Flax seed nutrition information

What is flax seed?

Keywords; flax seed nutrition information, butter is back, anti inflammatory omega 3, oleic acid.



Researchers have found that the ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 oils in the diet is very important. Both are vitally important, healthy oils, but, and it's a BIG BUT, the ratio is just as important. And in the Western diet, the ratio is way out of sinc. We consume far too much omega 6 and not nearly enough omega 3.

When we get that ratio wrong, it sets up inflammation in the body, arthritis in the joints, inflammation in the blood vessels leading to atherosclerosis with all its attendant diseases. Get the ratio right (by raising the omega-3) and it means less cardiovascular disease, less stroke, less autoimmune diseases like lupus, less cancer, and surprisingly less backache.

Ring in flax seed omega, and fish oil, the two richest sources of omega-3. There are big differences though. 

The two richest sources of lignans ... proven to be as effective as statins for lowering cholesterol. Read more at ground flaxseed vs oil research...


Flax seed nutrition information


And the fields are white unto harvest. This village church in Kent, England is surrounded by fields of flax. They're often blue too. It all goes to animal feed, my cousin tells me. Big mistake, what's good for the cow and pig, is good for the human too.


Anti inflammatory omega 3


But the health benefits of flax seeds far exceed their omega-3 content. They are also rich in a particular fibre called a "lignan". Lignans have very powerful anti-inflammatory properties too. That means eating flax seed has proven cardiovascular benefits, arthritis benefits too, over and above flaxseed oil. But how do you easily include flax seed in your diet?


Diabetes and Metabolic syndrome

Flax seed nutrition information

There's interesting new research coming out on the improvement of patients with diabetes, and Metabolic syndrome:

  1. High blood pressure
  2. abdominal obesity
  3. high cholesterol
  4. high blood sugar.

What comes as a bit of a surprise is that the health benefits of flax seeds does not include vitamin D. A deficiency of vitamin D is known to contribute greatly to both hip pain and Metabolic syndrome but there's none in flaxseed. Something else is at work. But what? The lignans in flax seed, perhaps; they lower cholesterol.


Flax seed oil

Flax seed nutrition information

What may concern you, and it shouldn't, is that flax seed is 70% fat. Firstly, it's the healthy fat, with zero cholesterol, and your brain is 60% fat. Without these "essential fatty acids" your brain and nerves, all coated with a fatty myelin sheath, would die.


And secondly, research shows that people who include flax seed oil in their diet actually lose weight, and especially abdominal fat.

A concern: most seed oils are extracted at very high temperatures and using a toxic solvents like toluene or xylene. Traces remain in the oil. I can't vouch for your flax seed oil, but always choose "cold-pressed" oils, and because the fatty acids in flax seed are very readily oxidised, better still grind your own flax seed and put a spoon of freshly ground flax seed directly into your bread and cookie recipes, into your hummus and even onto your oats in the morning.


Grinding flax seeds

It's really easy to grind your flaxseeds; whizz them up for ten seconds in the blender. The oil is such a strong antioxidant that it is itself quickly oxidised. Freshly ground is the key. 


Health benefits of flax seeds

Freshly ground flax seeds... I'm using an Andrew James grinder, but it's not available in the USA. It works great (10-15 seconds), but America's favourite coffee and spince blender by Krups looks just as good, or better.

Personally I don't mix them. This one is just for spices and seeds, and my coffee grinder is for coffee beans.



I used to blend our flax seeds with a hand blender in olive oil but it takes a good deal longer than Andrew James and Krups. Not as fine, either, and you can't add to your oats in the morning. Quaker oats recipes ...

DON'T do it this way...


Flax seed nutrition information

Grinding flax seed is really not difficult, but the seeds are a little tougher than sesame seeds for example. But both sesame seeds and flax seeds must be ground, otherwise they pass straight through your gut with zero benefits of flax seed oil or sesame seeds either.

Can afford a better grinder?



So, I used to use the stick blender, but no longer for grinding flax and sesame seeds.

... having blended your sesame seeds and grinding flax seed, you can now go on and make your hummus or whatever... add a few tablespoons of olive oil to your sesame seed omega if you want to make tahini.

Then add the ground flax seed to your bread, your cookies, your oats, to your hummus, add it to stews and whatever else takes your fancy. Just keep eating flax seed! Less inflammation of arthritis, less cardiovascular disease, improvement in your diabetes and even less back pain. Less cancer too. Health benefits flax seed abound ... I'm looking at making flax seed bread too.



flaxseeds -vs- flaxseed oil

  1. Flaxseed oil goes rancid (oxidises) quite rapidly, developing an unpleasant odour and perfectly horrid taste! Believe me, I once forced old flaxseed oil down, not knowing what damage I was doing to myself. The taste was ghastly.  Once the bottle has been opened, even refrigerated, it should not be kept more than a few weeks. In fact, it oxidises so quickly and potently that a large amount of heat is generated and it can and does ignite spontaneously if the oil (flax seed oil = linseed oil) is left lying about on old rags.
  2. Freshly ground flax seed has virtually no taste at all.
  3. Also of course flaxseed oil has none of those lignans that also  give flaxseed its anti-arthritis, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Remember flax seed omega 3 fatty acids is only the beginning of flaxseed's virtues.
  4. What's more, flaxseeds are cheap (I pay $2 per kilogramme), but flaxseed oil is very expensive. Grinding flax seeds in your own kitchen makes a lot more sense. Then you can enjoy it freshly ground. 
  5. Research shows that freshly ground flaxseed lowers the total cholesterol by 17%, whereas flaxseed oil actually raises the cholesterol by 4%, yet still is beneficial.


Flax seed nutrition information

Flax seeds

Energy (kcals)

Protein (g)

Total fat (g)

Carbs (g)

1 tbsp (10.3g)

55 (high)

1,88 (4% of daily needs)

4.34g (quite high, all good fat)

3.0 (low)

We won't focus here on minerals at flax seed nutrition information but let it be said that health benefits of flax seed includes large amounts of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, all good stuff. Calcium for bones, magnesium for many benefits, not least less arthritis. Spinach of course the best source of magnesium, Pop Eye got it right.


On the vitamin side, flax seeds are particularly rich in the muscle weakness vitamin B1 (Thiamine), the irritability, poor concentration, anxiety, fatigue, restlessness, apathy, and depression vitamin B3 (Niacin), and vitamin K, the easy-bruising vitamin.

A deficiency of Thiamine causes a fatal neurological disease called beri-beri. It comes from eating white rice: generalised muscle weakness ...


Flax seed omega

Flax seed nutrition information

What are omega-3 fatty acids?

We'll ignore the fairly complex organic chemistry at flax seed nutrition information but, in short, omega 3 oils are essential fatty acids, meaning we have to consume them; we are unable to synthesize them in the body. However, there is a limited ability to convert ALA to the others. 



There are three, and all three are PUFAs; polyunsaturated fatty acids. Polys are considered heat labile, but it's interesting that research shows that cooking flaxseed in bread, say, does not diminish the omega 3 content. Add several tablespoons of ground flax seed to your bread recipe is okay for the omega 3 content.

But research on the lignins suggests they may be heat labile. Cooked ground flaxseed, as in bread, doesn't seem to lower cholesterol like the raw, freshyly ground flaxseed.

They are: (forget their biochemistry names).

  • ALA (18 carbon chain); the omega 3 oil found in flaxseed oil
  • EPA (20 carbon chain)
  • DHA (22 carbon chain)

EPA and DHA are found mainly in fish oil ...


Fatty acids in flaxseeds
Flax seed nutrition information

  • Omega-3 ALA
  • Oleic acid (mono unsat MUFA)
  • Linoleic acid (poly unsat PUFA)
  • Palmitic and stearic acids (saturated)
  • 54%
  • 21%


  • 15%
  • 10%

So, you notice that flaxseed oil is over 50% omega-3 oil - the simplest 18 carbon ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid) of the three omega-3's. 

Confusion: novices in biochem often confuse linoleic (an omega-6) and linolenic (an omega-3). The old name for flax seed oil is linseed oil. It's a derivative of the greatest component: alpha Linolenic acid.

Linoleic acid, too, (like ALA) is an essential fatty acid. Without them you're dead! Despite a small amount of saturated fatty acids, the overall effect of flaxseed oil consumption is normalisation of blood cholesterol.


Oleic acid

Oleic acid is the fatty acid used in the fatty myelin sheath that surrounds nerves. Without that sheath, nerves can't conduct. You've heard of MS - it attacks that oleic acid sheath. Flaxseeds are particularly rich in oleic acid, a vital component of nerve health.


How much omega-3 in flaxseeds, flaxseed oil and salmon oil?

One tablespoon of flaxseeds (10 g), 1 tbsp of flaxseed oil and 1000 mg fish oil capsule contain:

Omega-3

ALA

EPA

DHA


Flaxseeds

2.6 g

0

0

Flaxseed oil

8 g

0

0

Salmonoil(1g)

0

0,18 g

0,12 g


So, flax seed omega 3 includes a large amount of ALA, the omege-3 fatty acid that can be converted in the body to EPA and DHA.


How much do we need?

For those who are happy to eat fish, or take fish oil capsules, the recommended daily allowance is both flaxseeds and fatty fish:

  • ALA from flaxseed, for example 0.5 g ALa (1 tsp ground flaxseeds would do)

PLUS:

  • Two four ounce servings of cold water fish per week contains 2 x 1.5 g of omega-3 (total 3 g)
  • OR, One soft gel 1000 mg fish oil which contains 300 mg of EPA and DHA daily. (7 x 300 mg = 2.1g omega-3 per week)


Flax seed nutrition information for vegetarians:

The body is able to convert ALA to EPA and DHA, but less efficiently. One tbsp of ground flaxseeds daily would probably be adequate.

Issues @ flax seed nutrition information

There are many controversial issues surrounding the omega-3 oils, but don't let that put you off their benefits.

  • Unprocessed fish oil contains mercury contaminants
  • Processed fish oil removes the mercury by high heat and solvent extraction, but heating destroys some of the omega-3 and produces some toxic byproducts.
  • Eating fish because of food synergy is better than taking capsules, but fresh cold water fish is not universally available.
  • Flaxseed oil is very heat labile, and readily oxidised producing toxic free radicals within a few days (hours?) of being exposed to air. 
  • The lignans in whole, freshly-ground flax seed are a vital part of their health benefits.
  • Overdosing on fish oil capsules can have dangerous bleeding side effects.

In conclusion, to sum up the flax seed nutrition information,

  • Eat fresh fatty fish such as salmon if it's available.
  • Alternatively, tinned fatty fish that has not had the oil removed. We enjoy canned South African pilchards. 
  • Grind or blend one tablespoon of flaxseed daily and add it to your cereals or other foods.


Warning
about flax seed nutrition information

Some folk become totally neurotic about their food, worrying about all these little issues. Others just couldn't be bothered at all about healthy eating. There's a healthy place to discover midway... not always easy to find. But try to grasp the big picture, not the nitty-gritty tiny details as to whether you should be having x mg of this or y mg of that. Just enjoy the healthy benefits of flax seed and certainly make a place for fatty fish or fish oil health benefits ...     unless you're vegetarian, in which case just up your eating flax seed ... preferably freshly ground, uncooked flax seed.


Pecans nutrition

Pecans are another rich source of omega-3 alpha linolenic acid, but like flax seed omega the fat goes rancid very quickly. Cracking pecans is considered a fag, but really, you can very easily crack three pecans every morning in less than one minute.

They taste far better, are better, and you will not lose the ALA and risk being poisoned by the toxic breakdown products of fat oxididation.

Learn the knack...


Butter is back

There is huge controversy over the place of saturated animal fats like butter in our diets. Experienced cardiovascular surgeons are question why, despite decades of emphasis on low cholesterol, low animal fat and high polyunsaturated that the inner lining of blood vessels are becoming yet more inflamed.

A recent meta analysis of nearly 80 different studies on the subject concludes that there is no clear evidence that there is any benefit in changing from animal fats to polyunsaturated fats. Is butter back? Yes, maybe. Butter is back ...

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Stones in my Clog

So you think that chiropractors just crack bones! Not so, we are committed to natural living and plenty of exercise.

If you really want to know what goes on in a chiropractor's office, you might like to try my latest book, Stones in my Clog. Here's a sample chapter: Perhaps DD did it after all ...

Enjoy Stones in my Clog on your tablet or smartphone using the free Kindle app. It's a fraction of the price as an ebook. Only $2.99... you could be reading it in two minutes!

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mrs B has had one of the nastiest of conditions; vertigo caused by a disturbance in the inner ear. Falling repeatedly and vomiting she consulted her doctor but medication didn't help. After two sessions of the Epley manoeuvres she was 50 percent better. After two weeks she was 75 percent improved; no longer vomiting or falling. She's not enjoying the Brandt Daroff home exercises.

2. Mr S, a 48 year old man, has right low back pain, groin pain and a numb feeling in his lower leg when he sports. For six months he's been off football. He too has two problems; a very treatable lumbar facet syndrome and a very serious blocked artery in the groin; it's called intermittent claudication. Smokers beware.  

3. Mr S looks like the leaning tower of Pisa; he has a slipped disc at L5 making him lean towards the opposite side. It's called the postero lateral disc hernia; we'll fix it, but he has to stop for a week or two. Antalgias are serious so take them seriously. 

4. Mrs V too has  two conditions; a chronic low grade sciatica giving her an ache in the right leg, and a threatening Morton's neuroma. She's glad I'm back in Holland; chiropractic fixed it before, and we'll fix it again. 

5. Mrs W is one of the lucky ones, says her doctor. I agree. He says only 40% of patients with lumbar stenosis have a successful operation. We fixed a nasty slipped disc three years ago, but it came back two years later; the surgeon did a fine job but she has a weak ankle now giving her subtalar joint pain; it's routine stuff. 

6. I myself had an acute exacerbation of a femoral nerve lesion last year. One immediate treatment of the new strain by my colleague has fixed the pain in the lower back, but there's some residual numbness in the lower leg; no soaring tomorrow alas.

7. This lady is a 86 year old woman with a 63 scoliosis. Chronic lower back has been her lot in life but she's well pleased with chiropractic and comes for chiropractic help once a month; some conditions you can never cure.

8. She is an 78 year old woman, is doing remarkably well with a bad sciatica. But over 200 pounds she is not losing weight; in fact, gaining despite my suggestions. She's high risk for a stroke. I have referred her to a dietician to crack the whip.

9. A 61 year old man with upper cervical pain yesterday; it's not severe but also not getting better of its own accord. He's afraid it may turn very acute as when I treated him three years ago. Since then it's been fine. 

10. A 64 year old woman has had scheuermanns disease; it's left her with a spinal kyphosis and chronic middorsal pain. She responds well to chiropractic treatment provides she come every six weeks or so for maintenance treatment.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mrs D, a middle aged woman with hip pain of one year duration, despite other treatment. Xrays reveal an impingement syndrome and early hip arthritis. There's much to be done.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.



Have a problem that's not getting better? Looking for a different slant on your pain? Want to pose a question?


Interesting questions from visitors

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Greetings, Dr B.
You helped me quite some time back with a soothing and professional response which turned out to be exactly correct. I now consult a local chiropractor. You write a superb newsletter, too.

Your own unresolved problem. Pose a question

Knowing that up to 70% of the time the correct diagnosis is made with no examination, no special tests, no xrays, but just from the history, there's a fair chance I can add some insight to your unresolved problem. But at least 30% of the time, I may be quite wrong! Give plenty of detail if you want a sensible reply.


You visited this chiropractic help site no doubt because you have a problem that is not resolving and want to know more about what chiropractors do.

The quickest and most interesting way is to read one of my ebooks of anecdotes. Described by a reader as gems, both funny and healthful, from the life and work of a chiropractor, you'll love them. Priced right at $2.99, though Kindle fiddles the price without telling me.