For under ten cents a day you can: improve cardiovascular health, improve digestion, and prevent cancer. Flaxseed is an inexpensive food which can be added to meals to vastly improve their nutritional content, eating two tablespoons a day is all you need to enjoy the benefits that flaxseed offers.

Cardiovascular Health
Flaxseed can improve your cardiovascular health through the presence of significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically in the form of alpha-linolenic fatty acid. Research has shown omega-3 fatty acids to provide protective effects from cardiovascular disease through: improved thickness of carotid arteries and cholesterol level reduction. A number of these studies have concluded that supplementing diets of populations which are at risk for cardiovascular disease may have a significant impact in the prevention of major coronary events which could be fatal.

There is both soluble and insoluble fiber present in flaxseed, both which have benefits for digestions. Soluble is fermented by bacteria in the digestive tract. Soluble fiber acts as a prebiotic allowing for favorable conditions for important digestive bacteria to live and growth in the digestive tract. Insoluble fiber absorbs water and acts as a mild laxative to stimulate and soften bowel movements. Regular ingestion of insoluble fiber helps to prevent constipation.

Cancer Prevention
Research suggests that the omega-3 fatty acids present in flaxseed may provide an important balance to omega-6 fatty acids which are eaten in excess in a typical western diet. An imbalance of ingestion of these fatty acids can lead to an inflammatory response within the body creating an environment for cancer to develop. Lignans, also present in flaxseed, are currently being researched by scientists to determine how effective they might be in preventing cancer. Lignans are converted into hormone-like substance by bacteria in the digestive tract which may be capable of blocking some cancer-causing substances.

Some tips for Flaxseed Consumption
There are many ways to include flaxseed in your diet but to receive the full benefits of flaxseed it must be ground before ingestion. Flaxseed has a mildly nutty taste and texture so it can be added to anything where a nutty flavour would be welcome such as salads, yogurt, trail mix, in wraps or with nut-butters on bread. You can also replace eggs in home-baked goods by adding one tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water. Ground flaxseed can quickly go rancid and loose its nutritional value so must only be ground before use. Typically ground flaxseed will go rancid in one week if left out in room temperature in an airtight container or slightly longer if kept refrigerated.

Brown Flaxseed