Eating Papaya for Better Health


How to Eat PapayaThere are many good reasons to eat papaya more often. This delicious tropical fruit has a long list of health benefits and is particularly good at aiding digestion with its abundant enzyme content.

As its popularity increases, it is becoming easier to find papaya in the fruit section of your supermarket. But how should you pick a ripe one and prepare it and when are the best times to eat it?

How to Pick a Ripe Papaya

Continue Reading

Top 5 Papaya Health Benefits


Papaya health benefitsThere are many papaya benefits for your health and this beautiful tropical fruit is proof that nutritious food can also have an amazing taste.

Papaya, also known as papaw and pawpaw around the world, is a rich source of antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and special digestive enzymes that have a remarkable effect both internally and externally.

If you’d like to improve your skin, relieve digestion problems, protect your eyes and heart and possibly lower your risk of many diseases like cancer, then consider the many health benefits of eating papaya.

1. Skin Protection

Continue Reading

Ground Flaxseed Versus Flaxseed Oil – Which is Healthier?


Flax Oil or Ground FlaxBoth ground flaxseed and flaxseed oil can have significant nutritional benefits but which one is better for your health? Let’s have a look at the main health benefits and how flaxseed oil stacks up versus flaxseed meal.

Omega-3 Content

The majority of people eating ground flax or taking the oil are doing so because of their incredibly high omega-3 fatty acid content.

Continue Reading

How to Use Flaxseed Oil for Hair That is Strong and Shiny


Omega-3 HairThere are two ways to use flaxseed oil for hair and improving its strength and shine. Both of them rely on the extremely high omega-3 alpha linolenic acid content of flax seeds, which is concentrated even further in cold pressed flaxseed oil.

The first and most important is getting more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Many people report greatly improved hair and better health in general with a daily dosage of flax oil taken in a certain way.

Continue Reading

How to Use Flaxseed Oil for Weight Loss


Weight loss FlaxBoth flaxseed oil and ground flaxseed can help with weight loss in ways that most people wouldn’t expect and it has nothing to do with dieting.

Ahead is a look at how flax can help suppress appetite, improve metabolism, regulate blood sugar and insulin, enhance digestion and increase thermogenic fat burning.

Diets Don’t Work

The most important thing to remember when you want to lose weight is do not diet. It simply does not work.

Continue Reading

5 Flaxseed Oil Side Effects and Best Dosage


Dosage Flax Oil While there are many health benefits, there are also some potential flaxseed oil negative effects. This page lists the main 5 side effects of flax oil  occasionally reported and suggests a dosage to reduce the chances of a negative reaction.

1. Blood Thinning Precautions

The omega-3 fatty acids in flax oil can help make blood platelets less sticky, potentially reducing the chances of a dangerous blood clot forming in our arteries.

Continue Reading

Where to Buy Flaxseed Oil Online


Best Flaxseed Oil With its high omega-3 fatty acid content, flax oil is one of the more fragile nutritional oils. Before you buy flaxseed oil online there a few important things to look for.

To start with, flaxseed oil should always be cold pressed. Too much heat can damage the structure of the fatty acids so the oil has to be produced carefully to avoid high temperatures.

Continue Reading

Using Flaxseed Oil for Dry Skin


Flaxseed Oil skinYou can use flax oil for dry skin in two different ways and this page will show how cold pressed flaxseed oil can help improve your facial skin tone and moisturization levels.

The first is by applying it to your face as an external moisturizer. Not only does the very high omega-3 content in the oil have an anti-inflammatory effect, it also helps normalize skin lipids and seal in moisture, both of which leads to improved hydration.

Continue Reading

How to Get Better Skin with Flaxseed Oil and ALA


Improve Skin Flax OilFlaxseed oil is the richest food source of alpha linolenic acid (ALA), comprising over 50% of this essential omega-3 dietary fat.

Unfortunately, ALA consumption has dropped significantly in modern times, while, by comparison, most people’s intake of omega-6 fats like linoleic acid has increased dramatically.

If we want to address skin problems like acne, dry and flaky skin, eczema and psoriasis, or just have better skin in general, then flaxseed oil can help redress this imbalance.

Omega-6 and Inflammation

Continue Reading

Why Flaxseed Oil Is Important for Women


Flaxseed Oil LignansWhile it can provide an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids for everyone, there are reasons why flaxseed oil is more important for women, especially a popular new kind known as high lignan flaxseed oil.

Flaxseed Oil, Lignans and Estrogens

Lignans are phytoestrogens and are present in many seeds, grains and vegetables, but flax is the richest dietary source. They are metabolized in the digestive tract into enterolactone and enterodiol. These compounds are structurally similar but a lot less potent than estradiol, the most common form of estrogen in women’s bodies.

Continue Reading

The Many Health Benefits of Flaxseed Oil


Flax oil benefitsFlaxseed oil is a deep, golden oil with a light and nutty flavor. Derived from flax seeds, which have been used medicinally for thousands of years, there are many flaxseed oil benefits for your health.

Flax oil is the highest known source of omega-3 alpha linolenic acid, an incredibly important fatty acid that combats inflammation and prevents many diseases within your body.

While it can provide an excellent source of omega-3 fats for everyone, there are different reasons why flaxseed oil is important for both women and men, especially a popular new kind known as high lignan flax oil.

Flaxseed Oil and Estrogen

Lignans are phytoestrogens and are present in many seeds, grains and vegetables, but flax is the richest dietary source. They are metabolized in the digestive tract into enterolactone and enterodiol.

These compounds are structurally similar but a lot less potent than estradiol, the most common form of estrogen in women’s bodies.

Excess estradiol has been strongly associated with hormonal cancers like breast cancer and cancers of the reproductive system. These are some of the most commonly occurring cancers to affect women in America, particularly postmenopausal women.

The lignans in flax seeds exert a much weaker estrogenic effect on receptor cells than estradiol. When they arrive at receptor cells before other estrogens, they block them from having potentially negative effects on breast, uterine or cervical tissue. In this sense, lignans are generally considered anti-estrogenic.

Not all flaxseed oil contains useful levels of lignans. If you’re interested in getting the antiestrogenic effects, along with the plentiful omega-3 fatty acids, then it is important to look for high lignan flax oil with fine flax particles added back into the oil.

Ground flax seeds are an even better source of lignans, but ideally they would be from fresh organic seeds and be produced with cold milling. Flax meal should come in an airtight packet, be refrigerated and, once opened, used relatively quickly to preserve the freshness. It is great in muesli in the morning or added to smoothies and shakes.

Hormonal Cancers and Flaxseed Oil for Women

Flaxseed-oil-estrogenLike flax seeds, flax oil with high lignan content may provide some protection against hormonal cancers such as breast cancer and endometrial, ovarian and cervical cancer, by diminishing the action of the strong estrogen estradiol.

This is particularly relevant for postmenopausal women, who are also most likely to be diagnosed with these types of cancers. While it must be said that scientific research on the effects of lignans on various cancers has been mixed, recent studies, such as this one on postmenopausal breast cancer, show significant potential.

It’s likely there are far too many factors that contribute to hormonal cancers like breast cancer for results to be conclusive. That said, high lignan flaxseed oil is a very nutritious superfood, both for its exceptional omega-3 content and its anti-estrogenic lignans.

Estradiol and Flax Oil for Men

The estrogen estradiol can also play havoc in men’s bodies. While many men fear having anything in their diet associated with estrogen, phytoestrogens are actually more likely to compete with estradiol at the receptor sites in the body than have strong estrogenic effects themselves.

Men have fewer of these receptor sites and the effects of phytoestrogens like lignans are significantly weaker than more potent forms of estrogen like estradiol.

As men get older their testosterone levels generally decreases, while at the same time estrogen production increases. Even mildly elevated levels of estrogen are believed to increase a man’s risk for heart disease, stroke, prostate cancer, osteoporosis and other serious diseases.

Having flaxseed oil with added lignans or delicious ground flax seeds like these in the diet regularly may help reduce some of the damaging effects of estradiol experienced by many older men and women.

Inflammation and Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids such as alpha linolenic acid (ALA), and the eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and the docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that can be derived from it, are vital for good health and disease prevention, especially diseases of inflammation.

They are one of the building blocks of healthy, well functioning cell walls and are needed for proper intracellular communication. Given their importance at such a basic structural level, an omega-3 deficiency can lead to a wide variety of health problems.

Some of these include decreased brain function; learning problems and poor memory; lowered immune function; an increased chance of blood clots and other circulatory system issues; hypertension; declining vision; and a recurring tingling sensation in various parts of the body.

Omega-3s are also converted to hormone-like substances called prostaglandins that are involved in many other important functions throughout the body.

It’s actually hard to overstate the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in health terms. Yet so many of us are either not getting enough of them or have an unbalanced intake of other fats that can inhibit their proper utilization.

It’s well worth keeping in mind the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats in our diet. Excessive omega-6 fatty acid consumption can create an overabundance of series 2 prostaglandins, which have been shown to potentially cause an inflammatory effect on the body.

Series 2 prostaglandins are implicated in a wide variety of inflammation based diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, asthma and even various skin problems. Omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, are needed for the creation of anti-inflammatory series 3 prostaglandins.

Ideally, a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 should be at least 5 to 1 and many experts recommend closer to 2 to 1. With the relentlessly increasing addition of cheap, processed polyunsaturated fats into common supermarket foods, many Americans are now estimated to have an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of at around 20 to 1, perhaps even as high as 50 to 1, in favor of potentially inflammatory omega-6 fats.

Cholesterol and Cardiovascular Disease

A good intake of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet has been shown to lower both LDL cholesterol (the damaging kind of cholesterol) and triglyceride blood levels. Both are well known risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Omega-3s also have a vasodilatory (they widen blood vessels) and anti-atherogenic (reducing the formation of atherosclerotic plaques) effect on the cardiovascular system, leading to a reduced risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis.

Additionally, good levels of omega-3 fats in the diet may help prevent blood platelets sticking together and forming dangerous blood clots that can cause strokes.

A good source of omega-3 like a high quality organic flaxseed oil or fish oil is extremely important for maintaining a healthy heart and may help to prevent some of the deadliest diseases affecting people in Western societies.

Diabetes and Flax Oil

Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to help lower some of the adverse metabolic effects of insulin resistance in diabetes by reducing triglyceride levels and lowering blood pressure. Omega-3s may also benefit circulation problems, often experiencing in those suffering from diabetes, and improve overall nerve function in general.

High EPA/DHA fish oil could be a better choice for diabetics than flaxseed oil. This is because people with diabetes may have less of an enzyme called delta-6-destaurase that is needed to convert alpha linolenic acid to EPA and DHA.

Flaxseed Oil and Depression

Research suggests the deficiency in omega-3 fats can predispose a person to psychological disorders such as depression. Recent studies, like this one on treating depression with omega-3, have shown EPA/DHA supplementation is useful for treating diagnosed unipolar depression.

For milder, occasional depression symptoms it may be even more effective. Obviously see a qualified practitioner if you believe you may be suffering from depression, but omega-3s appear to have an important role to play in healthy brain function.

Improving Your Health and Appearance with Flax Oil

With a high omega-3 intake affecting so many aspects of your overall health, there are of course many other flaxseed oil benefits that you may experience when taking it regularly.

It is important though to be aware of some potential side effects, especially if you are on blood thinning medication, being treated for diabetes or pregnant.

Ahead is also a look at how you can use flax oil for both strong and shiny hair and better skin and even to help with natural weight loss.

Do you take flaxseed oil for its beneficial effect on your health and appearance? I’d be interested in any changes and improvements you’ve noticed since you started taking it.

Photo 1 credit: Rumun999 / Photo 2 credit: Yesica


Psoriasis, Avocado Oil and Fish Oil – A Topical Treatment


Treating Psoriasis with Avocado OilPsoriasis is a non-contagious, recurring skin disease with symptoms that include patches of rough, dry and scaly skin surrounded by a red, inflamed border. Areas affected often become cracked and painful with severe itching.

Psoriasis can occur in various places on the body and over 6 million people in the USA are believed to be sufferers.

Avocado Oil and Psoriasis

Continue Reading