Do you eat flax seeds for omega-3? Unfortunately you are probably getting very little actual omega-3 fatty acid from your flax seeds. If you take fish oil you may disregard flax seeds but they are not to be missed. I use both but it’s not to get more Omega-3.
I rely on a good quality fish oil for my omega-3 needs and I don’t on flax or chia seed for getting enough of the essential fat because they are ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) Omega-3 and our body has to convert ALA into omega-3 EPA (eicosapentanaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) long chain form fatty acids. Conversion from ALA omega-3 is low and unknown and therefore ALA omega-3’s like flax and chia seed are not reliable.
Omega-3 demonstrates multitudes of research benefiting health conditions that myself and most people are concerned about such as: heart disease, brain and joint health. Also like most people I eat plentiful amounts of omega-6 (another essential fat but overly abundant in most American diets) therefore increasing my need for omega-3. The ratio between the two must be in balance for proper health. Also like many people I don’t eat a lot of fish so I must supplement.
Nutritionists recommend at minimum 500-1000 milligrams of omega-3 per day. If you are experiencing inflammation, at risk for heart disease or have a mood challenges your omega-3 needs will be quite higher.
Then why still the flax? For the lignans, fiber and research on cancer prevention. Especially for the lignans.
Lignans are special compounds that are significantly higher in flax seeds then in other plant foods. Lignans have demonstrated anticancer effects in humans and in animals. They show a particularly strong connection to the prevention and treatment of breast and prostate cancers. For women lignans can interfere with cancer effects at estrogen receptor sites and escort excess estrogen out of the body. One study gave men with prostate cancer 3 tablespoons of flax seeds per day for 30 days and they found significantly lower cancer proliferation rates and significantly higher rates of cancer cell death. After just one month!
So take your fish oil and grind your flax seeds daily. Make sure you get a fresh fish oil, one that is not oxidized, is sustainable and is third-party tested. If you are vegan then look for a Omega-3 supplement made from Algae that contains both EPA and DHA.
Grinding your own flax seeds with a coffee grinder is better than buying the already ground variety but if you have to–go through the bag quickly before they get rancid.
Throw your ground flax seeds over oatmeal or vegetables. You might need to own two coffee grinders. Three if you grind spices as often as you grind your flax seeds. Flax oil also makes great salad dressing. If you decide to purchase flax oil make sure you get the one with high lignans and shake the bottle. Lignans are in the fiber and the fiber tends to settle on the bottom of the bottle.