By Dr. Janet Brill

1. We are a nation out of balance and as such are desperately in need of an oil change…we eat far too much omega-6 fat and far too little omega-3. This has negative health ramifications as over-consumption of inflammatory omega-6 results in inflammation and inflammation propels the process of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

2. Flood your body with daily servings of omega-3 fats and they will incorporate in the endothelial layer of the coronary arteries–the cells will draw on this reserve of membrane-bound fatty acids to construct good anti-inflammatory eicosanoids–the type that suppress plaque buildup.

3. Flaxseeds are a 3-part package when it comes to heart health:

4. Loaded with soluble fiber, flaxseeds work like a sponge to absorb cholesterol in your digestive track so that you excrete it.

The lignan in flaxseeds function as both an antioxidant and plant hormone, extremely powerful plaque-fighting tools. Lignans also help prevent platelets from clumping together, thereby warding off clot formation, which is often the lethal final step in a heart attack.

Finally, flaxseeds are chock full of ALA, the short chain omega-3 fatty acids that are extremely cardioprotective in terms of fighting inflammation. Heart disease is an inflammatory disorder so increasing ones internal production of anti-inflammatory metabolites is a smart move for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in this country and the Western world.

5. Daily Rx: 1-2 tablespoons a day of ground flaxseeds. Note: Flaxseeds must first be ground up due to the thick and indigestible outer seed coat. The ground seeds can then be mixed in shakes, yogurt or oatmeal and have a pleasant, nutty flavor. Just be sure to seal the ground flaxseeds in a plastic container and refrigerate or freeze them as the omega-3 fat is highly perishable.
Flaxseeds are fabulous for baking:

  • Use 3 tbsp ground flax seed for 1 tbsp of margarine, butter or cooking oil
  • Use 1 tbsp ground flax plus 3 tbsp water in place of one egg

Peach Soy Smoothie with Flaxseeds

Can’t seem to get those super-heart-healthy flaxseeds in? Try this delicious smoothie to help the medicine go down!

Yield: 1 serving (serving size: ~ 13 ounce smoothie)

    • 8 ounces of “light” vanilla soy milk
    • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
    • ½ cup frozen peaches (no added sugar)
    • 2 tablespoons sugar (or Splenda to lighten it up)

Add all ingredients into a blender and process until smooth.

Nutritional Information per Serving (~ 13 fluid ounces):
Calories: 285
, Fat: 8 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 100 mg,
Carbohydrate: 50 g, Dietary Fiber: 5 g, Sugars: 28 g, Protein: 7 g

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