3 Benefits of Flax

This tiny seed provides 3 incredible benefits for your diet.

This tiny seed provides 3 incredible benefits for your diet. 

First, flax is a great source of fiber. Most Americans do not get enough fiber in their diet. Each tablespoon of flax contains about 8 grams of fiber. This helps keep the bowels regular. Because of all the fiber, be sure to start slow (say, with a half-teaspoon) and build up. Otherwise, you may experience bloating.


Second, flax is a plant source of omega-3. Once again, most Americans are short on their omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids ("essential" meaning they must be consumed because our bodies don’t make them) play an important role in the anti-inflammatory system of our body. Flax contains the shorter chain omega-3 called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Thus, it is not a replacement for fish or fish oil supplements that contain DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (ecosapentaenoic acid.)

Third, flax contains lignans which reduce the risk of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. The lignans alter the way your body metabolizes estrogens into safer forms.

As if this wasn’t enough, flax  has been shown to reduce hot flashes in menopausal women. To reap the benefits, this requires a daily dose of 2 tablespoons. And flax can normalize the menstrual cycle by supporting the second phase (the luteal phase).

Safety: Other than the bloating that may occur in a new user, flax is very safe. It’s a food that has been with us for thousands of years.

How to: Start slow and build up. Remember to grind it. (It is useful to get a coffee grinder for this purpose. Preground flax spoils, or oxidizes, quickly. Unground, the impermeable coating may make it pass right through you, and you won't absorb any of the benefits.) Add it to cooked oatmeal, to pancake batter, or to yogurt. It has a nice nutty flavor. Don’t buy the oil as that eliminates the fiber and most of the lignans.

Green Tea With Egg White Foam to Soothe Your Sore Throat

From Dr. Oz's new book on traditional Chinese medicine, "Yin Yang You" — out now!

Are you one of so many people who suffer from pain, stress and anxiety? Dr. Oz set out to help you find relief. So to fill the gaps in modern Western medicine, he looked to traditional Chinese medicine — which uses 5,000-year-old traditions to help people preserve their health and prevent sickness. These ancient secrets are what inspired his new book, "Yin Yang You," about the powerful methods you can do right at home! Click here to grab your own copy.

The book is also filled with tons of delicious recipes that are packed with nutrients for your health. Here's an easy one to get started with. This green tea has a special twist to soothe a sore throat that comes on quickly. Egg whites and sugar are whipped together to add some foam to classic green tea for a cooling and coating effect.

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