What are the benefits of flax seeds and how do these little seeds fit into a raw food diet?
When I first saw flax seeds they just looked...well, unappetizing. But then I started learning about the mountain of health benefits.
One of the most exciting nutritive qualities for the raw foodist is the fact that the oil in flaxseeds is the richest plant source of healthy omega-3 fats, which are necessary for the function of every cell. Trying to get enough omega-3 fats can be tricky, so wha-LA, great news!
Flax seeds contain high levels of dietary fiber as well as lignans, and a abundance of micronutrients.
Twenty grams of ground flax seed has about 90 calories, 8 grams of fat, 5.6 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein.
Ground flaxseed can go rancid at room temperature in as little as one week. Refrigerate and store in sealed containers.
Some health benefits of flax seeds is they help lower cholestoral, balance hormones, lower blood pressure, increase immune system, and help with balancing blood sugar.
Flax (also known as linseed) is a food and fiber crop that is grown in cooler regions of the world. Europe and North America depended on flax for vegetable-based cloth until the nineteenth century, when cotton overtook flax. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India. Flax was extensively cultivated in ancient China and ancient Egypt. A discovery reported in 2009 of spun, dyed, and knotted wild flax fibers in a prehistoric cave in the Republic of Georgia shows that the plant was already in use by humans at the surprisingly early date of 30,000 BC.
Flaxseed, because of its high fiber, may slow down the rate your body absorbs oral medications. Avoid taking flax seed at the same time as medications and other supplements.
Flax seed omega-3's is primarily ALA. People with diabetes or schizophrenia may not be able to convert ALA to EPA and DHA. People with either condition should get their omega-3 fatty acids from dietary sources rich in EPA and DHA.
Flax oil has a low smoking point and is not suitable for cooking with. Great! More for the raw foodie! Because of the multitude of flax oil benefits, including its high omega-3 content, this is a superb food to add to your raw food diet.
Flaxseed oil is available in liquid and softgel form.
Like any oil, flaxseed oil may turn rancid if it is not refrigerated. Flaxseed oil requires special packaging because it is easily destroyed by heat, light, and oxygen. The highest quality flaxseed products are made using fresh pressed seeds, bottled in dark containers, and processed at low temperatures in the absence of light, extreme heat, or oxygen.
There's no recommended dose for flaxseed oil. Take 1 - 2 tablespoonfuls daily, or 1 - 2 capsules daily. Flaxseed oil is often used in a liquid form, which contains approximately 7 grams of ALA per tablespoon, and contains about 130 calories.
Be sure to research the company before purchasing your flaxseed oil supplements to see if they certify their products are free from lead and mercury.
The benefits of flax seeds makes them a wonderful resource to add to your raw pantry.
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**Source: Flaxseed oil | University of Maryland Medical Center