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Uberfood: Flax Seed

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One of the healthiest foods in the world is probably one you’ve never heard of or know nothing about — flax seeds. Flax seeds are, in my opinion, are one of the top 10 most nutrient-dense foods on earth. They’re complete and unbelievable.

They also may be the ultimate guardian of your heart, even more so than salmon and other fish.

But they’re little seeds — how could they possibly be THAT healthy? Well they are. Here are 8 ways flax seeds can significantly enhance your health, improve your looks, and add years to your life.

 

1. High Omega-3 Content

Flax seeds are absolutely PACKED with heart healthy, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Regular omega-3 consumption can improve cholesterol levels and significantly reduce inflammation, which plays a major role in the development of asthma, arthritis, cancer, and osteoporosis.12

While the omega-3 makeup varies (ALA vs. DHA/EPA), flax seeds offer more than 1.5x the omega-3 content of salmon — for nearly 1/3 of the calories. Read that again. And again. And again.

If you’re a vegetarian or just dislike fish, but still want the benefits of omega-3s, flax seeds (and/or flax seed oil) NEED to get into your diet, ASAP.

 

2. Support Superior Heart Health.

If you’re at risk for heart disease or have high cholesterol, flax seeds are your med-free cure-all. Omega-3’s reduce blood clots, which actively prevents heart attack, coronary heart disease, and stroke.

Omega-3’s also play a HUGE role in reducing total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and triglycerides.

Studies have shown that regular flax seed consumption is as effective at reducing cholesterol as statin drugs. That’ll save you a lot of money. Additionally, flax seeds are extremely high in fiber. Diets high in fiber lower cholesterol levels, stabilize blood sugar, and have been shown to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

 

3. Slash Blood Pressure.

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Flax seeds significantly reduce systolic, diastolic, and total blood pressure. Lower blood pressure = no hypertension down the road. Chayaaaaaaa.3
 



 

4. Rich In Magnesium.

Magnesium helps keep airways relaxed and dilated, which reduces the severity of asthma. Magnesium also lowers blood pressure, promotes relaxation, and decreases risk of heart attack/stroke.4

 

5. Promote Colon & Prostate Health.

Flax seeds—primarily due to their fiber content—improve digestive health and protect colon cells from toxins and free-radicals, which helps prevent colon cancer. They can also help ease constipation, IBS, and other gut issues.

They’ve also been shown to slow prostate tumor growth.567

 

6. Strengthen Bones and Joints.

High inflammation is a MAJOR cause of poor bone health, arthritis, cancer, and osteoporosis. One of the primary reasons why inflammation is so common is due to high omega-6 to omega-3 ratios in the American diet.

Typical humans have O-6:O-3 ratios upwards of 10:1. That’s stupidly high. Consuming alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)—the omega-3 fatty acid found in flaxseeds—can help bring down the ratio to a safer, anti-inflammatory level–ideally 2:1.

 

7. They’re PERFECT, Nutritionally

Omega-3’s + fiber + protein. It doesn’t get more well-rounded than that.

 

8. Great for Women’s Health.

Lignans are a chemical compound found in plants, and one of the major classes of phytoestrogens. Lignans are a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that have powerful breast cancer reducing effects.

How? Phytoestrogen has a chemical structure that’s very similar to estrogen, but doesn’t stimulate breast cells as much as natural estrogen. As a result phytoestrogens don’t cause breast cells to grow, which decreases the overall risk of developing cancer.

Lignans also promote regular ovulation, reduce hot flashes, and can help restore hormonal balance during the menstrual cycle (reducing symptoms associated with menstruation).

 

 

Where Can I Buy Flax Seeds?


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Flax seeds are available at most grocery stores, especially health-focused supermarkets like Whole Foods. They’re also inexpensive on Amazon.

One critical thing to note is that flax seeds HAVE to be ground up, much like coffee, before eating — if not your body won’t be able to digest the seeds, and subsequently absorb most of the nutrients. A coffee grinder or food processor works (or use a Vitamix).

Also, don’t buy pre-ground flaxseeds — always grind them fresh. Pre-grinding exposes them to oxidation, which creates serious free-radical build-up. Ground flaxseeds are a great addition to yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal, salad, and chicken. Get experimental.

Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto
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References, Notes, Links

  1. Lean It UP — The Complete Fish Oil Buyers Guide []
  2. American Cancer Society — Flaxseed []
  3. Natural News — Flaxseed found to help treat high blood pressure []
  4. NutritionData — Flaxseeds []
  5. University of Maryland Medical Center — Flaxseed []
  6. PBRC — Flaxseed []
  7. NYU Langone — Flaxseed []