There are many health trends that come and go. One that seems to be gaining popularity lately is Flaxseed, but some folks have been counting on the health benefits of Flaxseed since the days of Hippocrates.
Flaxseed is a nutritional powerhouse. Texas Tech Medical Center's Dr. Donna Bacchi says it contains three important substances that promote good health.
"Flaxseeds contains three important elements. The first being Omega 3 fatty acids which help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. The second is fiber which helps reduce cholesterol content, particularly the bad cholesterol. And the third is Lignons which are anti-inflammatory and they help us reduce the risk of cancer," explains Dr. Bacchi.
Flaxseed comes in an oil and in a seed. If taken whole, you are more likely not to digest it fully and get all of the nutrients it offers. The oil will only get the Omega 3's, not the fiber or Lignans. Dr. Bacchi says the best way to take it is as ground Flaxseed.
"I think of all the nutrients that are healthy for you the best way is really to eat it as flax meal or the ground Flaxseed. You only need about one to two tablespoons a day and you can do that easily by putting it on cereal, by putting it on salads, incorporating it into things like breads and muffins and cakes that you might be baking," said Dr. Bacchi.
Some studies have shown that Flaxseed reduces inflammation of arthritis and can stabilize a person's blood sugar.
Flaxseed has been a part of the human and animal diet for thousands of years and researchers still do not understand all of its benefits, but the results are promising -- but you can take too much Flaxseed.
The recommendation is just one or two tablespoons. And if you are taking vitamins or medications, talk to your doctor or pharmacist first before taking Flaxseed because it could interact with your vitamins or even your prescription drugs.