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Health Benefits of Flaxseed

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Updated November 06, 2008

Flaxseed is the seeds from the flaxplant, a flowering type of plant that is grown specifially for its seeds. Flaxseed can be purchased as flour, oil, or in seed form. Capsules are available to take as a supplement.

Health Benefits of Flaxseed:

Flaxseed is used for a variety of medicinal purposed, most commonly constipation and other conditions requiring high fiber. It is also said to be good for arthritis, heart disease, cancer, depression, Crohn disease, and more. Current studies are evaluating it's effectiveness against many conditions.

Why Flaxseed is Good for You:

Flaxseed is high in omega-3 fatty acids, essential nutrients our bodies need, but cannot make. Therefor, we get omega-3 fatty acids from supplements and food.

Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to prevent many types of cancer, including breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and pancreatic cancer.

How to Use Flaxseed:

Flaxseed can be incorporated into the diet using the seeds and oil. Flaxseed oil is commonly used in salads and the seeds are used in yogurt and cereals. Experts recommend that ground flaxseed is the most nutritionally beneficial.

Recommended Daily Amount for Adults:

Experts recommend taking 1-2 tablespoons ground flaxseed or 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil daily. The daily requirement is easy to meet when incorporating flaxseed into your favorite foods.

Side Effects:

There are no side effects of eating flaxseed at the recommended daily amount.

Safety for Pregnant Women:

Flaxseed is safe for pregnant women. Be sure to inform your health care provider first.

Recipes Using Flaxseed:

In Closing...:

The current status of the health benefits of flaxseed is both preliminary, yet encouraging. Studies are currently being conducted concerning the health benefits of flaxseed for many conditions, cancer included.
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