Mar 21, 2017
After recently reading in Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP newsletter that she tries to feed her children a tablespoon of lemon flavored flaxseed oil every morning, I thought, "lemon flavored?" I was so intrigued, especially because I worry about whether my children consume enough healthy fats that I bought a bottle that same day and added it to some Cajun-spiced catfish. It was surprisingly delicious! I then added some to sauteed vegetables... again, delicious!
Could flaxseed oil be a solution to one of my nutritional worries? We investigated further...
Flaxseed -- An Overview
Flaxseed can be consumed in several forms: ground flax seed (and it may be purchased as whole seeds or already ground up), and as flaxseed oil (which comes from the seeds of the flax plant).
Available in liquid and soft-gel capsule form, flaxseed oil contains both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are needed for health. For good health, your body needs twice as many omega-6 as omega-3s in order to combat inflammation. However, most of us already get a large amount of omega-6s from our diet and are deficient in omega-3s. Flaxseed contains approximately three times as much omega-3s as it does omega-6s.
Benefits of Flaxseed
According to WebMD.com, although flaxseed contains all sorts of healthy components, it owes its healthy reputation primarily to three ingredients:
Would the omega-3s in flaxseed oil address my concerns about our children getting enough good fats for brain development? It turns out that omega-3s from plant sources (e.g., flaxseed, nuts and nut oil, and canola oil) are not as useful to our bodies as the omega-3s from seafood (you may read my notes on this by clicking here: Nutritional Deficit Disorder by Dr. William Sears). However, Dr. William Sears describes flaxseed oil as a "very healthy oil" that he prescribes to children who need more nutrition from under eating.
Lilian Thompson, PHD, an internationally known flaxseed researcher from the University of Toronto, says that although the research isn't yet "well established," there is indication that flaxseed may help reduce the risks of certain cancers and lung disease, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, diabetes, and hot flashes.
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