by: Michelle Bosmier
(NaturalNews) Folk stories had it that flaxseeds were blessed – that they could bring good fortune, restore health, and protect from the evil witchery. Nowadays, it's really no different. Bringing flaxseeds into your diet will definitely bring you good fortune, restore health, and protect you from the evils that your own body can produce.
There is a little gender-related controversy regarding the lowering of cholesterol levels via flaxseed consumption. In a study conducted by ISU professor Suzanne Hendrich of Iowa State University's Nutrition and Wellness Research Center (NWRC), it was found that men's cholesterol levels can fall much faster than that of a woman's, upon the consumption of about 150 milligrams of flaxseeds (about three tablespoons) a day.
The study, which included 90 people of both genders, took place over a span of three months and looked at patients that all had high levels of cholesterol but no other underlying health-related conditions. According to Professor Hendrich, it is the flaxseed 'lignans' – a plant-based chemical compound group known for its protective health properties – that is responsible for helping lower cholesterol levels. "There are certainly some people who would prefer not to use a drug," Hendrich says, "but rather use foods to maintain their health. This potentially would be something to consider." Hendrich believes that where men in particular are concerned, the properties in flaxseeds make it a wonderful natural, long-term alternative for those who would rather opt for nature than drugs.
This doesn't mean that women should despair however. In another significant study conducted, women who added as little as 50 grams of ground flaxseed to their daily diets for four weeks were shown to have lowered LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by 18%, without touching the HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Gene Bruno, Dean of Academics at Huntington College of Health Sciences, wrote in his 2008 article that flaxseed research has also shown major serum lipid level reduction by about 8% – an effect traditionally achieved through the consumption of fish oils.
In another study involving only female volunteers and the consumption of 50 grams of flaxseed for a month, serum lipid levels went down by about 9%. Bruno also states that the lignans in flaxseeds have been found to possess anti-platelet activating properties – essential in preventing platelets in the bloodstream from clumping, rupturing, and creating harmful clots that can lead to heart-attacks and strokes, making flaxseed a premium health option.
Adding flaxseeds to your daily diet is not only highly beneficial for your health, but also very easy. Sprinkling a spoon or two of either whole or ground flaxseeds daily on your food will give you not only a good dose of omega-3 fats, but also both soluble and insoluble fiber – as well as will regulate your cholesterol levels.