Flaxseed - a Health Bonus!
Flaxseed is high in lignans, a type of phytoestrogen that is thought to balance estrogen activity in the body; omega-3, an essential fatty acid which is known to lower blood cholesterol levels; and both soluble & insoluble fibre which help to reduce cholesterol and aid in digestion.
Flaxseed is a local crop, grown in the Prarie Provinces, which comes in brown and golden seed varieties. Both brown and golden flax seeds have plenty of protein, dietary fibre, and alpha-linolenic fatty acid (ALA). While some people prefer yellow-coloured seed in their cooking, brown flaxseeds add the same nutrition to the diet as do golden ones.
The unique package of these flaxseeds includes heart-healthy fats, both types of dietary fibre, and health-promoting plant compounds. 2,000 years ago it was even recommended as a source of fibre by Hippocrates, the father of medicine.
1. Heart Healthy Fats: Flaxseed is a wonderful source of an essential fatty acid called alpha linolenic acid (ALA) – a type of omega-3 found in plants. This omega-3 fat helps prevent heart attacks by reducing the risk of potentially deadly blood clots, as well as abnormal heart rhythms.
2. Fibre: The tiny, tasty seeds are a wonderful source of both water soluble and insoluble fibre. Water-soluble fibre has been shown to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and stabilize blood glucose levels by slowing the absorption of sugar in the digestive tract. Insoluble fibre helps reduce the risk of intestinal cancers and keep the intestinal tract humming along nicely. Fiber also helps us feel full longer!
3. Plant Compounds: Flaxseed is a rich source of plant estrogens called lignans. Besides acting as an antioxidant, with potential benefits for artery health, lignans are thought to protect against hormone-sensitive cancers such as those of the breast, endometrium and prostate. The lignans act as phytoestrogens - phyto meaning plant - and can interfere with how estrogen works in the body, in some cases countering estrogen's effects.
"Today we know that omega-3 fatty acids are essential for normal growth and development and may play an important role in the prevention and treatment of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and other auto-immune diseases."
Dr. Artemis Simopoulous - The Omega Plan