Sunday, September 27, 2009

Flax Seed vs. Fish Oil

What a fine mess! At the same time health authorities recommend Americans eat more fish with Omega 3 they also warn fish are jam-packed with unsafe pollutants.

Recall in the early 80s when studies showed the Inuit’s had low rates of heart disease despite their high-fat blubber diet rich in oily fish? Turns out the omega 3 fatty acids in the fish protected their hearts. After all, they had no gardens.

However, the reality echoing from the halls of the EPA and FDA states ALL of earth’s sacred rivers, lakes, streams, estuaries, mangroves, swamps and oceans are so contaminated that fish are saturated with hundreds of cancerous, innutritious, chemical substances not preordained to enter the blessed human vessel. Factory Fish Farms are the nastiest with the highest levels of antibiotics and PCB from farm run-off; not the way God planned it. Plus they’re fed questionable by-products from chemical-happy Factory Farm beef slaughterhouses. How charming.

Since farmed fish are not allowed to consume their heavenly designed diet, they’re nutritionally insolvent and even fed orange dye-pills for the fish to appear normal. As a result, omega 3 sought from fish is AWOL due to the insanely irresponsible un-holy diet man thrust upon the captive aquatic critters. Clearly, we’ve miserably failed obeying the heavenly directive to be responsible stewards of Gods creations. The laws of the universe have been tweaked for our consumerist convenience. Where then does one get clean, pure, life-saving Omega-3’s?

With increased popularity of plant-based diets and fears about mercury and PCBs in seafood, people often ask me about flax for their daily dose of Omega 3’s. Fairly significant considering Omega 3’s defend against the accumulation of a protein linked to Alzheimer's disease; decrease HDL and increase LDL cholesterol plus lower pesky triglycerides. Omegas 3’s also act as an anticoagulant preventing blood clotting. Now you know why they’re called ‘essential’.

Three thousand years ago in Babylon, flax fiber was cultivated for clothing. Then in 650 BC, Hippocrates wrote about using flax for the relief of abdominal pain. About the same era, Theophrastus recommended flax mucilage as a cough remedy. During the 8th Century, Charlemagne considered flax so important for the health of his subjects he passed laws and regulations requiring its consumption. He’d be proud our rediscovered interest in this fibrous, healing ancient grain.

Ground, not whole flax seed, provides more nutritional benefits than whole seed. Flax seeds are extremely hard and durable, making them difficult to crack even with chewing. Grind up the shiny brown seeds in small batches in a coffee grinder to unleash the ancient golden Omega oil. Upon ingestion, your digestive system cannot break them down and when excreted then planted, would grow. Once ground, the seeds quickly lose their oomph, so process and refrigerate the ground seeds in an airtight container and store un-ground seeds in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. Need more colon cleansing fiber? Add ground flax seed to literally any dish. It disappears, is not crunchy and I guarantee it will get your bowels a’ moving.

Men, more is not better. We should all avoid ingesting too much flax oil pills until more is known about excessive flax intakes potential link with prostate cancer. Too much of anything is bad, so don’t let this restrain you. Other sources of omega 3’s include green leafy vegetables, soy and tofu, almonds, walnuts, pine nuts and fortified eggs. However, eggs come with a blast of cholesterol which seems counter intuitive.

Health is all about variety, balance and a good dose of nutritional literacy. Bon appetite!


Synaura said...

Not all food supplement have the same level of quality. So before buying food supplement especially with fish oil component, always check the label wherein Certificate of Analysis is indicated to ensure the level of freshness.

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