gives us and just tells us to take without really understanding it. We really have everything we need to be healthy and to combat disease right in our supermarkets.

Flax is a wonderful and easy to use seed. This is an ancient food that has been used for hundreds of years for all kinds of purposes. This seed is rich in linolenic acid which is a plant-derived omega 3 fatty acid. This is similar to what is found in salmon. It also is rich in lignan which is a powerful antioxidant and is high in fiber. Because our diets are so poor in fiber, Americans are suffering greatly from many intestinal diseases such as Chrohn's and Colitis, just to name a few. Flax seed is so important for digestion, to provide a good fiber base to help clean out the system.

What does Flax treat? As mentioned, flax oil is great for Chron's and Colitis because the oil form seems to be able to heal the inner lining of the inflamed intestines. The linolenic acid is very helpful in lowering total cholesterol and LDL levels. It may also help lower blood triglyceride and blood pressure.

You don't want to overdue your flax, as this is just the omega3, and you need to have the omega 6 as well. I buy the big jar of Flax oil capsules at Costco and take 2 a day. I also buy the flax seed meal and sprinkle it in my smoothies, you don't need much. You can add it to muffin recipes, cereals, etc. You just want to make sure that it is ground up first, as the seed itself will just come out undigested. Once ground, keep it refrigerated to keep it from going rancid.

Flax is easy to find and relatively cheap. Grab a bag today and enjoy a better digestive system tomorrow!

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