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Flaxseed is a healthy super food that was first used by the ancient Egyptians, both to eat as well as to improve their level of health.

Flaxseed (also sometimes written as flax seed) is a healthy type of super food that is used for its seeds as well as the oil it contains. Both flaxseed and flaxseed oil (which is sometimes referred to as linseed oil) are very rich in essential fatty acids (EFAs).These are required for the healthy functioning of the body. Essential fatty acids protect the cells and help to keep harmful substances at bay. The body does not produce essential fatty acids on its own and therefore needs to get them from a food source. This is where flaxseed comes into play.

Omega-3’s and Omega-6 Fatty Acids

The body needs omega fatty acids to be healthy and there are two groups of these- the omega-3 fatty acids and the omega-6 fatty acids. There needs to be a healthy balance between these two for good health, although researchers say that two to four times more omega-6 fatty acids are needed in relation to omega-3 fatty acids. A severe imbalance of the two could lead to a variety of inflammatory disorders.

Flaxseed oil is made up of an omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha-linolenic acid, which helps to lower cholesterol and is good for the cardiovascular system. Flaxseed is also composed of an omega-6 fatty acid known as linoleic acid. Omega-3 is readily found in fish such as salmon and tuna while omega-6 is plentiful in vegetable oils.

Flaxseed is also rich in a substance called lignans (or lignins) which are excellent at keeping many kinds of cancers at bay, as well as fighting viruses and bacterial infections. Flaxseed in its powder form provides the body with an extra dose of fiber which is beneficial for the digestive system. Lignan consumption is especially important for women as it decreases the presence of too much estrogen in the body and by so doing, reduces the chance that breast cancer will develop.

Benefits of Flaxseed

Flaxseed has a number of different benefits for the body. These include:

•    Reduces the level of cholesterol in the blood
•    Controls high blood pressure
•    Protects against heart disease
•    Treats inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
•    Reduces discomfort for those suffering from gallstones, hemorrhoids and constipation
•    Reduces the swelling and inflammation associated with fibrocystic breasts, gout or lupus
•    Beneficial for arthritis sufferers as it reduces tenderness in joints and early morning stiffness
•    Improves a person’s level of mobility
•    Encourages the development of fingernails, toenails and hair
•    Beneficial for a variety of skin disorders such as acne, eczema, rosacea, psoriasis and sunburn

Flaxseed truly is a wonder food as it has even more benefits for health. Flaxseed is beneficial for those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Flaxseed reduces damage to the nerves due to these diseases, as well as tingling and numbness.

Flaxseed contains high quantities of vitamins B1 and B2, vitamin C, vitamin E, carotene, iron and zinc, and smaller but no less valuable quantities of the minerals calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. Please be aware that ground flaxseed and flaxseed powder is easier for the body to digest than are flaxseeds in their more natural form.

Flaxseed is a healthy super food that can provide an extra boast of vitality to your diet. If you have not introduced this super food to your life then it is about time you did!

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