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 Flax Oil: Eat Like the Roman and Exhibit Strength, Stamina, Mental Clarity and Beauty! 
 
The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Chef Teton's Essential Cuisine - 'Making Every Bite Count' by . View all columns in series
To many, the aroma of freshly-baked bread is so pleasant that it’s almost intoxicating!

According to historical record, soldiers of the Roman Empire marched with rations of bread baked with flaxseed meal and flax seed oil 3000 years ago. They most likely felt the “grounded” feeling, a feeling of mental stability after eating their bread, just like we do today when we add it to our foods.

Additional records prove that flax was also used in India, China, Syria and Turkey for its seed and fiber to make fabric, dye, paper, fishing nets, cattle feed, medicines and soap. It’s extremely useful to us, just like coconut.

Flax may be responsible for why the Romans were so successful in their conquests.

One major reason why is that the type of fat consumed is linked with your state of mind.

In the early 1980’s, Dr. Donald O. Rudin, Director of the Department of Molecular Biology at Eastern Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute found that within two hours, patients who had various mental disorders experienced improved mood and their depression lifted with flax seed oil.

Certainly, we wouldn’t want those with mood disorders in our own military, but when you consider that omega-3s are involved in IQ and behavior, how one reacts to allergens, the status of the myelin sheath surrounding the nerves, inflammation, the ability to mentally focus, cardiovascular health and hormone modulation, flax seed meal and oil become more and more important.

One of Dr. Rudin’s patients experienced dramatically improved moods after only three days. Her marked sense of increased physical energy and unique exuberance was also exhibited in other patients in varying degrees. After six to eight weeks, most of them were sleeping better and were more energetic. They also were less anxious and depressed. Switching them back to a high omega-6 fat diet, such as one found in the American diet, resulted in a return of their symptoms.

Not Just Mental Attitude, But Other Illnesses Helped
The brain is composed of 60% fat, and nerve cells are extremely rich in omega-3 fatty acids, containing five times more omega-3 fatty acids than red blood cells.

Flax seed contains 18 carbon omega-3 fats, which can be converted to other omega-3 fats, EPA and DHA (20 and 22-carbon chain fats), although the conversion rate is low (2-15%). Still, for some who don’t eat fish, which may be a much better source of EPA and DHA because it needs no conversion in the body, adding flax seed oil may kick start health benefits. Taking 1-2 tablespoons of flax oil daily fulfills the requirement for linolenic acid, EPA and DHA, three essential fats important for preventing cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and auto-immunity, as well as boosting our brain’s ability to think clearly without the need for mood elevators. Flax seed oil is the plant world’s most abundant source of omega-3 fats, about 55% by weight.

Researchers studied different sub-groups of the population to find possible correlations of low omega-3 fats and different health issues, and see if the addition of flax seed oil and omega-3 fats might help. Their results showed a definite correlation to those with high blood pressure, those on statin drugs that deplete the omega-3 brain fats, violent criminals, children with ADHD, women with PMS, those with calcium deposits and low bone density, and even moms who just gave birth. In addition digestion and elimination was also significantly improved.

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 About The Author
Susan Teton Campbell, a food professional with over twenty years experience co-authored the Healthy School Lunch Action Guide winning endorsements from USDA, California State Child and Nutrition Department and......moreSusan Campbell
 
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