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Just the Flax, Ma'am!

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Seeds aren’t just for planting. Some seeds, like the mighty flax, are great for boosting the nutrition of your meal.

Nutrition Gets Trendy

Looking to eat healthier and stay in shape, but don’t know where to start? Adding a sprinkle of flaxseeds to everyday favorites such as smoothies or cereal is an easy way to boost nutrition.

As a leading authority on nutritional medicine, Dr. Galland has championed the benefits of flaxseeds in his lectures and books such as Superimmunity for Kids. Now flaxseeds are getting trendy, turning up as a star ingredient for recipes in health magazines and for good reason: these little seeds pack a big nutritional punch.

But then again, flaxseeds have been famous for quite a while. Cultivated since the dawn of history, the flax plant provided an important source of nutrition in the form of flaxseeds, and its stem was used as the fiber to make linen clothing.

Studies indicate the powerful nutritional benefits of flaxseeds to support heart health and facilitate weight loss. These seeds can also provide nutritional support to prevent and treat diabetes. With their healthy fats, flaxseeds can also promote beautiful hair and skin.

What Makes Flaxseeds Healthy

Ground flaxseeds contains three beneficial components:

  • fiber
  • alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat, which accounts for about 20% of the mass of most flaxseed, and
  • lignans, a group of phenolic anti-oxidants with anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering effects.

Powerful Health Benefits

Studies indicate that consumption of flaxseeds may be associated with:

  • reduced blood levels of cholesterol (including the dangerous LDL-cholesterol)
  • reduced blood levels of triglycerides, another risk factor for heart disease
  • reduced absorption of sugar from food
  • decreased levels of chemicals involved in producing inflammation, like C-reactive protein (CRP).
  • increased blood levels of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), the omega-3 fatty acid that boosts mood and fights inflammation

If you’re a pre-menopausal woman, flaxseeds may help maintain a healthy ratio of estrogen to progesterone during the menstrual cycle.

How to Add Flaxseeds to Your Day

We use freshly ground flaxseeds, rather than flaxseed oil, to get the nutritional benefits of the alpha-linolenic acid and the high concentration of lignans found in flaxseed fiber. Because flaxseeds have a hard external shell, you’re unlikely to absorb any significant amount of lignans or alpha-linolenic acid from intact flaxseed.

When buying flaxseeds, we prefer organic, because pesticides can accumulate in the fat-containing seeds, as indicated in Power Healing. We recommend freshly grinding flaxseeds, using a clean coffee grinder, just before enjoying. Grinding takes about 10 seconds.

Dr. Galland starts the day by grinding 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds for Blueberry Cinnamon Bowl, a recipe from our book.

Great ways to use flaxseeds:

  • in smoothies
  • tossed over hot or cold cereal
  • sprinkled over salads
  • mixed into yogurts
  • top off a healthy dessert

We included lots of delicious recipes featuring flaxseeds, such as Omega Blast Granola, Blueberry Flax Pancakes, and Carrot Raisin Muffins in our book The Fat Resistance Diet.

Copyright © Renaissance Workshops Ltd. Used by permission.

This article is provided for general educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice or counseling, the practice of medicine or the provision of health care diagnosis or treatment, the creation of a physician-patient relationship, or an endorsement, recommendation, or sponsorship of any third party product or service by the sender or the sender's affiliates, agents, employees, or service providers. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your doctor promptly.

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About The Author


Dr. Leo Galland is a board-certified internist who received his education at Harvard University and the New York University School of Medicine. He has held faculty positions at New York University, Rockefeller University, the State University of New York, and the University of Connecticut. Interviews with Dr. Galland and articles about his work have been featured in Newsweek, Reader's Digest, Self, Bazaar, Men's Fitness, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and many other publications. He has written three highly acclaimed popular books, The Fat Resistance Diet, Power Healing, and