Seattle Center for Wooden Boats
Seattle Center for Wooden Boats
On a beautiful 65 degree day we left our daughters apartment and caught a city transit bus to Lake Union in northern part of Seattle. It was a perfect day to visit the Center for Wooden Boats. The first shelter we came to housed an ancient Native American styled wooden dugout canoe that was about ninety percent completed. This is the fifth one that the workshop has created. It was started by Saasuuts a man known for his knowledge of Haida native culture and a fine traditional boat builder. It is amazing to see and touch what came out of a solid piece of ancient Red Cedar. The weight of the original log must have been enormous.
My eye was quickly drawn away to the wonders ahead. Specifically, a gleaming restored 1926 40’3” R- class racing sailboat named Pirate. Of course I only found this out after I read the information plaque by the boat. All I knew it was a beauty; wood and stainless steel fittings with finely crafted varnish finish on teak with white topsides. Pirate’s beam so narrow (8’3”) it resembled an arrow in flight just sitting there at the dock.
I was lucky enough strike up a conversation with a man finishing his lunch sitting in a beautiful old boat at the end of the dock. As we walked back down the dock he shared his excitement about the Centers growth and activities. His name is Dan Leach and he is a Boatwright and Community Engagement Lead. This translates as grant writer, community relations coordinator, and overseer of the city constructed model boat racing pond marina slip rentals in the area and on Fridays a Boatwright.
Dan doesn’t get to build as much as he would like but recently was part of a team building an Electric Fantail Launch later named Dora with the students from the Marine Construction Program of the Seattle Central Community College Wood Construction Center.
These electric launches were a part of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. The full story is on their website listed below.
The Center organizes many of the volunteers by boat. So your volunteer time is spent building, maintaining, sailing or piloting that particular boat. So they become expert with that boat. Then on Sundays depending on crew availability and weather, they give free public rides. There are perks though you get to sail or pilot the boat for free or at a reduced rate. You can bring your own crew and rent many of the boats. There are many other tasks and any hours a volunteers log can be used to take the boats out or be used for products and events that the Center puts on.
The Center’s boats some of which include Skiffs, Beetle Cats, Herrshoff Shrimpo, New Haven Sharpies were all pretty much used on the Puget Sound, Lake Union and the Lake Washington area. It is a fun place to visit and a joy to see boats and the techniques to build them preserved. They have managed to attract hundreds of volunteers successfully. It is certainly worth a visit if you are in the area.
For more information and some great video links (especially the underwater survey of Lake Union) can be found at www.cwb.org. The photos were graciously shared with permission from their website. The website and photo for the Pirate is www.r-boat.org.
Gene Zdrazil -- August 1, 2011
January 12, 2012 04:38 PM
Benefits of eating flax seed
The warm, earthy and subtly nutty flavor of flaxseeds combined with an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids makes them an increasingly popular addition to the diets of many a health conscious consumer. Whole and ground flaxseeds, as well as flaxseed oil, are available throughout the year.
Flaxseeds are slightly larger than sesame seeds and have a hard shell that is smooth and shiny. Their color ranges from deep amber to reddish brown depending upon whether the flax is of the golden or brown variety. While whole flaxseeds feature a soft crunch, the nutrients in ground seeds are more easily absorbed.
- Health Benefits
- How to Select and Store
- How to Enjoy
- Nutritional Profile
Flaxseeds are rich in alpha linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fat that is a precursor to the form of omega-3 found in fish oils called eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA. Since the fats are found in their isolated form in flaxseed oil, it is a more concentrated source of ALA than the seeds themselves (although it doesn't have the other nutrients that the seeds do). ALA, in addition to providing several beneficial effects of its own, can be converted in the body to EPA, thus providing EPA's beneficial effects. For this conversion to readily take place, however, depends on the presence and activity of an enzyme called delta-6-destaurase, which, in some individuals, is less available or less active than in others. In addition, delta-6-desaturase function is inhibited in diabetes and by the consumption of saturated fat and alcohol. For these reasons, higher amounts of ALA-rich flaxseeds or its oil must be consumed to provide the same benefits as the omega-3 fats found in the oil of cold-water fish.
Yet research indicates that for those who do not eat fish or wish to take fish oil supplements, flaxseed oil does provide a good alternative. A study published in theJournal of Nutrition found that flaxseed oil capsules providing 3 grams of alpha-linolenic acid daily for 12 weeks—an amount that would be provided by 3 tablespoons of flaxseed oil a day—increased blood levels of EPA by 60% in a predominantly African-American population with chronic illness.
A recent MedLine check (MedLine provides access to the published peer-reviewed medical literature) revealed 1,677 research articles on linolenic acid, investigating its effects on numerous physiological processes and health conditions.
Omega-3 fats are used by the body to produce Series 1 and 3 prostaglandins, which are anti-inflammatory hormone-like molecules, in contrast to the Series 2 prostaglandins, which are pro-inflammatory molecules produced from other fats, notably the omega-6 fats, which are found in high amounts in animal fats, margarine, and many vegetable oils including corn, safflower, sunflower, palm, and peanut oils. Omega-3 fats can help reduce the inflammation that is a significant factor in conditions such as asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine headaches, and osteoporosis.
Omega-3-rich Flaxseeds Protect Bone Health
Alpha linolenic acid, the omega-3 fat found in flaxseed and walnuts, promotes bone health by helping to prevent excessive bone turnover—when consumption of foods rich in this omega-3 fat results in a lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in the diet.(Griel AE, Kris-Etherton PM, et al. Nutrition Journal)
Other studies have shown that diets rich in the omega-3s from fish (DHA and EPA), which also naturally result in a lowered ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats, reduce bone loss. Researchers think this is most likely because omega-6 fats are converted into pro-inflammatory prostaglandins, while omega-3 fats are metabolized into anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. (Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances made in our bodies from fatty acids.)
In this study, 23 participants ate each of 3 diets for a 6-week period with a 3 week washout period in between diets. All 3 diets provided a similar amount of fat, but their ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats was quite different:
Diet 1 provided 34% total fat with omega-6 and omega-3 fats in amounts typically seen in the American diet: 9% polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) of which 7.7% were omega-6 and only 0.8% omega-3 fats, resulting in a pro-inflammatory ratio of 9.6:1.
Diet 2, an omega-6-rich diet, provided 37% total fat containing 16% PUFAs of which 12% were omega-6 and 3.6% omega-3, a better but still pro-inflammatory ratio of 3.3:1.
Diet 3, which provided 38% in total fats, was an omega-3-rich diet, containing 17% PUFAs, of which 10.5% were omega-6 and 6.5% omega-3, resulting in an anti-inflammatory ratio of 1.6:1.
After each diet, subjects' blood levels of N-telopeptides, a marker of bone breakdown, were measured, and were found to be much lower following Diet 3, the omega-3-rich diet, than either of the other two.
The level of N-telopeptides seen in subjects' blood each diet also correlated with that of a marker of inflammation called tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha). Diets 1 and 2—the diets which had a significantly higher ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats—also had much higher levels of TNF-alpha than the Diet 3, which was high in omega-3 fats from walnuts and flaxseed. Practical Tip: Protect your bones' by making anti-inflammatory omega-3-rich flaxseed and walnuts, as well as cold water fish, frequent contributors to your healthy way of eating.
Protection Against Heart Disease, Cancer and Diabetes
Omega-3 fats are used to produce substances that reduce the formation of blood clots, which can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease.
Omega-3 fats are also needed to produce flexible cell membranes. Cell membranes are the cell's gatekeepers, allowing in needed nutrients while promoting the elimination of wastes. While important for everyone, flexible cell membranes are critical for persons with diabetes since flexible cell membranes are much better able to respond to insulin and to absorb glucose than the stiff membranes that result when the diet is high in saturated and/or hydrogenated (trans-) fats. In the colon, omega-3 fats help protect colon cells from cancer-causing toxins and free radicals, leading to a reduced risk for colon cancer.
Flaxseeds Help Prevent and Control High Blood Pressure
Individuals whose diets provide greater amounts of omega-3 fatty polyunsaturated fatty acids—and flaxseed is an excellent source of these essential fats—have lower blood pressure than those who consume less, shows data gathered in the International Study of Macro- and Micro-nutrients and Blood Pressure (INTERMAP) study (Ueshima H, Stamler J, et al. Hypertension).
The INTERMAP is a study of lifestyle factors, including diet, and their effect on blood pressure in 4,680 men and women aged 40 to 59 living in Japan, China, the U.S. and the U.K. Blood pressure was measured and dietary recall questionnaires were completed by participants on four occasions. Dietary data was analyzed for levels of omega-3 fatty acids from food sources including fish, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils.
Average daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids was 2 grams. Participants with a high (o.67% kcal) omega-3 fatty acid percentage of their daily calorie intake had an average systolic and diastolic blood pressure reading that was 0.55/0.57 mm Hg less, respectively, than participants with lower intake. Previous research has found that a decrease of 2 mm Hg reduces the population-wide average stroke mortality rate by 6 percent and that of coronary heart disease by 4%.
Higher omega-3 fatty acid intake among the 2,238 subjects who were not using drugs, supplements, or a special diet for hypertension, heart disease, or diabetes was associated with a 1.01/0.98 mm Hg reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, respectively.
For the 2,038 subjects in this group who did not have hypertension, greater intake was associated with a 0.91/0.92 mm Hg average systolic and diastolic reduction.
Lead author Hirotsugu Ueshima, MD of Shiga University of Medical Science in Japan, noted that the beneficial effect of omega-3 fats was even greater in people who had not yet developed high blood pressure.
The researchers also found that omega-3s from nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils—such as walnuts and flaxseed—had just as much impact on blood pressure as omega-3s from fish. "With blood pressure, every millimeter counts. The effect of each nutrient is apparently small but independent, so together they can add up to a substantial impact on blood pressure. If you can reduce blood pressure a few millimeters from eating less salt, losing a few pounds, avoiding heavy drinking, eating more vegetables, whole grains and fruits (for their fiber, minerals, vegetable protein and other nutrients) and getting more omega-3 fatty acids, then you've made a big difference," said Ueshima.
Flaxseed Provides Comparable Cholesterol-Lowering Benefits to Statin Drugs
In a study involving 40 patients with high cholesterol (greater than 240 mg/dL), daily consumption of 20 grams of ground flaxseed was compared to taking a statin drug. After 60 days, significant reductions were seen in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol—in both groups. Those receiving flaxseed did just as well as those given statin drugs!
Body mass index, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and the ratio of total cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol were measured at the beginning of the study and after 60 days.
In those eating flaxseed, significant reductions were seen in total cholesterol (-17.2%), LDL-cholesterol (-3.9%), triglycerides (-36.3%) and the ratio of total cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol (-33.5%) were observed in the diet+flax group, compared to baseline. Similar reductions were seen in those taking the statin. Benefits did not significantly differ between the two groups.
Flaxseed Oil Lowers Blood Pressure in Men with High Cholesterol
Greek researchers looked at the effect on systolic and diastolic blood pressure of a three-month trial during which 59 middle-aged men used either flaxseed or safflower oil in their daily diet.
Flaxseed oil is rich in the omega-3 fat, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which the body can metabolize into the cardioprotective long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, while safflower oil is a concentrated source of the omega-6 fat, linoleic acid (LA). The men received flaxseed oil supplying 8 grams of ALA daily or safflower oil providing 11 grams of LA per day.
At the conclusion of the 12-week study, both systolic and diastolic blood pressure was significantly lower in the men using the omega-3-rich flaxseed oil.
One possible explanation for this result is the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3 fats. Both omega-6 and omega-3 fats are essential fatty acids: we need both types of fats to be healthy and must derive them from our food. Omega-6 fats, however, tend to promote excessive inflammation when not balanced by sufficient amounts of omega-3 fats in the diet.
Most nutrition experts believe that a health-promoting ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is no higher than 4:1, and many believe the optimal ratio is 2:1. The typical American diet, however, delivers almost 10 times as much omega-6 as omega-3 fatty acids. Practical Tip: Numerous studies have shown heart-protective benefits from decreasing the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in the diet. To improve your omega 6:omega to omega-3 ratio increase your consumption of foods rich in omega-3s, such as flaxseed oil, canola oil, walnuts, and cold-water fish like wild salmon. And decrease your consumption of foods rich in omega-6 fats, such as safflower oil, corn oil, peanut oil, butter and the fats found in meats.
Rich in Beneficial Fiber
Flaxseeds' omega-3 fats are far from all this exceptional food has to offer. Flaxseed meal and flour provides a very good source of fiber that can lower cholesterol levels in people with atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, reduce the exposure of colon cells to cancer-causing chemicals, help relieve constipation and stabilize blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. Flaxseeds are also a good source of magnesium, which helps to reduce the severity of asthma by keeping airways relaxed and open, lowers high blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke in people with atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease, prevents the blood vessel spasm that leads to migraine attacks, and generally promotes relaxation and restores normal sleep patterns.
A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine confirms that eating high fiber foods, such as flaxseed, helps prevent heart disease. Almost 10,000 American adults participated in this study and were followed for 19 years. People eating the most fiber, 21 grams per day, had 12% less CHD and 11% less CVD compared to those eating the least, 5 grams daily. Those eating the most water-soluble dietary fiber fared even better with a 15% reduction in risk of CHD and a 10% risk reduction in CVD.
Flaxseed Puts the Brakes on Prostate Cancer Growth
Flaxseed, a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and lignans, put the brakes on prostate tumor growth in men who were given 30 grams of flaxseed daily for a month before surgery to treat their prostate cancer. The 40 men taking flaxseed, either alone or along with a low-fat diet, were compared to 40 men only following a low-fat diet, and 40 men in a control group who did not alter or supplement their usual diet. Men who took flaxseed, as well as those who took flaxseed combined with a low-fat diet did the best.
Lead author, Duke University researcher Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, believes the omega-3s in flaxseed alter how cancer cells lump together or cling to other cells, while flaxseed's anti-angiogenic lignans choke off the tumor's blood supply, thus helping to halt the cellular activity that leads to cancer growth. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2007 ASCO Annual Meeting, Abstract 1510.
Practical Tip: Study participants took the flaxseed in a ground form to make it more digestible, and mixed it in drinks or sprinkled it on food such as yogurt, cereal or salads.
Special Protection for Women's Health
Flaxseed meal and flour have been studied quite a bit lately for their beneficial protective effects on women's health. Flaxseed is particularly rich in lignans, special compounds also found in other seeds, grains, and legumes that are converted by beneficial gut flora into two hormone-like substances called enterolactone andenterodiol. These hormone-like agents demonstrate a number of protective effects against breast cancer and are believed to be one reason a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk for breast cancer. Studies show that women with breast cancer and women who are omnivores typically excrete much lower levels of lignans in their urine than vegetarian women without breast cancer. In animal studies conducted to evaluate lignans' beneficial effect, supplementing a high-fat diet with flaxseed flour reduced early markers for mammary (breast) cancer in laboratory animals by more than 55%.
In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, when postmenopausal women ate a daily muffin containing either 25 grams (a little less than 1 ounce) of soy protein, 25 grams of ground flaxseed, or a placebo muffin containing neither for 16 weeks, the estrogen metabolism of those eating flaxseed, but not soy or placebo, was altered in several important protective ways:
- Levels of 2-hydroxyestrone, a less biologically active estrogen metabolite thought to be protective against breast cancer, increased significantly.
- The ratio of 2-hydroxyestrone (the protective estrogen metabolite) to 16alpha-hydroxyestrone (an estrogen metabolite thought to promote cancer) increased.
- Blood levels of the estrogen fractions (estradiol, estrone, and estrone sulfate) did not change significantly—which is important since estradiol is involved in maintaining bone mass.
So what does this mean in plain English? Eating about an ounce of ground flaxseed each day will affect the way estrogen is handled in postmenopausal women in such a way that offers protection against breast cancer but will not interfere with estrogen's role in normal bone maintenance.
In addition to lessening a woman's risk of developing cancer, the lignans abundant in flaxseed can promote normal ovulation and extend the second, progesterone-dominant half of the cycle. The benefits of these effects are manifold. For women trying to become pregnant, consistent ovulation significantly improves their chances of conception. For women between the ages of 35 and 55 who are experiencing peri-menopausal symptoms such as irregular menstrual cycles, breast cysts, headaches, sleep difficulties, fluid retention, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, weight gain, lowered sex drive, brain fog, fibroid tumors, and heavy bleeding, a probable cause of all these problems is estrogen dominance. Typically, during the 10 years preceding the cessation of periods at midlife, estrogen levels fluctuate while progesterone levels steadily decline. Flaxseed, by promoting normal ovulation and lengthening the second half of the menstrual cycle, in which progesterone is the dominant hormone, helps restore hormonal balance.
Preliminary research also suggests that flaxseeds may serve a role in protecting post-menopausal woman from cardiovascular disease. In a recent double-blind randomized study, flaxseeds reduced total cholesterol levels in the blood of postmenopausal women who were not on hormone replacement therapy by an average of 6%.
Lastly, lignan-rich fiber has also been shown to decrease insulin resistance, which, in turn, reduces bio-available estrogen, which also lessens breast cancer risk. And, as insulin resistance is an early warning sign for type 2 diabetes, flaxseed may also provide protection against this disease.
Flaxseed Reduces Hot Flashes Almost 60%
Researchers recruited 29 postmenopausal women who had suffered from at least 14 hot flushes each week for at least one month, but would not take estrogen because of a perceived increased risk of breast cancer. After taking 40 grams (1.4 ounces) of crushed flaxseed each day for six weeks, the frequency of hot flashes decreased 50%, and the overall hot flash score decreased an average 57% for the 21 women who completed the trial. J Soc Integr Oncol. 2007 Summer;5(3):106-12.
Fend Off Dry Eyes
Dry eye syndrome (DES) afflicts more than 10 million Americans. Artificial tears offer only temporary relief. Expensive prescription drugs promise help, but at the cost of potentially serious side effects.
Could Mother Nature provide a cure? Yes, suggests research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition involving nearly 40,000 female health professionals aged 45-84 enrolled in the Women's Health Study.
Researcher Biljana Miljanovic, MD, MPH, and colleagues at Brigham and Women's Hospital looked at whether essential fatty acids—the omega-3 fats (found in high amounts in cold water fish and flaxseeds), and the omega-6 fats (found in red meat, safflower, sunflower, soy and corn oils)—play a role.
They do. Women whose diets provided the highest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids had a 17% lower risk of dry eye syndrome compared with those consuming the least of these beneficial fats.
In contrast, a diet high in omega-6 fats, but low in omega-3s, significantly increased DES risk. Women whose diets supplied a high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids had a 2.5-fold higher risk of DES syndrome compared to those with a more balanced intake of fatty acids.
Researchers specifically looked at eating tuna fish—a main source of omega-3 fatty acids in the American diet.
Compared with women eating less than one 4-ounce serving of tuna a week:
- Women who ate 2 to 4 servings of tuna per week had a 19% lower risk of DES.
- Women eating 5 to 6 servings of tuna per week had a 68% lower risk of DES.
"These findings suggest that increasing dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of dry eye syndrome, an important and prevalent cause of ocular complaints," Miljanovic and colleagues conclude. In addition to tuna fish, omega-3 fatty acids are richly supplied by other fatty fish (such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, and herring), flaxseeds and flaxseed oil. Due to concerns about mercury levels in tuna, to lower your risk of DES we recommend enjoying a variety of cold-water fish and adding flaxseeds and flaxseed oil to your Healthiest Way of Eating.
What's in a name? Well, when it comes to the scientific name of flaxseeds, the name says it all. Flaxseeds are known as Linum usitatissimum with it species name meaning "most useful." That would definitely describe the versatility and nutritional value of this tiny little seed.
Flaxseeds are slightly larger than sesame seeds and have a hard shell that is smooth and shiny. Their color ranges from deep amber to reddish brown depending upon whether the flax is of the golden or brown variety.
Their flavor is warm and earthy with a subtly nutty edge. While unground flaxseeds feature a soft crunch, they are usually not consumed whole but rather ground since this allows for the enhancement of their nutrient absorption. Ground flaxseeds can have a relatively mealy texture with a potential hint of crunch depending upon how fine they are ground.
Flaxseeds have a long and extensive history. Originating in Mesopotamia, the flax plant has been known since the Stone Ages. One of the first records of the culinary use of flaxseeds is from times of ancient Greece. In both that civilization and in ancient Rome, the health benefits of flaxseeds were widely praised. After the fall of Rome, the cultivation and popularity of flaxseeds declined.
Ironically, it was Charlemagne, the emperor who would be famous for shaping European history, who also helped to shape the history of flaxseeds, restoring them to their noble position in the food culture of Europe. Charlemagne was impressed with how useful flax was in terms of its culinary, medicinal, and fiber usefulness (flaxseed fibers can be woven into linen) that he passed laws requiring not only its cultivation but its consumption as well. After Charlemange, flaxseeds became widely appreciated throughout Europe.
It was not until the early colonists arrived in North America that flax was first planted in the United States. In the 17th century, flax was first introduced and planted in Canada, the country that is currently the major producer of this extremely beneficial seed.
How to Select and Store
Flaxseeds can be purchased either whole or already ground. The two different forms offer distinct benefits. Although ground flaxseeds may be more convenient, whole flaxseeds feature a longer shelf life.
Whole flaxseeds are generally available in prepackaged containers as well as bulk bins. Just as with any other food that you may purchase in the bulk section, make sure that the bins containing the flaxseeds are covered and that the store has a good product turnover so as to ensure their maximal freshness. Whether purchasing flaxseeds in bulk or in a packaged container, make sure that there is no evidence of moisture. If you purchase whole flaxseeds, store them in an airtight container in a dark, dry and cool place where they will keep fresh for several months.
Ground flaxseeds are usually available both refrigerated and non-refrigerated. It is highly recommended to purchase ground flaxseed that is in a vacuum-sealed package or has been refrigerated since once flaxseeds are ground, they are much more prone to oxidation and spoilage. Likewise, if you either purchase ground flaxseeds or you grind them at home, it is important to keep them in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent them from becoming rancid.
Flaxseed oil is especially perishable and should be purchased in opaque bottles that have been kept refrigerated. Flaxseed oil should have a sweet nutty flavor. Never use flaxseed oil in cooking; add it to foods after they have been heated.
How to Enjoy
For some of our favorite recipes, click Recipes.
Tips for Preparing Flaxseeds:
Grind flaxseeds in a coffee or seed grinder in order to enhance their digestibility and therefore their nutritional value. If adding ground flaxseeds to a cooked cereal or grain dish, do so at the end of cooking since the soluble fiber in the flaxseeds can thicken liquids if left too long.
A Few Quick Serving Ideas:
Sprinkle ground flaxseeds onto your hot or cold cereal.
Add flaxseeds to your homemade muffin, cookie or bread recipe.
To pump up the nutritional volume of your breakfast shake, add ground flaxseeds.
To give cooked vegetables a nuttier flavor, sprinkle some ground flaxseeds on top of them.
Add a tablespoon of flaxseed oil to smoothies.
While flaxseeds contain cyanogenic glycosides compounds, at normal levels and without protein malnutrition, researchers currently maintain that this is not of concern and should cause no adverse effects (they consider 50 grams, which is more than 2 TBS, to be a safe amount for most people). The heat employed by cooking has been found to eliminate the presence of these compounds.
Some people have gastrointestinal symptoms, such as flatulence and bloating, when they first begin to incorporate flaxseeds into their diet. It is suggested to start with a small amount, such as one teaspoon, and slowly build yourself up to your intake goal. When increasing fiber intake in the diet, it is also a good idea to include fluid (water) intake as well.
Several animal studies (involving rats and mice) have raised questions about the safety of high-dose flaxseeds during pregnancy - not for the pregnant females, but for their offspring. "High-dose" in these animal experiments has meant flax intake as 10% of the total diet, or about 4 tablespoons of flaxseed for every 2,000 calories. Although it is impossible to generalize from animal studies to humans, we recommend that women who are pregnant (or considering pregnancy) consult with their healthcare providers if they are consuming or planning to consume flaxseeds in these high amounts.
Introduction to Food Rating System Chart
The following chart shows the nutrients for which this food is either an excellent, very good or good source. Next to the nutrient name you will find the following information: the amount of the nutrient that is included in the noted serving of this food; the %Daily Value (DV) that that amount represents (similar to other information presented in the website, this DV is calculated for 25-50 year old healthy woman); the nutrient density rating; and, the food's World's Healthiest Foods Rating. Underneath the chart is a table that summarizes how the ratings were devised. Read detailed information on our Food and Recipe Rating System.
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-- January 12, 2012
December 21, 2012 07:07 PM
Check out this ABC Prime Time look at Protandim
Dr. Gene -- December 21, 2012
January 4, 2013 11:16 PM
What is Protandim?
The aging problem..
There’s nothing like a new car, and you never forget the day your drive your first one
off the lot. But eventually your new car ages, the catalytic converter becomes
less effective, the exhaust isn’t very clean, things begin to rust and the
engine suffers wear and tear.
Our cells are like car engines. They have the same combustion process, produce some
of the same byproducts and clean up with similar catalytic converters. When
we’re young, our enzymes (our cells’ catalytic converters) function well and do
a good job cleaning the toxic byproducts our bodies generate. But
unfortunately, like cars, our bodies don’t always function like new. As we age,
our bodies produce more free radicals and less of the special enzymes that
fight free radicals causing oxidative stress. The damage by oxidative stress
leads to the symptoms of aging.
We obtain energy by burning fuel with oxygen–that is, by combining digested
food with oxygen from the air we breathe. This is a controlled metabolic
process that, unfortunately, also generates dangerous byproducts. These include
free radicals–electronically unstable atoms or molecules capable of stripping
electrons from any other molecules they meet in an effort to achieve stability.
In their wake they create even more unstable molecules that attack their
neighbors in domino-like chain reactions. This causes toxic effects that damage
all components of the cell, including proteins, lipids and DNA.
What is oxidative stress?
Oxidative stress represents an imbalance between the production of oxygen and the body’s
ability to detoxify and repair the damage caused at the cellular level. In
other words, although we need oxygen to live, high concentrations of it are
actually corrosive and toxic.
While one antioxidant molecule can fight only one or two free radicals before it is
depleted, the body’s free radical-fighting enzymes can each eliminate up to 1
million molecules per second, every second. The most effective way to fight
free radicals and the oxidative stress they cause is to trigger the body to
produce its own free radical-fighting enzymes. Protandim activates the body’s
natural enzymes that subtantially reduce free radicals.
How Protandim works..
Our bodies already contain the information how to effectively combat stressful
situations, such as oxidative stress and chronic inflammation. That information
is stored in our genes. The secret lies in being able to instruct cells
regarding the implementation of that information. Enter Protandim.
Protandim,the most potent commercially available Nrf2 Synergizer dietary supplement on
the market, induces cells to produce more of the genetically encoded catalytic
defense systems. Every enzyme molecule produced by this approach can eliminate
up to 1 million free radicals per second, every second.
Protandim achieves this feat by activating a signaling molecule called Nrf2, the master
regulator of the body’s aging process. Nrf2 can switch on protective genes and
switch off genes that may have a negative effect on health.
When this protein messenger, Nrf2, is activated, it enters the nucleus of every cell
and turns on hundreds of the body’s survival genes. These genes enable cells to
survive in the face of several different kinds of stress, especially oxidative
stress. Nrf2 also affects hundreds of other genes, pro-inflammatory and
pro-fibrotic genes, by turning them down.
Thus Protandim, a master regulator of the aging process and
an Nrf2 synergizer, activates survival genes, including antioxidant genes that
keep us safe from free radicals and oxidants. It also turns down genes that
perpetuate inflammation and genes that encourage slow, progressive fibrosis to
take place. Together these actions provide a remarkable promise of protections
from many kinds of age-related health conditions
Dr. Norman Marvin -- January 4, 2013
January 5, 2013 12:11 AM
Chia (Salvia hispanica) is a plant of the genus Salvia in the Mint family. It originated in the central Valley of Mexico. It was largely cultivated by theAztecs in pre-Columbian times as
one of five major plant sources of food.
Chia is grown commercially for its seed, a food that is
very rich in omega-3 fatty
acids, since it is the vegetable source with the most omega-3 content,
specifically α-linolenic acid
(ALA). It also adds antioxidants and a
variety of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
For all these health related benefits,
chia is in the process of application before the EU
authorities to be considered as a novel food.
The word chia is derived from the Aztec word chian, meaning oily. The present Mexican state of Chiapas got its name from the Nahua "chia water or river." The species was named hispanica
("of Spain") because Linnaeus described the species from cultivated
plants in Spain.
Chia is an annual herb
growing to 1 m tall, with opposite leaves 4–8 cm long and 3–5 cm
broad. Its flowers are purple or white and are produced in numerous clusters in a spike at the end of each stem.
Chia seeds are typically small ovals with a diameter of
about one millimeter. They are
mottle-colored with brown, gray, black and white. Chia seeds typically contain 20% protein, 34%
oil, 25% dietary fiber (mostly soluble with high molecular weight), and
significant levels of antioxidants (chlorogenic and caffeic acids, myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol flavonols). The oil from chia seeds contains a very high
concentration of omega-3 fatty acid
— approximately 64%. Chia seeds
contain no gluten and trace levels of sodium. There are no known toxic components of chia.
Chia seed is traditionally consumed in Mexico, the southwestern United States, and South America, but is not widely known in Europe. The United
States Food and Drug
Administration regards chia as a food with an established history of
Historically, chia seeds served as a staple food of the Nahuatl (Aztec)
cultures of Central Mexico. Jesuit chroniclers referred to chia as the third most
important crop to the Aztecs behind only corn & beans, & ahead of amaranth. Tribute & taxes to the Aztec priesthood &
nobility were often paid in chia seed.
Today, chia is grown commercially in its native Mexico, and in Bolivia, Argentina, Ecuador and Guatemala. In 2008, Australia was the world's largest producer of
chia. A similar species, golden chia, is
used in the same way but not widely grown commercially. Salvia hispanica seed is marketed most
often under its common name "Chia," but also under several
trademarks, including "Anutra," "Chia Sage,"
"Salba," and "Tresalbio."
Chia seed may be eaten raw as a dietary fiber & omega-3 supplement. Grinding chia seeds produces a meal called pinole, which can be made into porridge or cakes. Chia seeds soaked in water or fruit juice is
also often consumed & is known in Mexico as chia fresca. The soaked seeds are gelatinous in texture &
are used in gruels, porridges & puddings. Ground chia seed is used in baked goods including breads, cakes & biscuits.
Chia sprouts are used in a similar manner as alfalfa sprouts in salads,
sandwiches and other dishes. Chia
sprouts are sometimes grown on porous clay figurines which has led to the popular (U.S.) cultural icon of the Chia Pet.
2.Ayerza, Ricardo and Coates, Wayne "Chia - rediscovering a forgotten
crop of the Aztecs" The
University of Arizona Press (2005)
3.Cahill, Joseph "Ethnobotany of Chia, Salvia
hispanica L.(Lamiaceae), Economic Botany 57(4) pp. 604-618 (2003)
Chia Seeds are Good for
3 Reasons to Eat Chia Seeds
these seeds on a salad to add healthy fats
By Andrew Weil , Dr. Weil is clinical professor of
medicine at the
University of Arizona & director of its Program in
Q: "My friend told me that chia seeds are
good for you and are loaded with omega-3s. Is this true?"
A: Yes, it certainly is. The word chia often conjures visions of those
terra-cotta figurines that, when slathered with chia seeds, grow green “hair.” In reality, these healthful, edible seeds are
a better source of omega-3 fatty acids than flaxseed (the fats protect against
inflammation & heart disease). Chia seeds come from the desert plant Salvia
hispanica, a member of the mint family that grows in southernMexico.
In pre-Columbian times, chia seeds were a component of the Aztec
and Mayan diets and the basic survival ration of Aztec warriors; they even
played a role in religious ceremonies. Supposedly, 1 tablespoon of the seeds could
sustain a person for 24 hours.
The Aztecs also used chia medicinally to relieve joint pain and
skin conditions. It was a major crop in
central & southern Mexico
well into the 16th century, but it was banned after the Spanish conquest because of its association with
the Aztec “pagan” religion. Over the
past few decades, commercial production has resumed in Latin
America. And here is more
good news: Insects hate the chia plant,
so it’s easy to find organic seeds.
Unlike flaxseed, chia seeds can be stored for long periods without
becoming rancid and don’t require grinding (whole flaxseed is tough to digest).
Chia provides fiber (about 2 tablespoons–25
g–give you 7 g of fiber) as well as other important nutrients, including calcium,
manganese, copper, niacin, and zinc.
Very few formal studies have looked at chia’s benefits, although I
expect that more will soon. In a
preliminary study from the University
of Toronto, researchers fed 21 diabetics either a supplement made from chia or grains with similar
fiber content. After 3 months, blood pressure in patients
taking chia dropped (10 points diastolic, 5 points systolic) while the grain
group’s BP remained steady.
I enjoy the seeds’ nutlike flavor and consider them to be a
healthful and interesting addition to my diet. You can sprinkle ground or whole chia seeds on
cereal, yogurt, or salads; eat a handful of whole seeds as a snack; or grind
them up and mix with flour when making muffins or other baked goods.
Or make your own “chia fresca,” a drink popular in Mexicoand Central America: Stir
2 teaspoons of the seeds into 8 to 10 ounces of water (you’ll end up with a
slightly gelatinous liquid). Add lime or
lemon juice and sugar to taste, and enjoy.
My prediction? You will
begin to see chia being added to more and more commercial products, such as
prepared baby foods, nutrition bars, and baked goods. In the meantime, you can order seeds by
visiting the Web site Chiaseedandoil.com.
Various Authors -- January 5, 2013