Flax seeds have been a superstar staple of my various Fat Flush programs for decades—from two to four tablespoons daily—for weight loss, hormonal control, and regularity.
But these little miracle workers are a great food for kids, too. And, they are especially important for boosting brain power which will come in mighty handy since back to school is right around the corner.
The omega-3s found in flax seeds (and flaxseed oil) have a major impact on the brain because over half the brain (60 percent to be exact) is composed of fat. Brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters are regulated by tissue like hormones which are made from essential fats. The brain—and entire nervous system, for that matter—needs the right kind of fats for nourishment and protection.
Our kids are being diagnosed right and left with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and drugs like Ritalin are being handed out like candy. Do you really think our children are suffering from massive “Ritalin deficiency?” A growing body of research has shown that kids with ADHD may really be showing the signs of a massive omega-3 deficiency. It’s certainly not by accident that the clinical signs of ADHD—the inability to focus, a short attention span, restlessness, mood swings, and irritability—match those of an omega-3 deficiency. When children start eating the right kind of omega-3 fats, parents always notice that their kids become much more calm and focused.
For moms with PMS or perimenopause, flax seeds are little miracle workers eradicating symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats, as well as reducing ovarian dysfunction, balancing menstrual cycle changes, and helping to reduce the risk of osteoporosis by increasing bone density.
And that’s because of mini miracle workers in flax known as lignans—the superstar ingredient which makes these tiny seeds so therapeutic.
About 800 times more concentrated in flaxseeds than in any other plant—lignans are well respected hormone modulators. But beyond balancing hormones, they also kill viruses and help to knock out type 2 diabetes, lower LDL cholesterol, and help to reverse atherosclerosis.
Their real claim to fame is in the arena of cancer where recent studies have shown that flax hull lignans prove to be major players in halting the spread of breast, prostate, and lung cancer.
According to the Health Sciences Institute, researchers have found an 82% decrease in the spread of metastatic lung tumors, a 71% reduction in the protein that causes aggressive cancer growth, and a 31% increase in cancer cell death in just 30 days among people regularly consuming concentrated flax hull lignans.
While there are many different types of lignans, the most researched is an enterolactone type lignan that is also known as SDG (secoisolariciresinol diglucoside). SDG helps to inhibit the formation of blood vessels that tumors form in order to keep the cancer alive.
In two heaping tablespoons of cold milled flax seeds, you will be getting 350 mg of this super potent SDG lignan. In addition, you will benefit from 10 grams of soluble fiber to stabilize your blood sugar and reduce the amount of carbohydrates absorbed by our bodies for effortless weight loss. When cold milled flax seeds come in contact with liquid, they become soft and jellylike, making them highly useful as an intestinal cleanser and bowel regulator.
The alpha linolenic acid (ALA) content of flax seeds also provides stand-alone benefits of its own. In several studies of breast cancer risk, the higher the concentration of ALA in breast tissue, the lower the risk of manifesting breast cancer. Moreover, if the breast cancer arises, the higher the breast tissue concentration of ALA, the lower the risk of cancer spreading to other parts of the body.
Flax up the family meals with these nutty tasting seeds—in their ground or milled form—as coatings, breadings, garnishes, and toppings for morning cereals. Ground or milled flaxseeds are also great blended in a morning smoothie or green drink. Use them on sweet potatoes, squash, or yams and in soups, salads, and casseroles or whatever you can dream up in your kitchen!
Flax is smart “medicine” for the entire family.