4 Important Health Benefits of Flaxseed
By: Maggie McCracken, February 8, 2017, http://www.care2.com/greenlivi...its-of-flaxseed.html
Many health gurus and personal trainers recommend sprinkling flaxseed into your smoothies and over your salads, but a lot of us are left wondering why. What, exactly, is it about flaxseed that makes it such a healthful addition to your diet? Actually, there are a lot of reasons why it’s so beneficial to include flax in your meals. Here are just a few of this tiny seed’s health benefits.
The most frequently touted health benefit of flax is that it contains abundant levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are important for Westerners, primarily because we normally don’t get enough of them. Omega-3s are a group of essential fatty acids, meaning that we cannot manufacture them within our own bodies, so we need to get them from our diets. This is a trait they have in common with omega-6 fatty acids.
The difference is that we typically get plenty of omega-6s already. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Americans often get 14 to 25 times more omega-6s (commonly found in meat and vegetable oils) than omega-3s (often found in fish and nuts). The natural ratio should be closer to 3 or 4 omega-6s to 1 omega-3, and this imbalance puts us at risk of inflammation. Left unchecked, inflammation can lead to chronic diseases such as arthritis, skin issues and even heart disease and cancer.
In a nutshell, getting that ratio closer to 3 or 4 to 1 is increasingly important. Because flax contains high levels of omega-3s, it’s a great way to help tilt the scale back into balance.