Fight pain…with Flax!

Did you have some pain today?  Does your back ache? Is your neck stiff?  Do your knees creak and complain when you trudge up the stairs?

Almost all of us can say that we experience some kind of pain every day.  Good Housekeeping’s August issue featured this article:  5 (who-knew ways) to Fight Pain Naturally, by Nancy Stedman.  The first of her 5 ways is a recommendation to use flax to reduce inflammation.

As a Nurse, my interest was piqued when I saw this article, and I quickly read it, beginning to end.  The most common pain that we experience every day is back pain, headache and neck pain.   We often think first to run to the medicine cabinet; however there are many good reasons to not utilize medication as the first response to pain.  Opioids carry a significant risk of addiction, and common over-the- counter pain medication, if used long term, can cause liver or kidney damage and stomach ulcers.  So…my back is aching…where do I turn?

Change up your Diet:

Researchers have found that inflammation in the body is a significant factor in chronic pain.  The standard American diet – lots of carbs, unhealthy fats and processed foods boost inflammation.  However switching one’s intake to foods that have proven anti-inflammatory effects helps to lower pain significantly.  This will make the health benefits of flaxseed available to you for improved health.

So what should I eat?

Eat foods that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids such as:

  • Whole Flaxseed
  • Fish
  • Ground Flaxseed
  • Walnuts
  • Leafy greens
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower

Cut back on foods high in Omega-6’s, such as;

  • Battered and deep-fried foods
  • Salad dressing,
  • Mayonnaise
  • Fast foods
  • Processed snacks
  • Corn chips
  • Fatty and cured meats

So, step one in the fight against pain is to change your diet, by increasing your intake of Omega 3’s and lower your intake of Omega 6’s.  Learn about cooking with flaxseed.  A simple way to start on your way to an anti-inflammatory diet is to add ground flax to your diet.  The recommended amount of flax to have each day is 2 tablespoons.  I add North Dakota flaxseed in the form of ground flax to my oatmeal each morning; it fills me up, and is a healthy start to my day.  Another quick and easy way is to add Flax to your daily intake by adding it to a smoothie.

For more information on the health benefits of flaxseed and how to incorporate it into your diet with a flaxseed cookbook check out The Amazing Flax Cookbook by Jane Reinhardt-Martin, RD, LD.  This can all be found on our website, with recipes and medical studies proving the great things flax can do for you.

Delicious, healthy, and natural, our Golden Valley Flax is fresh from our farm to your Home.