Flax seeds have enormous health benefits, and are a great source of plant-based omega-3 essential fatty acids. They provide a good alternative to salmon and sardines for vegans or those with fish allergies, and for the rest of us who enjoy the benefits of essential fats contained in fish, but want to limit their intake to once or twice a week.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids help to lower cholesterol and also balance blood sugar and hormones, so foods rich in these beneficial fats are great nutritional tools for the prevention of diabetes and hormone-related cancers like ovarian, breast and prostate cancer. Omega 3’s help reduce inflammation, have immune-boosting properties, and help to strengthen hair, nails, skin and bones. For more encouragement, check out this past blog which gives you plenty reason to lose your fear of fats. These essential fatty acids are also great for brain function and are recommended to prevent and help with depression and other mood-related disorders.
Almost everyone can benefit from adding flax seed to their diet. However, as with all supplementation, be sure to speak with your health-care provider first so that someone well-educated in your health history can make proper recommendations for you. This is especially true in the case of flax seed oil and omega-3 EFA’s, if you are pregnant or have already been diagnosed with a hormone-related cancer.
Whole Flax Seeds, Ground, or Oil?
The very best way to benefit from these essential fats is to include them in your diet in the form of the oils. Gel capsules are not the best form to take this supplement in, as you will need to take up to 12 capsules to get the same benefits as a single tablespoon of the oil, or 3 of the ground flax seeds. And the flax seeds taken whole, while great for their laxative qualities and stimulating bowel function, do not provide the same nutritional benefits as the ground version or the oils, as the seeds are not broken down during digestion. The best option is to take the ground seeds or the oil form.
The oil has a nice, nutty flavor, but rather than take it straight from the spoon on its own, it’s easier to add a tablespoon to a daily smoothie, and it will gives it a delicious, creamy, smooth quality. The oil is not meant for cooking, as it burns easily which will destroy the qualities of the oil and it becomes carcinogenic. So save it for use in cold recipes. Following is the recipe for a tahini salad dressing that you can try – a great way to get your flax seed oil!
Flax Seed Oil & Tahini Salad Dressing
- 1 Tbsp High Lignan Flax Seed Oil
- 1 1/2 Tablespoonfuls Tahini
- 3 Tbsp Water
- 1 Tbsp Lime Juice
- 1 1″ chunk of Red Onion
- 1 Tbsp Tamari
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix to an even consistency. Makes 1/2 cup of salad dressing. This is one of my favorite dressings, Do let me know if you enjoy it too!
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