What Makes Flax Seed so Healthy?
Flax comes from the blue-flowered plant crop grown mainly in cool, northern climates such as that of the western Canadian prairies and the northern plains of the US. The omega-3 fatty acid and fiber in flax are nutrients that help keep us healthy and well.
The flax seed is one of the most nutritional seeds on the planet. And while it’s not a grain, it has a similar vitamin and mineral profile to grains, but, flax seed is very low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for people who limit their intake of starches and sugars. And its combination of healthy fat and high fiber content make it a great food for weight loss and maintenance — many dieters have found that flax seed has been a key to keeping them feeling satisfied.
Flax seed is high in most of the B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese, but this little seed is just getting started.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a key force against inflammation in our bodies. Mounting evidence shows that inflammation plays a part in many chronic diseases including heart disease, arthritis, asthma, diabetes, and even some cancers. This inflammation is enhanced by having too little Omega-3 intake (as found in fish, flax, and walnuts), especially in relation to Omega-6 fatty acid intake (in such oils as soy and corn oil). In the quest to equalize the ratio of these two kinds of oils, flax seed can be a real help.
Most of the oil in flax seeds is alpha linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is an Omega-3 which is a precursor to the fatty acids found in salmon and other fatty cold-water fish (called EPA and DHA). Because not everyone is able to easily convert ALA into EPA and (especially) DHA, it is best not to rely solely on flax for your Omega-3 intake, but ALA also has good effects of its own, and definitely helps in the Omega 3/6 balance.
Flax Seeds are High in These Essential Nutrients:
Fiber: You’d be hard-pressed to find a food higher in fiber — both soluble and insoluble — than flax. This fiber is probably mainly responsible for the cholesterol-lowering effects of flax. Fiber in the diet also helps stabilize blood sugar, and, of course, promotes proper functioning of the intestines.
Phytochemicals: Flax seed is high in phytochemicals, including many antioxidants. It is perhaps our best source of lignans, which convert in our intestines to substances which tend to balance female hormones. There is evidence that lignans may promote fertility, reduce peri-menopausal symptoms, and possibly help prevent breast cancer. In addition, lignans may help prevent Type 2 diabetes.
Hormonal Effects: Lignans contain phytoestrogens which research has shown to be beneficial.
Tips for Flax Seed Users:
- Drink plenty of water. There is so much soluble fiber in flax that it is important to drink plenty of water when eating flax products, otherwise constipation may result.
- Remember to start slowly if you aren’t used to a high fiber diet.
What Makes Coconut Oil So Versatile?
Carrington Farms Organic Unrefined Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is a popular nutritional oil derived from the meat of fresh young coconuts. Coconuts have been a primary source of food through the tropics. In it’s non organic form is used for cooking, cosmetics, industrial purposes, etc. It is slow to oxidize and can sustain a high heat.
Coconut Oil possesses a wide variety of benefits due to its fiber and nutritional content.
Why Coconut Oil? Oils and fats are composed of molecules known as fatty acids. They are classified either according to saturation or based on molecular length and size of the carbon chain within each fatty acid. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are examples of saturation. Molecular size or length is the second classification. Long Chains of carbon atoms consist of each fatty acid with an attached hydrogen atom. There are short chain fatty acids (SCFA) and medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) as well as long chain fatty acids (LCFA). The majority of oils, fats and processed foods contain LCFA.
Coconut oil is made up of medium chain fatty acids (MCFA). These fatty acids do not have a negative effect on cholesterol. The liver and the gall bladder do not need to digest and emulsify MCFA, resulting in instant energy, increased metabolic rate and subsequently more heat production and increased circulation.
Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) are easily digested, absorbed, and put to use nourishing the body. Unlike other fats, they put little strain on the digestive system and provide a quick source of energy necessary to promote healing. MCT’s are just now being used as cooking oils due to their beneficial properties. This type of triglyceride is cholesterol-neutral, meaning it has a very small effect on serum cholesterol levels in the body, and does not add trans-fats to formulas. MCFAs are made up of lauric acid. Capric triglycerides are fatty acids that are rapidly hydrolyzed, absorbed and burned by the body for energy. These oils are able to provide quick energy.
Caprylic acid is considered to have many positive therapeutic qualities—some of which include soothing various infections such as salmonella, ringworm, candidiasis and gastroenteritis. One of the most common benefits of caprylic acid is lessening fungal infections such as candidiasis. Candidiasis (otherwise known as a yeast infection) is the growth of a yeast-like parasite fungus known as candida. This fungus resides in a person’s gut area. It can cause a bevy of other health-related issues, including thrush, bloating of the abdomen, chronic fatigue, depression and various digestive disorders. Caprylic acid is also excellent for dealing with bacterial infections. Because of its short chain length, it can easily go through the wall membranes of fatty cells. This helps it to be efficient and effective in fighting certain bacteria covered in lipids (including certain Streptococcus species and Staphylococcus aureus.
Lauric acid exhibits antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties. It acts by disrupting the lipid membranes in organisms like fungus, bacteria and viruses, thus destroying them. Lauric acid is a natural saturated fatty acid made by plants and animals as an energy reserve. Dietary sources include animal and human milk, dairy products, nuts, seeds and their oils. Like other saturated fatty acids, such as butyric and capric acids, lauric acid possesses properties that are beneficial. Lauric acid has been found to protect your heart by reducing total cholesterol and enhancing HDL cholesterol, or good cholesterol, levels.
See nutrition information for fat content.
Other Coconut Oil benefits:
Hair Care: The unique fatty acids in coconut oil have a small molecular structure and pass freely into the hair’s cell membrane, allowing for the oil to penetrate the hair’s shaft. Massaging oil into the scalp can offer relief from dandruff. Coconut oil can kill the fungus and dryness that causes dandruff. A teaspoon or two on damp hair left on as long as possible then rinsed out will leave your hair beautiful.
Skin Care: The medium chain triglyceride acts as a protective barrier against environmental and free radical damage. It also screens up to 20% of ultraviolet sun exposure. Coconut oil is a natural anti-microbial and anti-bacterial agent. Due to this you can use it as an anti aging moisturizer. It contains Vitamin E to help with skin abrasions, burns and other trauma. It is excellent in the treatment for eczema.
Weight loss: Medium Chain fatty acids found in coconut oil can speed up metabolism faster than long chain fatty acids because they are easily digested and convert into energy. See nutrition information for fat content.
Other Coconut Oil Uses:
- To help you feel full – mix 2 teaspoons of coconut oil with water and drink 20 -30 minutes before a meal. You will eat less at the meal because you will already feel full!
- Eat a spoonful for an energy boost
- Super hair conditioner
- Skin moisturizer
- Replace butter, shortening and other fats
- Use instead of shaving cream
- Makeup remover
- Use to treat athlete’s foot or other fungal infections
- Add to smoothies for extra nutrition
- Great for diaper rash and cradle cap
- Use it to treat lice with apple cider vinegar
- Mix in your hot coffee or tea
- Mix with oil of oregano and use at the first sign of a cold sore
- Mix with sugar for a body scrub
- Rub onto lips as a natural chap stick
- Rub to in the inside of your nose to help alleviate allergy symptoms
- Mix with chia for a double energy booster!
- Use it to on mosquito bites, poison ivy etc. to reduce itch
How to store coconut oil:
You can store your Carrington Farms Unrefined Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil in the pantry, the refrigerator or at room temperature. If it’s hot (or above about 75 degrees F) it will turn to a liquid, a little cooler it will become solid. In the fridge it will become very hard. If the oil is very hard and you can’t scoop it out just warm it a bit to make it softer. You can put the jar in a warm ‘bath’ or in the microwave for a few seconds.
Carrington Farms Unrefined Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil has a shelf life of 2 years. It’s pretty safe to assume it will be fine for much longer but after the expiration date please look for signs of spoilage after the printed date. Spoilage signs will include discoloration, odor, mold, and off taste.