Sunday, September 5, 2010

Flax Seed Oil!

Okay, in a quest to keep my health in good status I have finally decided to incorporate flax seed oil to my diet.  Me and the fam were visiting GNC last week and I picked up a bag of flax seeds and the clerk suggested I try the vegetarian flax seed oil as opposed to the actual seeds after I inquired about the taste of the flax seeds which he informed me was pretty strong (I interpreted that he meant 'nasty') so I opted to try the oil instead which he described as having a light nutty taste.  I've heard many great things about the health benefits of flax seed oil and after putting it off for years I've decided to give it a try so what I did after doing a little research this am was took a table spoon of the flax seed oil and mixed it with my yogurt.  It actually tastes pretty good! It has a nutty taste just like the clerk said and I don't mind it but if you do than I would say try adding it to a protein shake or a smoothie to really mask it. I tasted the yogurt prior to adding the flax seed oil and then after to see if their would be a major difference but it just added a nutty flavor to the yogurt which was pleasant to me since I like to add granola to my yogurt if I have it on hand so there was a similar taste in granola and flax seed oil when adding it to my yogurt.  I'll keep you posted on my progress but in the meantime here is some helpful information.

What is flax seed oil?

Flax seed oil is derived from the seeds of the flax plant (Linumusitatissimum, L.).  The oil contains both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids which are necessary to maintain good health.  In addition, it also contains another essential fatty acid ALA (alpha linolenic acid) which is converted by the body into the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils (EPA- eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA- docosahexaenoic acid). 

Some Health Benefits of Flax Seed Oil
  • Prevents cancer and reduces tumor growth in breasts, prostate and colon
  • Promotes cardiovascular health
  • Promotes colon health
  • Helps reduce inflammation associated with arthritis
  • Boosts immunity
  • Promotes healthy skin
  • May lessen the severity of diabetes by stabilizing blood sugar levels
  • Increases metabolic rate
Helpful Facts
  • Believed to increase the nutritional value when taken with other foods.  In fact, studies show that mixing flax seed oil with yogurt helps emulsify the oil which improves the body's digestion and metabolism as the essential fatty acids are incorporated into cell membranes
  • Be sure to purchase flax seed oil stored in dark bottles as prolonged exposure to light, heat, and air affects the potency and cause it to spoil so refrigerate after opening
  • Because of the aforementioned it is not suggested that you do not heat it up or cook with it as it should only be added to cold foods or cooked foods
  • Flax seeds are high in protein, fiber, omega 3's, and lignans which are a type of phytoestrogen that may protect against certain forms of cancer

*Check with your doctor before consuming as the component, lignan is known to interfere with certain medications such as muscle relaxers, drugs prescribed to breast cancer patients, and acid reflux medications.  Also, those who are pregant or suffer from any gastrointestinal problems should consult their physician first. Although, it is generally safe for pregnant women to consume the recommended 1 tablespoon of flax seed oil per day just to be safe consult your obgyn.*

1 comment:

  1. Is Eating Too Much Flax Seed Bad?
    Like any other food, eating excessive amounts of flax seeds can be harmful to your health. Raw flax seeds naturally contain cyanogenic glycosides-such as linamarin, linustatin, and neolinustatin. These cyanogenic glycosides can release cyanates that can be combined with sulfur molecules in our body to form thiocyanates. Excessive amounts of thiocyanates can sometimes be a problematic for our thyroid function and, for this reason, flax seeds are considered goitrogenic. These cyanogenic glycosides are not exclusive to flaxseed and are found in brassica vegetables and cassava, with many of the health concerns regarding cyanogenic glycosides stemming from studies showing that cassava was toxic to animals and humans (McMahon and others 1995). Cassava contains significantly more cyanogenic glycosides than flaxseed.
    In addition to cyanogenic glycosides, trypsin inhibitor, linatine, and phytic acid are other antinutrients contained in flaxseed. Trypsin inhibitor activity (TIA) in flaxseed is lower than those in soybean and canola seeds.
    Other anti-nutritional compound present in flax seeds is linatine, an antipyridoxine factor. Although linatine is a problem in chicks, flaxseed has not been associated with a vitamin B6 deficiency in humans. In fact, no effect on serum pyridoxine levels in subjects consuming 45 grams of flaxseed per day over 5 wk has been observed (Dieken 1992). These data suggests that linatine is not of a concern as long as we eat less than 45 g of flax seeds a day.
    FlaxPro Ready to eat Flax seeds
    How much is too much flax seeds?
    Daun and others (2003) reported that a person would have to consume 8 cups (1 kg) of ground flaxseed to achieve acute cyanide toxicity. At the recommend daily intake of about 1 to 2 tablespoons, approximately 5 – 10 mg of hydrogen cyanide is released from flaxseed, which is well below the estimated acute toxic dose for an adult of 50 to 60 mg inorganic cyanide and below the 30 to 100 mg/d humans can routinely detoxify (Roseling 1994)
    Eating excessive amounts of flax seeds too quickly can cause mild digestive problems in some people. This means flax seeds take some getting used to. We suggest: start out with a teaspoon daily and work your way up to a tablespoon. In a balanced diet that already provides omega-3 fatty acids from other foods, one tablespoon (eight grams) of flaxseed daily will often provide enough alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) to meet person’s omega-3 dietary needs.