Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Benefits of Flax Seed Oil

I have been recovering from a short bout of food poisoning I acquired from eating "healthy fruit" so this week's post will be short. My lesson learned; keep to eating only organic fruit.

Early last year as I was checking out my daily horoscope at Astro Twins , as usual these quirky twin gals sprinkled in some health and beauty advice in my horoscope. They advised I try organic cold pressed flax seed oil in my smoothies for beautiful hair, skin and nails. Intrigued I immediately Googled flax seed oil (Google is my Magic Eight Ball) and read up on the benefits of this oil as I was thinking of calling my smoothies, "Kitchen Sink Smoothies" as I tend to throw in anything someone recommends to me in my concoctions.

My research came up identifying flax seed as a blue flowering plant that is grown on the Western Canadian Prairies for its oil rich seeds. This natural oil (also known as Linseed Oil) is highly recommended for the general well being and whole body nutrition and is considered to be nature's richest source of omega-3 fatty acids that are required for the health of almost all body systems. Flax Seed Oil contains omega-6 and omega-9 essential fatty acids, B vitamins, potassium, lecithin, magnesium, fiber, protein, and zinc and also provides approximately 50% more omega-3 oils than what you could get from taking fish oil. What is best is that it doesn't have that fishy oil "after taste" that you get from fish oil pills. I don't taste it at all in my smoothies.

For me after using it for over a year and a half now I feel the benefits to me were mostly; my joints not cracking anymore as it was becoming ridiculous how I can hear my knees cracking when I went up and down the stairs, my nails are starting to grow without breaking (that was new for me), and my skin felt incredibly soft (I was starting to like to touch my arms, a strange new habit I developed last year). It was as if had WD-40'ed my body inside and out. Flax seed oil is also known for working on the interior of your body just as much as your exterior. Amongst the many benefits are:

- Research shows low incidence of breast cancer and colon cancer in populations that have high amounts of lignan in their diet. Flax is 100 times richer in lignan than most whole grains.
- Studies show that Omega-3 fatty acids help lower cholesterol and blood triglycerides, and prevent clots in arteries, which may result in strokes, heart attacks and thromboses.
- Helps protect the body against high blood pressure, inflammation, water retention, sticky platelets and lowered immune function.
- Shortens recovery time for fatigued muscles after exertion.
- Increases the body's production of energy and also increases stamina.
- Accelerates the healing of sprains and bruises.
- Eases weight loss in people afflicted with obesity.
- Stimulates brown fat cells and increases the metabolic rate making it easier to burn off fat.
- Improves the absorption of Calcium.
- Strengthens finger and toenails.
- Can improve eyesight and perception of colors.
- Can often improve the function of the liver.
- Can relieve the side effects and stop development of many forms of cancer.
- Can relieve some cases of Asthma.
- Helpful in the treatment of Eczema, Psoriasis, and Dandruff. 
- Lowers high blood pressure in Hypertension sufferers.
- Has been scientifically proven to treat some cases of depression.
- Can improve the mental function of many old age pensioners. 
- Can help PMS.

Our diets don't even come close to the amount of daily EFA (essential fatty acids) requirements as we don't get enough from our food sources. Food that do have EFA are; soy, canola oil, fish and flax seeds. If you eat a lot of meat and eggs your body actually starts to develop bad prostaglandins. Flax Seed oil can help restore the body's natural balance of good and bad prostaglandins.

I take about 1000mg a day in my smoothies, I also add it into my baked good and actually anywhere I think I can get away with it (soups, dressings, martinis, etc.). I buy the organic cold pressed flax seed oil in a dark bottle that is located in your health food store's refrigerated section as bottled this way makes it last longer.  It takes a few weeks to notice the benefits but just being able to do yoga without my joints making so much noise has been worth it alone for me!

For more on the benefits of flax seed oil follow this link from Healing Daily and if you have any questions on my experience please feel free to contact me.



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