Flax seeds and Omega 3's: Why they're good for you and why you're probably not getting enough!

When it comes to whole body health and wellness there is really one factor that is the precursor to health related ailments: INFLAMMATION: it is the surest sign of an imbalance and is associated with many pathologies such as heart disease, fibromylagia, high-blood pressure, the list goes on and on, but it goes without saying, whether it's your arteries, your head, or your knee, inflammation is the source and the symptom of trouble. Much of the inflammation that occurs in our daily life can be traced back to our dietary trends over the past 100 yrs that included a decline in consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids and an increase in Omega-6 fatty acid consumption. Omega 3's are polyunsaturated fats that are essential to healthy bodily functions and have a profound anti-inflammatory effect. They are plentiful in foods such as Fish (esp Salmon and Cod), Nuts ( almonds), Olive and Canola oils, certain vegetables (avocados) , and certain seeds, most notably Flax and Chia seeds. Omega 6's, on the otherhand, have PRO-inflammatory effects and are primarily found in higher concentrations in Corn based products, Red-meat, soybean oil and corn oil. It is noteworthy that animals who eat diets “as nature intended” (e.g. cows eating grass) tend to produce meat, milk, and eggs with higher amounts of omega-3 fats than those fed on feeds which have a high omega-6 content (e.g. corn) (which also makes cows sick, and requiring more antibiotics). While both of these fats have roles in our body, the imbalance and great reliance on Omega-6 based foods has thrown this ratio out of sync and not surprisingly, has been accompanied by many of our modern lifestyle diseases and increased health care costs. In comparison, the diets of Scandanavian and Meditteranian countries are rich in Omega-3's, and their low incidence of infammatory-related diseases and associated costs along with increased life expectancies is proof of the dramatic impact of these fats on overall health.

An particularly easy and cost-effective way to introduce more Omega-3's into your diet is to add incorporate Flax-seed into your meals and diet. One can either choose to add milled flax seed to your cereals/ as a garnish/ or in baking or choose from a Fish/Flax oil supplement (2-4g day is enough) in pill or liquid form, just make sure you do your research, cheaper is not better and DON'T go generic in this case.
Most of the oil in flax seeds is alpha linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is an Omega-3 which is a precursor to the fatty acids found in salmon and other fatty cold-water fish (called EPA and DHA). Because not everyone is able to easily convert ALA into EPA and (especially) DHA, it is best not to rely solely on flax for your Omega-3 intake, but ALA also has good effects of its own, and definitely helps in the Omega 3/6 balance.

The addition of Omega-3s to your diet can have the following positive and proven benefits:

-Reduced incidence and severity of coronary artery disease: This includes reduced cholesterol, blood pressure, plaque formation, and arrhythmia.

-Treatment of Arthritis: Omega-3 supplementation has been found to be as effective as perscription meds for treatment, increased mobility, and decreased pain.

-Cancer, Omega 3's can aid the body in destroying certain cancer cells while not harming normal cells in addition to improving overall immunity.

-Mood: again Omega-3 supplementation is now being used as an effective alternative to perscription meds in treating depression and alzheimers.

-Flax seeds are 12% mucilage, this acts as a natural laxative and reduces stomach acid buildup. Plus they are rich sources of proteins and Fiber.

But there are associated precautions to take when adding any fiber-rich nutrient to your diet. Start small, a teaspoon in the morning and evening to begin with, and as always, see how your body reacts. So Flax and Omega-3s are probably one of the MOST essential items to add to your diet and the easiest way to improve your overall health in addition to quality sleep, diet, and exercise.

Just Remember:

Drink plenty of water. There is so much soluble fiber in flax that it is important to drink plenty of water when eating flax products, otherwise constipation may result.

Remember to start slowly if you aren’t used to a high fiber diet.
If you purchase the whole seeds, you need to grind them up to get the benefit.

Author's Bio: 

Steve Beaman is the Author of "Happiness & Prosperity in the 21st Century: The Five Paths To a Transformed Life". He has authored over 100 articles relating to the Five Paths including articles on Financial Prosperity, Emotional Wellness, Physical Health, Intellectual fulfillment, and Spiritual Security. He enjoyed a highly successful career in Economics and Finance prior to establishing The Steve Beaman Group. The "SBG" is an orginization dedicated to helping people on their journey's of life.