December 19, 2012

Veggie Fact of the Day

Flax Seed, New Veggie #58
Flax Seed became New Veggie #58. Also known as Linseed, it has notable heath benefits. Ground flax seed can be added to baked goods, shakes, smoothies, cereals and other dishes. Notable micronutrients include manganese, selenium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc and copper. In addition, flax seeds are rich in B vitamins, especially B9 (folic acid) followed by B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin or niacinamide), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine) and also in Vitamin K. 

Flax seed is a great source of lignans, compounds that have been shown to regulate the menstrual cycle in women. Lignans have also been implicated in prevention of breast and colon cancer. In addition, lignans have also been implicated in the prevention of diabetes. Perhaps the most important fact about flax seeds is that they are a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, in particular alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). 

For non-fish eaters, flax and Chia seeds are perhaps one of the richest sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for fighting inflammation. There is a lot of evidence suggesting that inflammation plays a key part in many chronic lifestyle diseases that affect our bodies - heart disease, arthritis, asthma, diabetes and various cancers. While ALA by itself is not sufficient, and we also need Omega-6 fatty acids, flax seed does go a long way in providing one ALA. So eat away!

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