Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Doing Good with Flax Seed

I did very well yesterday and today until about an hour ago.  On yesterday I had a day full of juice.  I only ate one meal yesterday and it was a dinner of okra soup.  For breakfast I had a large glass of V-8 Juice. I just love it!   For lunch I went home and juiced like crazy.  I juice ½ a cantaloupe and drank that.  I was still hungry so I juiced an apple and a large bunch of grapes.  That was very good.  I was full after that.  I just love my Jack LaLanne power juicer   It really makes a difference. 

The other thing that I have with breakfast is a large tablespoon of flax seed. The omega 3 fatty acids are what I want.  I know there is some debate to the benefits of the flax seed verses the omega 3 fatty scids/oils found in fish.  Fish is supposed to be better.   What are some of the benefits of flax seed? 

Its high content of alpha linolenic acids has made the ancient flax seed become our modern miracle food. Alpha linolenic acid is a type of plant-derived omega 3 fatty acid, similar to those found in fish such as salmon. Benefits of flax seed as shown in many studies include lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the Bad cholesterol) levels. Other benefits show that flax seed may also help lower blood triglyceride and blood pressure. It may also keep platelets from becoming sticky therefore reducing the risk of a heart attack.

Normally I just crunch them up alone, but you can add them to cooking. You can bake them into muffins or brownies or sprinkle them into yogurt or ice cream. 

Other benefits of flax seeds are:


Omega-3 fats are used by the body to produce Series 1 and 3 prostaglandins, which are anti-inflammatory hormone-like molecules, in contrast to the Series 2 prostaglandins, which are pro-inflammatory molecules produced from other fats, notably the omega-6 fats, which are found in high amounts in animal fats, margarine, and many vegetable oils including corn, safflower, sunflower, palm, and peanut oils. Omega-3 fats can help reduce the inflammation that is a significant factor in conditions such as asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and migraine headaches.


Protection Against Heart Disease, Cancer and Diabetes

Omega-3 fats are used to produce substances that reduce the formation of blood clots, which can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease.

Omega-3 fats are also needed to produce flexible cell membranes. Cell membranes are the cell's gatekeepers, allowing in needed nutrients while promoting the elimination of wastes. While important for everyone, flexible cell membranes are critical for persons with diabetes since flexible cell membranes are much better able to respond to insulin and to absorb glucose than the stiff membranes that result when the diet is high in saturated and/or hydrogenated (trans-) fats. In the colon, omega-3 fats help protect colon cells from cancer-causing toxins and free radicals, leading to a reduced risk for colon cancer.

How are they found?

I buy the whole seeds and jeep the in the refrigerator.  Flaxseeds can be purchased either whole or already ground. The two different forms offer distinct benefits. Although ground flaxseeds may be more convenient, whole flaxseeds feature a longer shelf life.

Whole flaxseeds are generally available in prepackaged containers as well as bulk bins. Just as with any other food that you may purchase in the bulk section, make sure that the bins containing the flaxseeds are covered and that the store has a good product turnover so as to ensure their maximal freshness. Whether purchasing flaxseeds in bulk or in a packaged container, make sure that there is no evidence of moisture. If you purchase whole flaxseeds, store them in an airtight container in a dark, dry and cool place where they will keep fresh for several months.

Ground flaxseeds are usually available both refrigerated and non-refrigerated. It is highly recommended to purchase ground flaxseed that is in a vacuum-sealed package or has been refrigerated since once flaxseeds are ground, they are much more prone to oxidation and spoilage. Likewise, if you either purchase ground flaxseeds or you grind them at home, it is important to keep them in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent them from becoming rancid.

Flaxseed oil is especially perishable and should be purchased in opaque bottles that have been kept refrigerated. Flaxseed oil should have a sweet nutty flavor. Never use flaxseed oil in cooking; add it to foods after they have been heated.

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