Have you heard that omega-3 fatty acids are something you should be getting everyday? If not, let me tell you that they're good for your heart, your mood, they may lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and can help with menstrual cramps.
A good source of omega-3s is fatty fish, but if you're a vegetarian or are worried about the mercury levels, flaxseeds are a great way to get this essential fatty acid. They're high in alpha linolenic acid (ALA), a type of plant-derived omega-3 fatty acid, similar to those found in fish such as salmon.
Interested to see if flaxseed oil will provide the fatty acids you need? Then read more.
While flaxseed oil is a good source of omega-3s, it's better to go for the seeds, since they contain heart healthy fiber and can help keep you regular. Flaxseeds also contain lignan, a type of phytoestrogen (antioxidant), which may play a role in preventing diseases such as breast cancer. So if you have a choice go for the seeds, and if you can, buy ground or milled flaxseeds. They're easier to digest and since whole flaxseeds often pass through your system undigested, your body will be able to reap the health benefits more if the seeds are ground. If you can only find whole flaxseeds, then grind them in a coffee grinder.
Fit's Tips: The daily recommended amount of omega-3s is about 1.1 to 1.6 grams. One tablespoon of ground flaxseed has 1.6 grams, so sprinkle some on your cereal or salad, and you'll be good to go.