Monday, November 15, 2010

Flax: Is it REALLY good for you?

Making salad dressing with flax oil

Flax has gained traction in the health industry in recent years due to its high content of essential fatty acids.  One tablespoon of flax oil contains 7.7 grams of omega-3 fatty acids and 2.2 grams of omega-6 fatty acids.  This is huge, considering the recommended adequate intake for omega-3 is 1.1 g/d for women and 1.6 g/day for men.

Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory, meaning they halt the prostaglandins and cytokines that cause the inflammatory immune reaction in your body.  Inflammation is an important part of the immune system, but chronic inflammation is associated with a wide range of disorders including heart disease, autoimmune disorders, arthritis, asthma, cancer, dementia, depression, hypertension and mood disorders.

So how do you use flax in your diet?

Flax Seed
Flax seed is sold pre-ground or as a whole seed, and it can be added to baked goods, hot cereal, salad, smoothies and sprinkled on hot vegetables.  Grind your own flax seed in a coffee grinder or seed grinder.  Store whole or ground flax in the refrigerator for 6 months, or in the freezer for 1 year.

Flax Oil
Flax oil has a mild flavor and tastes wonderful in salad dressing, smoothies, hot cereal and on cooked vegetables.  Never, ever cook with flax oil, but feel free to add it to hot foods after they are removed from the pan.

Flax As An Egg Replacer
Add 3 tablespoons of hot water to 1 tablespoon ground flax and let mixture sit for about 10 minutes or until it thickens.  Use the unstrained gel in place of one egg in most baking recipes.

Ingredients for salad dressing

Flax Oil Salad Dressing

3 T Flax oil
1 T Balsalmic vinegar
1 small clover garlic, crushed
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp sugar

Mix all ingredients together and serve on your favorite salad.


1.      Omega content of flax oil from Barean’s Fresh Flax Oil
“Omegas and inflammation” from Healing Foods by Michael Murray

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