By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N.
Research suggests that flax seed may help decrease the risk of cancers like breast, colon and prostate cancer as well as decreasing the risk of heart disease. Flax seed may help to lower total cholesterol and LDLcholesterol (the Bad cholesterol) levels. Other benefits show that flax seed may also help lower blood triglyceride and blood pressure. It may also keep platelets from becoming sticky therefore reducing the risk of a heart attack. Flax seed is an excellent source of lignans, which are natural antioxidants and members of plant estrogens (phytoestrogens). Lignans help to decrease inflammation which is the precursor to heart disease and cancer. Nutritional information: 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed has 60 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbohydrate, 4 grams of dietary fiber and 3 grams of protein. Flax seed is rich in potassium and folic acid and also omega-3 fatty acids. You can add ground flax seed to hot or cold cereal, sprinkled into smoothies, added to soups or meatloaf and mixed into casseroles.
Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N., is a registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition. The former publisher of Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine, Kentuckiana Healthy Woman magazine and radio show host of Health News You Can Use, Barbara has over 30 years of experience in promoting healthy lifestyles to consumers. Barbara worked as Nutrition Consultant to the Navy SEALs (8 years) and the University of Louisville Athletic Department (10 years). Barbara has private practice, DayByDay Nutrition, www.DayByDayNutrition.com, where she counsels clients on weight loss, cholesterol management, performance nutrition and an array of other medical issues. Visit Barbara’s new website which is an on-line health & wellness magazine, www.KentuckianaHEALTHWellness.com. Barbara writes nutrition and health columns for www.LiveStrong.com as well as a weekly nutrition column for the Southeast Outlook. She also designs and presents employee wellness programs to small and large businesses. Barbara is a runner, cyclist, hiker and a mother and grandmother to 11 grandchildren.