Flax Seed and Flax Oil

flaxMany consider flax seed and flax oil one of the most powerful plant foods on earth.   Studies show that this wonder food helps the body deflect risk of heart disease, strokes, diabetes and even cancer.  Wow…..

As one with Multiple Sclerosis, it is highly recommended for me to get lots of Omega Fatty Acids.  Flaxseed and flax oil are two of the better ways to get this essential fatty acid into me.  I use flax oil in my vinaigrette salad dressings.  I sprinkle ground flax seed on my cereal and put it in my smoothies for added nutrition and if and when I bake….not often….I add ground flaxseed to cookies and other baked goods recipes to bump up the nutrition and fiber.   The difference between the oil and the seed is that the oil is void of the beneficial fiber that you get with the ground seed but it is great as a salad oil or drizzled on cooked veggies.  Don’t cook with the oil.  It is definitely not a cooking oil.  It breaks down and turns rancid with heat so is definitely not a good cooking oil.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids are good fats that we need in our diet.  Most people fall short of getting enough EFA in their diets.    The word “essential” means we must consume this kind of fat because our body does not make it on it’s own and it is essential.    Flaxseeds also contain lignans which are powerful antioxidants.  Lignans help to metabolize the hormone estrogen into a safe form in the body.  This is a definite benefit for females with regard to lowering risk of breast cancer and with men it helps lower the risk if prostate cancer.  Flaxseeds contain good soluable and insoluable fiber.  In fact each tablespoon of flaxseed contains 8 grams of fiber.  When the recommended amount of fiber we should be eating each day is 35 grams….using flaxseed daily helps you reach that RDI.

You will see flax in many foods on the grocery stores today.  It is appearing in crackers, nachos and other snack foods, muffins, protein bars, waffles etc.  The word is out.

It is best to use ground flaxseed over whole flaxseed as the ground form is easier for your body to digest it.  Flaxseed in it’s whole form tends to travel through your digestive system intact and does not break down so you are missing out on all of the benefits.

Flaxseed is a great superfood to use if you are experiencing any amount of constipation.  And I might add that most of the population is constipated and they don’t realize how often they should be eliminating.  Now this is a topic for another post but in short, your body should eliminate 3 times a day if it is functioning at it’s peak.  The average person only passes a bowel movement every three or four days.  That is constipation.  As each meal goes in, the digestion of previous meals should be eliminated.  As I said…this is a topic for another day.

Get your flaxseed from a reputable health food store.  I would definitely purchase an organic brand.  Flax comes whole or ground.  If you buy it whole you can grind it in a coffee grinder before using.  Always keep your flaxseed and flaxseed oil in the refrigerator as it can turn rancid very quickly.

For a great vinaigrette using flax oil….here is one I use often.  I got this dressing recipe from Whole Foods.

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon chives, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped

3 tablespoons flaxseed oil (or a blend of flax and olive oil)

pinch of cayenne (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

(Of course all of my ingredients are non-GMO and organic).

Whisk all of these ingredients together and…voilla….a heart healthy dressing for your big bowl of yummy greens.

If you haven’t been using flaxseed or flax oil in your daily health regime….go to your local health food store and get your supply today.   Do your body a favour.

 

 

 

 

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