One way to maximize your efforts in the gym and in the kitchen is to ensure you’re always getting enough quality protein. Almost everyone knows that. But many often make the mistake of neglecting fiber, another important dietary staple.

Fortunately, there’s a natural, diet-friendly product that offers both: flaxseed, which is available through supplement tablets, as well as in ground and oil forms. And if that’s not convincing enough, here’s an in depth overview of how beneficial it can be for you.

But first, what is Flaxseed?

Flaxseed is a vegetable source of omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are an important part of a healthy diet and may be beneficial to cell structure. Flaxseed oil may help maintain blood circulation, and is rich in alpha linolenic acid which has anti-inflammatory properties. Doctors generally believe that the best way to treat mood, thought, and memory disorders is with pharmaceutical medicines that directly influence levels of brain chemicals such as serotonindopamine, and acetylcholine. Although drugs have very important clinical uses, they are only part of the solution. A comprehensive approach to treating cognitive disorders should include foods and supplements that benefit the overall health of brain cells. These include omega-3 fatty acids found in flaxseed and fish.

The Science behind the use of Flaxseed:

One way to influence brain health through diet is to consume the right fats and oils. About 60 percent of the brain consists of lipids (fats) which make up the lining, or cell membrane, of every brain cell. The types of fats present in the brain influence its structure and function. How well your mind works depends, in the long run, on what you eat. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina took a look at Flaxseed’s role as a food supplement in 161 men who were scheduled to undergo surgery for prostate cancer. Half of the men added 30 grams (about one ounce) to their diets for about 30 days. After the surgery, the researchers looked at the men’s tumor cells to see how quickly the cancer had multiplied. The cancer cells in the flaxseed group were growing about 30 to 40 percent slower than in the control group. If you want to get the health benefits of flaxseeds, you can add half a teaspoon or a teaspoon of raw flaxseeds to soups and salads. Or you can take a flaxseed oil supplement in the form of one or two Softgels a day. You can find flaxseeds and flaxseed oil in health food stores or online. Try to look for Flaxseed Oil derived from certified Organic Flax as it is free of pesticides.

Health Benefits of Flaxseed:

There is some evidence to show that Flaxseed interventions help reduce total and LDL cholesterol. The cholesterol-lowering effects are more apparent in females (particularly postmenopausal women), and in individuals with high initial cholesterol concentrations. So essentially Flaxseed oil offers help in the following: Prevent breast, prostate and colon cancer, support cardiovascular health, control constipation and hemorrhoids and by reducing deficiency of Omega-3 (which may be linked to depression). It may also support healthy immune function, influences hormone metabolism in postmenopausal women, useful in treating pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. It may be mentioned that Omega-3 fatty acids are important for development of brain and eyes in children while attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may be linked to Omega-3 deficiency. Omega-3 EFAs are believed to be useful in the treatment of allergies, asthma and various skin disorders. Evidence also suggests that Omega-3 fatty acids are instrumental in regulating inflammation, blood thickness and pressure, hormone production, immune activity and central nervous system activity.

In cases of lupus, flaxseed oil not only reduces inflammation in the joints, kidneys and skin, but also lowers cholesterol levels that may be elevated by the disease. Taking flaxseed oil for gout may lessen the often sudden and severe joint pain or swelling that is a symptom of this condition.

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