While we’ve spoken extensively about fish oil on this site, we figured it was time to list some of the unique benefits of flax – specifically flax seeds.
-2 tablespoons of flaxseeds has been shown in research studies to alleviate constipation.
-So, if you’re suffering from infrequent bowel movements, you can add 2 tbsp of flax to improve things.
-This is much less expensive than fiber supplements.
Also, the calorie load is low. 2 tbsp = 80 calories (6g fat, 4g carbs, and 4g protein).
•Flax to EPA
-Flax has ALA, which can be converted to EPA.
-For this conversion, we need delta-6-desaturase.
-Well, good old delta-6 is inhibited by high blood sugar levels, high saturated fat consumption, and alcohol intake.
-So if your diet is poor, flax won’t do you much good when it comes to converting into the really healthy omega 3 fats.
-4 tablespoons of flaxseeds per day can halve
the amount of hot flashes in post menopausal women.
-This same dose can lessen the severity of hot flashes by about 50%.
•Dry Eye Syndrome
-This is one of the most common problems treated by eye eye docs.
-Dry Eye Syndrome is caused by poor lubrication of the eye, leading to burning, itching, irritation, redness, blurred vision the improves with blinking, excessive tearing, discomfort after periods of watching TV or working on a computer.
-Interestingly, people that consume more omega-3 fats (from flax) have a lower incidence of dry eye syndrome.
-Those that consumed 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds per day for 60 days had significant reductions in total cholesterol, bad cholesterol, and triglycerides.
-These improvements are similar to those seen when taking the powerful statin drugs (which carry with them some nasty side effects).
Flax In Your Diet
Now, while these benefits are groovy, I find that many folks simply don’t know how to include flax in their diet.
Here are some great suggestions:
•Combine ground flax with cinnamon and use as a dip for fruit (like apples)
•Sprinkle ground flax over berries
•Mix ground flax in super shakes
•Add ground flax to whole grain cereals
•Add ground flax to salads
•Add ground flax to salad dressing
•Sprinkle on cooked vegetables
•Add ground flax to hummus
•Add ground flax to nut butters
•Combine flax and cinnamon to canned pumpkin