Flaxseed

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Flaxseed

Flaxseed has been used for thousands of years for medicinal

purposes. Ancient Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians took

flaxseed as an anti-inflammatory agent, and they believed

that it could treat gastro-intestinal problems as well. Today

the health benefits from flaxseeds are well recognized and

cultivated around the world.

Golden and brown flaxseeds are two main types of flaxseeds.

Flaxseed along with the flaxseed oil contains an omega-3 fatty

acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This fatty acid helps to

lower LDL and elevate HDL, which may prevent fatal heart

attacks. Research has also shown that flaxseed has the highest

known concentrations of lignans, which are a major class of

phyto-estrogens. These phyto-estrogens have cardiac- protective

properties and anti-oxidant properties that fight cancer. The

soluble fibers in flaxseeds dissolve with water and help lower

glucose and cholesterol level in blood as well as maintain intestinal

health. The soluble fibers get a gel-like substance with water that

promotes normal bowel movements. Flaxseeds are the great source

of gamma-tocopherol, which is a special compound of vitamin

E. Vitamin E helps to maintain the integrity of cell membranes.

These seeds are also packed with B-complex vitamins.

Regular consumption of flaxseeds during pregnancy can supply

the important ingredient folate, which can prevent neural tube

defects in a fetus.

ALA has been shown to inhibit tumor growth and fight

against cancer. Studies have exhibited that lignans may also

decrease the development of breast cancer. According to Elaine

Magee, MPH, RD “Lignans may help protect against cancer by

blocking enzymes that are involved in hormone metabolism

and interfering with the growth and spread of tumor cells”.17

A study in the American Society of Clinical Oncology explained

that flaxseeds can inhibit prostate tumor growth and may have

protective effects against prostate cancer.1,2,3

 

1. “The Benefits of Flaxseed”, Elaine Magee, WebMD Weight

Loss & Diet Plans, last accessed December 13, 2013, http://

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/benefits-of-flaxseed?page=3

2. “Flaxseed”, University of Maryland Medical Center, last

updated July 1, 2013, last accessed December 13, 2013, http://

umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/flaxseed

3. “What is Flaxseed? What are the Benefits of Flaxseed?” Joseph

Nordqvist , Medical News Today, last accessed December 13,

2013. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263405.php

 

Excerpt from “Dr Matt’s Plan Living Longer and Healthier” by Dr. Matt Ferenc

Soft cover available at www.drmattsplan.com

 

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