Superfoods ~ The Amazing Health Benefits Of Ground Flaxseed
This is the first article in an ongoing series discussing natures best superfoods. I thought I'd start with a superfood that is right at the very top of my list, ground flaxseed! Ground flaxseed has so many benefits to human health and digestion that I truly feel it should be a part of everyone's daily diet. Ground flaxseed contains substantial amounts of fibre and is also a fantastic source of healthy fats (Essential Fatty Acids) that drastically improve human health.
Ground Flaxseed Vs Flaxseed Oil
Before we venture into the many health benefits of ground flaxseed you might be wondering why I'm specifically saying you should consume ground flaxseed instead of the more well know flaxseed oil? The answer is simple, fibre! Flaxseed oil doesn't contain the substantial fibre that ground flaxseed contains and we'll discuss why this fibre is so important in a moment. If your healthy eating plan also involves weight loss, I'd again advise you go for ground flaxseed over flax seed oil. Flaxseed oil is a more concentrated source of calories than ground flaxseed and although you'll get some health benefits from flaxseed oil, it'll bump up your daily calorie intake if you have too much.
It's also important not to eat whole flax seeds without grinding them first. Whole flax seeds are coated in a fibre that humans are unable to digest. If you can't digest the flax seed you won't get any of the health benefits. So what are the health benefits of ground flaxseed?
Flaxseed Lowers cholesterol
Ground flaxseed contains large amounts of soluble fibre which helps to lower cholesterol. It also contains healthy fats which increase the amount of good cholesterol in your bloodstream. It's a common misconception that all cholesterol is bad but that's not true. The increase in good cholesterol that comes from consuming ground flaxseed will actually bring down the level of bad cholesterol in your blood.
Flaxseed Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation is a big cause of most of the chronic illnesses people suffer from. Arthritis, heart disease and even cancer are all linked to inflammation. Consuming ground flax seed and the good fats it contains will help to lower the inflammation within your body.
Flaxseed Lowers The Risk Of Cancer
The fibre in ground flaxseed helps to properly detoxify your body. Increasing the amount of fibre in your diet improves bowel function, food elimination and in turn reduces the risk of cancer. Consumption of the healthy Omega fatty acids ground flaxseed contains also helps to reduce cancer risk.
Perfect Omega Balance
Not only does ground flaxseed contain ample amounts of omega fatty acids but it also contains them in the correct balance to improve human health. Ground flaxseed contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. The interesting thing about ground flaxseed is that it contains roughly four times as many omega 3's as it does omega 6's, that's an almost perfect ratio to promote good health! Consuming more omega 6's than omega 3's in your diet can actually harm health by promoting inflammation within the body.
Adding Ground Flaxseed To Your Diet
I hope by now you're won over by the health benefits of ground flaxseed and want to add it to your diet on a daily basis, but how? I don't think you'll want to sit there eating teaspoons full of ground flaxseed, so you'll need to add it to something. You can add ground flaxseed to homemade bread or even sprinkle it on a salad. I've found the best way to include ground flaxseed in your daily diet is to mix it with your morning muesli. You won't even notice it's there but you'll be reaping all the wonderful health benefits ground flaxseed has to offer on a daily basis.