Power Packs: The Benefits of Seeds
Flax seeds are one of the oldest crops dating back to the beginning of civilization. The Latin name is Linum usitatissimum which means “very useful”. There are ancient records of using flax seeds to aid digestion by alleviating constipation. This effect is likely due to the high amount of soluble and insoluble fiber…approx. 3 grams per tablespoon. Flax seeds are high in alpha linolenic acid which is converted to Omega 3 fatty acids in the body, this makes it an excellent plant source of these cardioprotective fatty acids. They have been shown to reduce plaque by up to 50% in the arteries of animals and presumably they have this same effect in humans, thus preventing strokes and clots and heart disease. They also are high in lignans which have been shown to have a phytoestrogenic effect. Having an estrogenic effect in some tissues and an estrogen protective effect in other tissues. Two tablespoons per day of fresh ground flax seeds (unground they will pass right through without giving us all of their potent benefits.)
We recommend flax for its fiber effects- assisting bowel transit time, lowering blood sugar, supporting hydration.
Take it for hormonal support: Utilizing its estrogenic effects for PMS, menstrual cramps, hot flashes and other perimenopausal symptoms and potentially, prostate and breast cancer protection.
Take for the omega three fatty acids: Especially important in vegetarians and non fish eaters- to protect the arteries and heart.
They have a delicious nutty flavor! Great in smoothies, sprinkled on salads or in oatmeal or any way you can imagine!
Adding a note about Chia seeds: they have very similar properties to flax seeds and although I haven’t had the years of evidence, I am fairly confident that they can be used in the same way. Again, recommending 2 TBS freshly ground to assist absorption. Great added to a smoothie or made into a pudding with coconut milk and maple syrup or honey with a little cacao powder or berries-eat it like tapioca or blend it for a smoother pudding!
Dr. Ajana Miki