flax

Omega-3-rich flax seeds provide much-needed nutrition for optimal mental health

Thursday, January 26, 2006 by: Dani Veracity
Tags: flax seed, healing foods, mental health

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What can transform someone from being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and chronic fatigue syndrome to a state of total mental and physical wellbeing? As James Boschman discovered, omega-3 fatty acids can work those wonders and more. Within three weeks of incorporating flax seed -- the highest known vegetable source of omega-3s -- into his diet, he was sleeping normally and, in his words, "not crazy anymore," as the omega-3 fatty acids leveled out the wild fluctuations in his brain.

After experiencing flaxseed's amazing abilities for himself, Boschman spent the next 15 years researching omega-3 fatty acids and eventually began the flaxseed packaging and distribution company Randolph & James Flax Mills Ltd. During his Winter 2005 lecture on essential nutrition, he brought this unique and delicious flaxseed and his wealth of knowledge to share at the First Annual Arizona Choices Exposition in Tucson, Ariz., and all those attending the lecture learned what a little dietary flaxseed could do for this modern mental illness epidemic.

Omega-3 deficiency is a major cause of mental illness in North America, according to Boschman. Food manufacturers don't use ingredients high in omega-3 fatty acids because they grow rancid quickly. Since money ranks ahead of good nutrition, they use hydrogenated oils, which have a long shelf life but also create trans fats in the foods as a byproduct of the hydrogenation process. Research links trans fats to cancer, heart disease and a number of other chronic diseases, making them the "number one killer in North America today," says Boschman.

As a result of our processed-food-rich diets, we're consuming large amounts of omega-6 fatty acids and little or zero omega-3 fatty acids, which is a recipe for feeling "stressed out," as too many people often are. Stress, caused by events like someone cutting in front of you in traffic, turns on the production of adrenaline from omega-6 fatty acids, according to Boschman. Think of it as an "on button." The problem is that we need omega-3 fatty acids to turn off the stress response, which is precisely why there are so many high-strung people in our omega-3-deficient society. They simply lack the "off button" required to stop their bodies' responses to everyday stressors.

However, omega-3 deficiency is linked to much more than angry drivers yelling out their windows. Boschman believes that the lack of the essential fatty acid in pregnant women might be a cause of both postpartum depression and the development of symptoms popularly diagnosed as ADHD, Tourette's syndrome and even mental retardation in the delivered child. During pregnancy, almost all of a woman's omega-3 reserves are used to form the brain of the developing fetus. If she doesn't increase her intake of the essential fatty acid accordingly, postpartum depression can occur. Additionally, if her body lacks enough omega-3 to form the fetus' brain sufficiently, and the child is not given proper omega-3 through diet or supplements during the first two years of life, then Boschman believes one of three brain disorders will occur, depending on the severity of the deficiency:

  • ADHD (relatively less deficient)
  • Tourette's syndrome
  • Mental retardation (severely deficient)
In this sense, these three brain disorders are part of the same continuum, all with the same root and the same necessary preventative measure.

However, all flaxseed is not created equal, says Boschman. The higher the latitude where the crop is grown, the higher the seeds' omega-3 content. Randolph & James Flax Mills Ltd. packages and distributes organic flaxseed grown north of the fifty-third parallel, which is then milled and packaged one bag at a time so less peroxidation occurs. This way, you eat flaxseed that smells and tastes fresh. Randolph & James is also the only manufacturer that tests for E. coli and other biological contaminants, according to Boschman. These safety measures guarantee you high-quality, delicious and safe flaxseed every time.

Boschman ended his lecture by opening up a new bag of Randolph & James Flax Mills Ltd. flaxseed for his lecture attendees to sample. What a flavor! You could actually taste its fresh and wholesome nature. Randolph & James Flax Mills Ltd. doesn't have a website, but you can order many of their products online through other companies. Just type the company's name in any search engine.

Note: Neither this author nor Truth Publishing was paid anything by the company mentioned here to write this product review. Read our Declaration of Journalistic Independence to learn how we adhere to a higher ethical standard than most newspapers, magazines and online media.

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