Vegan Health ArticlesFlax Seeds and the Stress Response
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From Michael Greger, MD

A study was just published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition on the effects of flax seed consumption on cardiovascular responses to mental and psychological stress. [JACN 22(6):494] How your body reacts to stress--like how much your blood pressure goes up when you're anxious--is an important predictor of heart disease risk. So Canadian researchers had people sprinkle 3 tablespoons of ground flax seed onto whatever they were eating every day for a few months. Then the researchers exposed the research subjects to a variety of stressors and measured their stress response. And those eating flax had significantly healthier physiological reactions to stressful conditions. Their blood pressure, for example, stayed much more stable.

The researchers attribute the heart healthy attributes of flax not only to their omega 3 content, but their unique concentration of these anti-tumor antioxidant phytoestrogens called lignans. So, if anyone's stressed that they've been feeding their family toxic fish, switching over to flax might help in more ways than one.

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We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.