Flax Seeds May Be a Superfood You Are Missing in Your Diet
People hesitate to label things as superfoods, thinking that others will use them as “magic pills” for health. Truth is, superfoods are just good things to enhance a balanced diet. Flaxseed is one of these foods, offering a range of beneficial chemicals and attributes that may go unparalleled among the plant world. Combined with other superfoods, it packs an even greater punch. Even better, flaxseed is more shelf stable than many of the other superfood choices. It is easier to keep fresh, and keeps a very long time when refrigerated or frozen, retaining its properties.
Although healthy compounds abound, three main substances form the strongest arguments for flaxseed’s healthy reputation. Omega-3 essential fatty acids, lignans, and fiber are the big three, and they stand strong because the best and most convincing medical research touts them, all on their own, for their beneficial properties.
Lignans are substances that have antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed is very high in lignans, containing as many as 800 times more than other plant based foods.
Flaxseed has fiber in quantity, and contains both the soluble and insoluble types. Using the entire flaxseed adds the elusive whole grain servings to a diet, which is useful all on its own.
More recent studies have shown that the ratio of omega-6 essential fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids is also important, although specifics of exactly what the ratio should be is still unknown and controversial. What is known is that the ratio is likely best somewhere in the 4:1 omega-6 to omega-3 to the 1:3 range. Most diets are closer to the 40:1 ratio. One of the benefits of flaxseed is that while it contains both omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, it contains more omega-3’s…three times more, than omega-6’s.
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