Fish isn’t the only source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Flax, or linseed as it is also known, is an herb that is very high in omega-3, which your body needs to defend against heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, neurological disorders, and digestive problems.
When there is an imbalance in the ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 in the body, all types of medical issues can occur. You can turn the tide by consuming more flax.
Omega-3 and Omega-6
Many scientists and medical experts believe that the health breakdown in the West that has resulted in immune disorders and a lot of the epidemics we have today can be traced back to imbalances between omega-3 and omega-6 acids in our bodies. Both of these acids are essential, but the American diet tends to supply more omega-6 than it does omega-3 when omega-3 should actually be king or at least equally balanced with omega-6.
In America the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 is about 20 to 1, when it should be 1 to 1. In order for your body to function at its best, this balance is necessary. Omega-6 can often be found in processed foods like cookies, crackers and cereals, and also in fried foods, corn and vegetable oils.
Omega-6 often replaces omega-3 in our foods because omega-6, coupled with hydrogenated oils, gives foods a longer shelf life; whereas omega-3 spoils quicker. A food that spoils quicker is usually the mark of a healthier choice, because it means that it is alive and not artificial.
What’s So Great About Flax?
If you ever tire of eating fish to get your daily dose of omega-3, sprinkle a little flax on your meals or swallow 1 to 2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil daily. Here’s a taste of what flax can do.
Reduces Joint Pain and Inflammation – Arthritis among native Japanese and Eskimos is unheard of, because their diets are high in omega-3. When the immune system breaks down as a result of too much omega-6 and too little omega-3, the body is more likely to develop inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
Improves Mental Function – Mental illness is also more prevalent in Western societies, and scientists again attribute this partly to insufficient omega-3, which is known to improve brain function. Studies have even shown improvement in symptoms of patients who suffer from depression, schizophrenia and certain phobias when omega-3 was increased.
Improves and Soothes Digestion – Flaxseed oil, like fish oil, calms an irritable bowel and makes bowel movements smoother. However, flaxseed oil eliminates the troublesome side effects of bad breath, aftertaste and belching that fish oil causes.
Improves Heart Health – The high levels of alpha lineolic acid (ALA) in flaxseed oil keeps blood cells from sticking together and clumping up. This means that there are fewer chances of artery blockages, irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure that can all lead to a heart attack or heart disease.
Defeats Diabetes – Omega-6 foods make a person more likely to become overweight and insulin-resistant, but you can counter omega-6 acids’ effects with more omega-3. Omega-3 keeps blood sugar and blood pressure regulated, so your diabetes is under control.
Regain your health by seasoning your foods with flax and consuming more flaxseed oil.