Herb Of The Month

 Flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum)

Flaxseed is so ancient that it makes it hard to trace its origins. It is one of the oldest known textile fibers in history. But what are the health benefits of flaxseed. Lilian Thompson, PhD, an internationally known flaxseed researcher from the University of Toronto, says she wouldn’t call any of the health benefits of flax "conclusively established," research indicates that flax may reduce risks of certain cancers as well as cardiovascular disease and lung disease. Flaxseed is high in Omega -3 essential oils which are known to help fight cardiovascular disease and permute good heart health. Organic Flaxseeds are what farmers feed their chickens to get more Omega-3 fatty acids. Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities are found in flaxseed and they contain 75-800 times more lignans than any other plant food.

There have been recent studies that may suggest that flaxseed may help protect you from breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer. At least two of the components in flaxseed seem to contribute, says Kelley C. Fitzpatrick, director of health and nutrition with the Flax Council of Canada.

Studies done in animals show that the plant omega-3 fatty acid found in flaxseed which is called ALA inhibit tumor growth.

Plant based omega-3s have been known to help the cardiovascular system through several different mechanisms, including anti-inflammatory action and normalizing the heartbeat. There is new research stating that plant based omega-3 may also help lower blood pressure. Several studies have suggested that diets rich in organic flaxseed omega-3s help prevent hardening of the arteries and keep plaque from being deposited in the arteries partly by keeping white blood cells from sticking to the blood vessels’ inner linings.

Studies have shown that plant base omega-3s play a key role in helping the heart maintain a natural rhythm. Organic flaxseed omega-3s can play a role in treating arrhythmia which is an irregular heartbeat and heart failure. LDL which is known to be the “bad cholesterol in our bloodstream links most Americans to heart disease, obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. There was a study done on menopausal women that showed a decrease in LDL levels when these women ate 4 tablespoons of ground organic flaxseed each day for a year.

A study on women who were going through menopause published in 2007, reported that 2-3 tablespoons of ground organic flaxseed mixed into cereal, or juice twice a day helped to cut hot flashes in half.

It would be wonderful if there was just one “superfood” that could help promote good health just by taking it. But there is just not one “superfood” out there that can do this. But there are many great “superfoods” that can help build our health and help our bodies control disease. Organic flaxseed is one of the many great “superfoods” that can help along with other dietary changes and an overall healthy lifestyle.

The best way to store your organic flaxseed is to either freeze it or in the refrigerator. I like to sprout my flaxseed to bring it back to the whole state by soaking the seed for 5-7 hours and then start the sprouting process which will take 2 days. (for more information on sprouting please see my article on soaking and sprouting)

Our health is our own responsibility not your doctors, or your mothers or the government. It is yours alone. We all have a choice each day what we choose to place in our bodies. Live foods (no food cooked over 105 f) can give us great health benefits. Finding those activities that we can do each day to move our bodies and eating healthy can give us the quality of life we are all looking for.

Your health is what you eat and how you move each day. Set some goals to make healthier choices in your life, I am always willing to work with anyone who is ready to make steps toward a better lifestyle. If you are ready to change your life and become a healthier you please email me and we can get starting on your way to greater health.

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