All About Flax: Part One

Nothing says confusion more than the amount of healthy diets, supplements, and superfoods to someone who may be looking to take his or her nutrition up to the next level. Where should you begin? What diet is best for you? Which, if any, supplements should you be taking?

Before I go any farther, let me say this. I am not a doctor nor a nutritionist, and I would never claimed to be one. But what I can tell you is all from experience — one sensitive stomach to another — if you will. I’ve trialed-and-errored my way through quite a few crash fad diets, workout regimens, dietary changes, regulations, and more. The most recent trend brought to my attention is the must-have craze of superfoods. I must say that this one seems right on the money. Antioxidants, cancer-fighting ingredients… it’s tough to figure out what’s best for you.

With that said, if I had to pick the most noteworthy change to my diet (in terms of effort and results), it would be this: Flaxseed. Heard of it before? Here’s the low-down:

Flaxseed is highly valued by nutritionists across the board because it’s a rich source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other beneficial compounds. Personally, I take flaxseed meal, which is simply ground up flaxseed. It’s a bit easier to disguise in food and is supposed to be easier to digest as well. My personal flax of choice is Natural Brand Super Flax Meal.

The high levels of omega 3 fatty acids are attractive to a picky eater like myself because these nutrients may not be received otherwise. Essential fatty acids play an important role in maintaining the integrity and structure of body tissue (aka they help with your joints). Some of these essential fatty acids can’t even made in your body; instead, they must be obtained from your diet. Other key nutrients in flax meal include:

  • Fiber
  • Protein
  • Folate
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Lignin (phytonutrients found in unrefined grains, vegetables, and fruit)

While watching your diet, why not get a head start with some flaxseed? There are only 80 calories in a single serving, most of which come from the nutrients above. Other health benefits include:

  • Lowering LDL cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart diseases, stroke, and high blood pressure.
  • Reducing symptoms associated with inflammatory conditions like asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
  • Controlling constipation and reducing the risk of colon cancer.
  • Stablizing sugar levels.
  • Maintaining healthy skin, especially, for those with dry skin and conditions, like, eczema.
  • Promotin weight loss by increasing the metabolic rate of the body.

I recommend women especially reading more about flaxseed oil. Benefits include reducing the risk of breast cancer and soothing premenstrual symptoms, menstrual cramps, and pre-menopausal symptoms. It can also improve uterine function and health.

The directions for flax meal recommend mixing or sprinkling it on top of your favorite food or drink. Personally, I have a favorite way to take/eat/drink my flax. For that recipe, however, you’re going to have to wait until All About Flax: Part Two.

Have you recently added flaxseed to your diet? What do you think? We’d love to know! Comment below or send us a tweet @20sTweet.

~E

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One Response to All About Flax: Part One

  1. Williams Shevenell says:

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