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Health Benefits from Regular Intake of Flax Seed

There are several significant nutritional components in flax seed that are beneficial to our health including Omega-3 oils, flax hull lignans (SDG), and fiber.

A number of medical studies suggest a wide range of health benefits of Flax Seed components (especially flax hull lignans and Omego 3 oils) such as

  • Boosts the immune system
  • Lowers cholesterol levels
  • Increases metabolism and thus can help with weight loss
  • Helps control blood sugar levels
  • Helps kidneys excrete water and sodium
  • Boosts energy levels and vitality
  • Aids the body's battle against cancer cells
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease
  • Improves moods and can be effective against depression
  • Improves attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADD and ADHD)
  • Brain food - Omega 3 fatty acids contribute to mental functioning
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces bloating and muscle soreness
  • Eases inflammatory tissue conditions, including arthritis
  • Regulates menstrual cycle and relieves PMS symptons
  • Reduces threat of bloot clots
  • Protects against hormone sensitive cancers (especially breast cancer and prostate cancer)
  • Improves skin texture and appearance (can alleviate dry skin, eczema, and psoriasis)
  • Improves hair sheen and appearance
  • Acts as a Natural laxative

Wow - Quite a List! And did you know that flax seed is the richest source of Omega-3? Omega-3 is not an optional nutrient. Our body needs it to survive. Unfortunately Omega-3 is one nutrient our body cannot manufacture; it looks to outside sources to get Omega-3. The good news is that many of the health foods we consume, such as broccoli, have Omega-3. The bad news is it would take eating pounds instead of just ounces of some of our favorite foods to get a healthy dose of Omega-3 in our diet.

No need to panic! Our miraculous little seed offers us 48% of its total fat content as Omega-3 fatty acids. This is even better than the other well-known source of Omega-3, fish oil. However, I hope you are a fish lover because to get the same amount of Omega-3 in about a half cup of ground flax seed you would have to eat about 1 pound of fish. Too bad fish does not taste well blended into baked products, yogurt, or other snack items.

Flax Seed is the richest known source of lignans, with 100 to 800 times the level of lignans found in other oil seeds, cereals, and legumes. Plant lignans are metabolized in the colon by bacterial fermentation. The lignan metabolites, which have a strong antioxidant activity, appear to be anticarcinogenic. They have structure similar to estrogens and can bind to estrogen receptors, thereby inhibiting the growth of breast cancer. Lignans may also produce positive effects in women with ovarian dysfunction.

Additional Information on the Health Benefits of Flax Seed:

Blood Lipid Changes
Flax Seed has been shown to lower serum cholesterol levels in both subjects with normal blood lipid levels and in those with elevated lipid levels. Flax seed lowers blood lipid levels because of its soluble fiber content and its very low saturated fat content.

When 15 patients with elevated blood cholesterol levels were fed 15 grams ground flaxseed and three slices of flax seed-containing bread daily for three months, the patients experienced about a 10 percent decrease in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels as well as a substantial decrease in platelet clumping, while their HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels did not significantly change. Since defatted flax seed can also produce a major drop in LDL cholesterol with a 70 percent reduction in athero-sclerosis in rabbits after only eight weeks, the cholesterol-lowering substance in flax is probably not the unsaturated fat. In another study 29 subjects with elevated blood cholesterol levels who consumed muffins made from partially defatted flaxseed experienced, on average, an 8 percent drop in their LDL cholesterol levels over three weeks, while their HDL cholesterol levels were unchanged. The regular use of flax seed flour in one's bakery products or morning cereal would appear to be useful in the control of high blood cholesterol levels.

Protection Against Breast Cancer
Animal studies have shown that
flax seed added to the diet can significantly reduce the incidence of breast tumors and produce at least a 50 percent reduction in tumor size of chemically induced cancers. The number of tumors may be reduced by almost 40 percent in carcinogen-treated rats. The cancer-protective properties of flax seed are believed to result from their very high level of lignans.

Help for the Bowel
flax seed is used as a mild laxative for chronic constipation and to relieve irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, gastritis, and enteritis. Flax seed is also used to correct bowel problems caused from the misuse and overuse of stimulant laxatives. The mucilaginous fiber in the seeds can absorb water in the colon, producing soft stools. Flaxseed fiber may also protect against colon cancer. The use of flax seed is considered safe. However, the use of large quantities of flax as a laxative with insufficient fluid intake can produce obstruction of the bowel. For gastritis and enteritis, the dose of coarsely ground meal is one tablespoon of whole seed with 150 milliliters of liquid, taken two to three times a day. A compress can be made from 30 to 50 grams (one to two ounces) of flax flour. German Commission E suggests taking one to three tablespoons of whole or crushed flaxseed two to three times a day for chronic constipation. However, it is important that plenty of water be consumed with this remedy to avoid bowel obstruction.

One Last Question

Q: So many people I know are taking Gold Flax Seed. What is it, and is it worthwhile?

Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D., author of Diet Simple (LifeLine Press, 2002) and an American Dietetic Association spokeswoman, explains:

"FlaxSeed is a seed that contains alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3s have been shown to reduce heart disease risk and also may help relieve depression and inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. In addition, Flax Seed contains more plant lignans (a phytoestrogen and a fiber) than any other seed, and liqnans may protect against breast, prostate, ovarian, uterine and colon cancer, diabetes and heart disease."

Herbal products and dietary supplements can have pharmacological effects, may produce adverse reactions in some people, and could interact with over-the-counter and prescription medications you may take. Discuss with your physician your decision to use any herbal product. Anything mentioned here is not intended to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any ailment.

Gold Flax Seed sells high quality farm fresh flax seed in several forms including:

Whole Flax Seed by the Gallon

Cold Milled (pre ground) Flax Seed

Concentrated Flax Hull Lignans (1 serving of Lignans = 3 cups of whole seed!)