Flaxseeds are a good source of fiber and protein.

Is Flaxseed & Fish Oil Good for Teenage Boys?

by Sara Ipatenco

If you have a teen boy living in your house, you've probably wondered more than once where he puts all the food he eats. You might also be exhausted by shopping just to keep enough food in the house. The fact that your teen son eats a lot is good because it means he's fueling his body with the nutrients he needs to finish growing. If he doesn't already eat flaxseed and consume fish oil, consider adding them to his diet. They're rich in certain nutrients he needs to develop into a healthy adult.

Nutrients in Flaxseed

One of the most notable nutrients in flaxseed is fiber. Just 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains 1.9 grams of fiber, which is 6 percent of the 31 grams teen boys need each day. Teen boys need plenty of fiber to keep their digestive systems working properly and to regulate their blood sugar. A tablespoon of ground flaxseed supplies 0.4 milligram of iron, a nutrient that helps your teen son's blood carry oxygen through his body. That 0.4 milligram translates to about 4 percent of the 11 milligrams teen boys need each day. Ground flaxseed is a good source of unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, too, which help boost the health of your son's heart.

Using Flaxseed

Ground flaxseed is readily available at most large supermarkets and can be added to a wide variety of foods that your teen son already enjoys. Sprinkle ground flaxseed into your son's morning bowl of oatmeal or bake it into his favorite homemade muffin recipe. Puree ground flaxseed into a smoothie as another way to include it in your son's diet. Add ground flaxseed to breadcrumbs when you make meatballs, or stir it into ground beef when you make burgers as additional ways to add the highly nutritious food to your teen's diet.

Benefits of Fish Oil

Fish oil doesn't supply much in the way of vitamins and minerals, but it's an impressive source of heart-healthy unsaturated fats. A tablespoon of fish oil contains 13.6 grams of fat, of which about 9.5 grams are unsaturated. Because your teen son needs fat in his diet to help him grow and absorb nutrients from the foods he eats, it's a wise choice to make sure that his fat intake is in the form of unsaturated fats, such as that found in fish oil. Unsaturated fats also help protect your son's heart, which can reduce his lifetime risk of heart disease and heart attack.

Incorporating Fish Oil

While most teen boys aren't willing to ingest a spoonful of fish oil, it's worth it to find ways to incorporate it into your son's diet. It's better to serve fatty fish, such as salmon, rather than give your son supplements. In addition to unsaturated fats, fresh fatty fish also supplies calcium for strong bones, zinc to encourage normal growth, vitamin B-6 for brain function and vitamin B-12 to support normal red blood cell production. If your son doesn't like fish, talk to his pediatrician about the benefits of giving him a fish oil supplement instead.

About the Author

Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.

Photo Credits

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