Ground flaxseed versus flaxseed oil

Flaxseed vs. Flaxseed Oil? Choose ground Flaxseed.

Its high content of alpha-linolenic acids has made the ancient flaxseed our modern miracle food. Derived from the plant source, flaxseed offers a vegetarian alternative to provide omega 3 fatty acid. Flaxseed has been shown in many studies to offer heart-healthy benefits by lowering total cholesterol and Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels. Flaxseed may also help lower triglycerides and blood pressure, as well as help keep platelets from becoming sticky therefore reducing the risk of a heart attack.

Ground flaxseed has anti-cancerous lignan

Flaxseed oil pills provide a concentrated source of alpha-linolenic acids. However, it does not contain other beneficial ingredients such as fiber ( promote weight loss) and lignan found in the actual flaxseed. Lignan is a type of antioxidant phytoestrogen. Research revealed that lignan in flaxseed shows promising results in fighting disease, particularly cancer. Studies show that lignan possesses anti-cancer properties. Results were most promising in breast cancer prevention. It is thought that lignan metabolites can bind to estrogen receptors, hence inhibiting the onset of estrogen-stimulated breast cancer.

Flaxseed oil pills have high concentration of alpha-linolenic acids, which are linked to prostate cancer

Although still controversial, high intake of alpha-linolenic acids has been linked to higher risk of prostate cancer. Since alpha-linolenic acids is an essential nutrient and cannot be produced by the body, eliminating it from the diet is not recommended. Ground flaxseed offers a safer option in men as it contains fewer alpha-linolenic acids and more lignan than flaxseed oil.

How much Flaxseed?

There is no clear recommendation of how much flaxseed one should take to reap the heart-healthy benefits. Most studies investigated the doses between 2 to 4 tablespoons of raw, ground flaxseed. Some studies reported that an intake of 45 g of flaxseed has laxative effects.

An educated lifestyle personal trainer/nutrition consultant will always prefer ground flaxseed than flaxseed oil.

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