Flaxseed oil is a common essential fat that you see in several healthy balanced nutritional programs. Flaxseed has many healthful benefits including: reducing inflammation, lowering blood cholesterol, minimizing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke, preventing the clotting of blood platelets, fighting depression, reducing muscle and joint pain, protecting your eyes from age-related diseases, improving complexity of skin, hair and nails, increasing digestion and many more….
The flax plant has been around for quite some time (over 4000 years), originating in Mesopotamia. Flaxseed has several uses but the the most valuable are its nutritional value, containing high amounts of fiber and lignans, essential fatty acids and amino acids, and tons of vitamins and minerals.
Three quarters of the lipids found in the flaxseed are healthy polyunsaturated fats. The flaxseed’s most unique feature is the high ratio of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA, an omega-3 lipid) to linoleic acid (an omega-6 lipid). Both these lipids are referred to as Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) as humans can only obtain them by ingesting them. Because the typical Western diet is high in omega-6 fatty acids, it is recommended to replace some omega-6 fatty acids with omega-3 fatty acids to improve the dietary omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. As a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, this makes Flaxseed an excellent replacement. The only way we can get enough of Omega-3 is by eating plenty of fish, flaxseeds and now we have learned more about the amazing Chia Seed.
Eating too little fat has never been a problem for most people. But eating too little of the essential Omega-3 fat has certainly contributed to many health problems. Several people eat a lot of Omega-6 fats, primarily from various vegetable oils, such as corn, sesame, safflower, cottonseed, and sunflower. Omega-3s from seafood and flaxseed are eaten in small amounts and without consistency. This imbalance makes the body vulnerable to different irritants causing inflammation and slowing blood flow in the body. On the other hand, eating slightly more Omega-3 fats helps to reduce and prevent inflammation and improve circulation.
Omega-3 fats are used in production of anti-inflammatory hormone-like molecules, while other fats produce pro-inflammatory hormone like molecules. Like aspirin, omega-3s have power to help reduce blood clotting, lessen the risk of heart disease, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and migraine headaches. The Omega-3 fatty acids also have the ability to construct healthy cell walls, transport oxygen to all the cells in the body, and serve as the number one energy source for the heart muscle.
Eating flaxseed on a regular basis have shown to lower cholesterol. After just four weeks of daily supplementation with 50 grams of flaxseed, it has been shown in a recent study, that a woman’s LDL cholesterol has dropped 18 percent while total cholesterol levels were reduced by nine percent!! Similar studies have shown the cholesterol-lowering power of flax by eight percent in less than 4 weeks! These significant changes are huge in lowering the risks of heart disease.
Complexion and color of your skin reveals the health of your body and requires consistent proper care. Dry and oily skin, acne, rash, blackheads and whiteheads and easy scaring all reveal under-nutrition of some and over-nutrition of other elements. Several nutrients, all found in flaxseed, have shown to protect and repair your skin. Carotene, Vitamins A, E and C, selenium, zinc, and sulphur which decrease the skin damage from free radicals of UV sun rays, help repair tissue and promote the growth of new skin cells. Additionally, flaxseed’s oil rich in essential fatty acids (EFAs) will moisturize the skin from within creating a smooth velvety complexion. With aging and sun exposure, the skin becomes dry and prone to wrinkles. While creams and lotions may help preserve the superficial skin layer, nutritious diet with plenty of EFAs will stimulate the production of natural moisture protective coating, making the skin more resistant to the environmental damage and help construct new healthy-looking skin. EFA’s will improve the skin’s integrity from the inside out!
Loaded with essential Omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed can reduce the risk an eye disease that destroys vision by damaging nerve cells in the eye, called macular degeneration. While people with a high intake of other fats (Omega 6’s) from various vegetable oils were more likely to develop macular degeneration, those who eat more Omega-3 were less likely to have the disease. Flaxseed is also good for combating dry eyes due to an insufficient oil layer. Fatty acids help the oil glands in lubricating and coating of the surface of the eyes thus keeping them moist.
KEEP IN MIND
—Keep the oil in the dark bottle in the refrigerator as it spoils quickly when exposed to light!
—Better to add your flax oil and seed to dishes after cooking, as they spoil quickly when exposed to heat.