Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Flaxseed may lower cholesterol levels

Introducing whole flaxseed into your diet, the grain with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, lignans and protein, may help lower your cholesterol levels reports a recent article in the August 2009 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Flaxseed is considered healthy for the heart as it contains high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and alpha linolenic acid.

Dr. Xu Lin’s (Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai) reviewed 28 studies involving more than 1,500 men and women to clarify the impact whole flaxseed and its derivatives on cholesterol levels. Average whole flaxseed or flaxseed oil intake was about one tablespoon daily.

Dr. Lin’s findings link whole flaxseed with reductions in total cholesterol and "bad" LDL cholesterol. Total and LDL cholesterol reductions with whole flaxseed intake were stronger in women, particularly postmenopausal women, than men, and in people with higher cholesterol concentrations at the outset, the researchers noted in the article. Whole flaxseed, however, did not appear to significantly alter levels of harmful triglycerides or "good" HDL cholesterol.

“Flaxseed, when ground or milled, is easy to add to everyday foods and has a nutty, buttery taste,” said Stephanie Stober president/owner of Flax USA, and fifth generation family farmer. “Simply sprinkle over cereal, salads, pasta or stir into smoothies or juice. When cooking, flaxseed even substitutes for eggs and oil.”

“Flaxseed, like other sources of soluble fiber, has been reported to help curb appetite, keep blood sugar stable, and encourage weight management,” said Jen Allbritton, a certified nutritionist.* “Flax’s most notable ingredient is its lignans. These fibrous compounds are powerful antioxidants that are metabolized by bacteria in the colon into substances that may possess anti-microbial and anti-cancer properties. Flax is the richest source of lignans, providing up to 75 times the amount found in other lignan-containing foods. Consumer research shows that flaxseed and other Omega-3 product purchases will grow at a 60 percent compounded annual rate by 2011. Due to its rise in popularity, food manufacturers are rushing to include flaxseed in cereals, pancake mix, breads, mayonnaise and more.

FlaxUSA and Stober Farms Flaxseed Products
For over 100 years, John and Stephanie Stober’s family has been growing the finest flax in the world from their fifth generation family farm. Flax grows about two feet tall with pale blue flowers. Driving past the Stober’s farms looks like an ocean in blue bloom.
The Flax USA and Stober Farm products include: Natural Milled Golden Flax Seed, Organic Milled Golden Flax Seed and Golden Flax Seed Flax Sprinkles™. Easy, convenient and ready to eat, add 2-4 tbsp of these flax products to smoothies, cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, salad, pasta, juice, ice cream, baked goods or any favorite food. One serving contains 2800mg of Omega-3, 3 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. Flax USA products are sold at Sam’s Club nationally and Costco regionally. Stober Farms products are sold at specialty food stores across the country.

A Leg Up on Lignans
Flax USA and Stober Farms also grows a super concentrated lignans product which takes several pounds of flaxseed to create. Flax Hull Lignans contain 75 times more lignans than other plant foods. Lignans, found in hulls of flax seeds, are plant estrogens with powerful antioxidant properties that studies have found are powerful immunity boosters. Studies have found lignans may help lower risks of certain cancers, improve breast and prostate health, while also offering relief from symptoms of menopause and hot flashes.

Roasted Golden Flax Seeds
Thanks to a unique roasting process, Stober Farm’s Roasted Golden Flax Seeds can be eaten whole and offer a delicious nutty flavor and satisfying crunch. They are also a low carb, high fiber snack with 3,800mg of Omega-3s and 100 calories per serving. “Think sunflower seeds without the spitting,” says Stephanie Stober about her new roasted flax snack.

Benefits of the Cold-Milling Process
Flaxseed is digested most effectively when ground. Some grinding methods generate heat when milled, spurring early Omega-3 oxidation. Stober Farms uses a unique Cold-Milled process, which gently grinds the seed without significantly raising the temperature. This proprietary method preserves the nutrients, flavor and extends the shelf life to 22 months.
The Many Health Benefits of Flaxseed
Flaxseed offers more nutritional punch than other grains. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, protein, B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese, flax seed is a powerhouse food. Maximum nutrition comes from consuming it as a whole food, not as an additive.

The McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign reports the following about flax: “In recent years, many studies have focused on the disease fighting properties of flax or its components. Although the results of many of these studies seem promising, it is important to remember that more research on flax is still needed. Below is a short list of diseases and the ways that flax may help in prevention or treatment.

Cancer - The high lignan content of flaxseed is thought to play a role in fighting a broad range of cancers. The anti-cancer properties of flaxseed may also stem from alpha linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid found in flaxseed), which is potentially capable of slowing tumor growth.

Heart disease - Clinical studies have shown that flaxseed may lower triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of blood clots when consumed over time. These benefits may result from fiber and/or the alpha linolenic acid found in flaxseed.

Rheumatoid arthritis and kidney disease - The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids have been recognized in both treating and slowing the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and kidney disease. Although most omega-3 research has focused on the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, more recent studies have shown flaxseeds also may provide this benefit.

Menopause and osteoporosis - Much like soy, flaxseeds are a rich source of phytoestrogens. Some studies have shown that consuming foods high in phytoestrogens may prevent or mitigate symptoms caused by the declining estrogen levels associated with menopause. Phytoestrogens may also be helpful in fighting osteoporosis related bone loss experienced by some post-menopausal women.” (See full report here)

About Flax USA / Stober Farms Based in Goodrich, North Dakota, Flax USA™ and Stober Farms is one of the country’s leading providers of Golden Omega Flax, a non-GMO variety of flax with naturally high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, fiber and protein. Founded by 5th generation flax farmers, Stephanie and John Stober, Flax USA™ uses a proprietary Real Cold Milled™ process that increases the shelf life to 22 months while maintaining nutrients at their highest levels. Flax USA™ distributes milled flax, “sprinkles” and lignans, under the Flax USA™ and Stober Farms™ labels and produces Roasted Golden Flax Seeds, along with a line of Flaxy™Pet supplements for cats, dogs and horses as well. Products are available online at Amazon.com and FlaxUSA.com and at select retailers in the U.S. and Canada.

No comments: