Whole Flax Seed
Forms of Flax Seed - Flaxseed comes in many forms. It is available in capsules, powder, oil and seeds. A good idea is buying Whole Flax Seeds and grinding them into a course powder in a coffee grinder or food processor. When buying flax seed capsules look on the label for "cold pressed", "expeller-pressed" or "fresh pressed". Flax seed regardless of the form used, is best kept in the refrigerator. Flaxseeds are the richest commonly available seed source of alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3's). Eating Whole Flaxseed rather than flaxseed oils because you get the whole package: the protein, fiber, minerals and phytochemicals along with the omega-3.
Purchasing Quality Whole Flax Seed
Be sure when you purchase whole flaxseed for your baking needs that the label of your product states that the flax is from cold-milled select flaxseed and that it is 100 percent organic and therefore pesticide and herbicide free. Such a milling process delicately liberates naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, amino acids, lignans, and phytonutrients without damaging delicate omega-3 fatty acids. Concurrently the surface area of both soluble and insoluble fibers is greatly increased for maximum benefit. Another advantage with whole flaxseed is that the viscous nature of soluble fibers such as flaxseed mucilage is believed to slow down digestion and absorption of starch, resulting in lower levels of blood glucose, insulin and other endocrine responses. When purchasing flax seeds that have already been ground the health benefits quickly disappear over time due to oxidation (exposure to air) and degradation of the chemical makeup of the flax. For this reason it is always better to use Whole Flax Seeds and then grind them as needed.
Consuming Whole Flax Seed
You can eat whole flax seed but you need to chew them good to break them up. Your stomach will not dissolve whole flax seeds and many of them will come out in your stools. Chew about a tablespoon in the morning. Then drink 8 oz of water. Make sure if you chew flax seeds that you drink water since the seed expand and become gelatinous.
Flax mucilage helps to prevent toxic build-up in the bowel during fasting or a healing diet. When juice fasting, take a teaspoon of whole flax, 2-3 times per day, with a generous supply of water. Try not to chew the seeds; swallow them whole with a glass of water. This will allow only the mucilage to escape. The flax seed will pass out of the system without releasing any of its oil. Even though the oil is highly nutritious, it can hinder the deep cleansing process that is desirable during juice fasting.
Whole flax seed should be ground to allow your body to fully digest nutrients that can prevent cancer, heart disease and other ailments. The nutrients inside each Flax Seed shell, fiber, lignans and Omega-3 fatty acids, are known to have health benefits including defence against cancer, reduced risk of heart disease, improved digestion, and relief of hormonal imbalances.
Storage of Whole Flax Seed
Whole flax seed which is clean dry and of good quality, can be stored at room temperature for up to a year. For optimum freshness, ground flax seed should be ground as needed. Unused ground flax seed can be refrigerated in an airtight container if it will be used in just a matter of days, or it can be stored in the freezer for about a month. Whole flax seeds have a shelf life measured in years. This long shelf life is due to the high quality of the seed. The seeds are plump with Omega 3 oils and are uniform in size with a nutty-buttery flavour. Whole flax seeds are great in recipes, i.e., breads, cookies or on salads, yoghurts and cereals, etc.
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Benefits of Daily Consumption of Whole Flax Seeds:
- Contains essential EFAís for maintaining good health by acting as building blocks in cell membranes
- Helps to regulate bowel movements
- Helps balance blood sugar and cholesterol levels
- Promotes anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal effects in the body
- Enhances the immune system
- Hormone-balancing effects on the body and aids in the production of hormone-like substances that are necessary for energy metabolism
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