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What is Flaxseed Oil?
Flaxseeds are known for their many health benefits, which include providing a hearty dose of protein and fiber, reducing appetite and aiding in weight control. Given their stellar nutrient profile, it’s no wonder that flaxseed oil is also jam-packed with similar health benefits. Flaxseed oil, also known as flax oil or linseed oil, is made from flaxseeds that have been ground and pressed to release their natural oil. This health-promoting oil has a wide variety of uses, ranging from cooking to skin care. This article will explore some of the top benefits of flaxseed oil and a few simple ways to use it.
The History of Flaxseed Oil
Linseed oil, also known as flaxseed oil or flax oil, is a colourless to yellowish oil obtained from the dried, ripened seeds of the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum). The oil is obtained by pressing, sometimes followed by solvent extraction. Linseed oil is a drying oil, meaning it can polymerize into a solid form. Due to its polymer-forming properties, linseed oil can be used on its own or blended with combinations of other oils, resins or solvents as an impregnator, drying oil finish or varnish in wood finishing, as a pigment binder in oil paints, as a plasticizer and hardener in putty, and in the manufacture of linoleum. Linseed oil use has declined over the past several decades with increased availability of synthetic alkyd resins—which function similarly but resist yellowing. Linseed oil is an edible oil in demand as a nutritional supplement, as a source of α-Linolenic acid, (an omega-3 fatty acid). In parts of Europe, it is traditionally eaten with potatoes and quark. It is regarded as a delicacy due to its hearty taste, that enhances the flavour of quark, which is otherwise bland.
The Top 7 Reasons You Need Flaxseed Oil
1. Aids in Weight Loss Since flaxseed oil lubricates the colon and works as a natural laxative, it’s excellent at keeping things moving in the digestive system. By helping your body to get rid of food and wastes more quickly, it helps your body to detoxify and shed excess weight. In fact, a 2015 study published in Nutrition Journal found that flaxseed oil added to a weight loss diet not only helped participants lose weight, but it also reduced inflammation markers. (1) That means adding flaxseed oil as a carrier oil to essential oils for weight loss can lead to additional benefits beyond dropping some pounds.
2. Relieves Constipation and Diarrhea Constipation is slower than normal movement of food waste through the digestive tract. It’s generally accompanied by a variety of symptoms, such as bloating, gas, back pain,or fatigue. One of the main folk or traditional uses for flaxseed oil has been constipation relief. By acting as a lubricant to the colon, flaxseed oil offers easy and natural constipation relief. Not only that, but flaxseed oil benefits those suffering form diarrhea as well. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that it has dual effectiveness at relieving constipation and stopping diarrhea, showing flaxseed oil benefits the digestive system in multiple ways.
3. Helps Fight Cancer In the world of natural cancer treatment and prevention, flaxseed oil is well-respected and included in natural treatment diets like the Budwig diet protocol for cancer. Studies even show that flaxseed oil benefits may include helping prevent the growth of breast tumors. In one 2015 study, researchers found that ALA contained in flaxseed oil reduces growth of breast cancer cell lines by modifying signaling pathways. (3) Another study in the journal Nutrition and Cancer supports the use of flaxseed oil as an inexpensive complementary therapy for a wide range of breast cancers. The research showed that the ALA in flaxseed oil reduced cancer cell growth and induced apoptosis, which is programmed cell death of cancer cells. (4)
4. Removes Cellulite Looking for a natural way to fight cellulite? As we age, collagen production decreases, but consumption of flaxseed oil helps to increase collagen production. Structural changes in the skin’s tissues, including weakened collagen, makes cellulite more visible because the skin becomes thinner and less able to conceal the irregularities created by the superficial fat and connective tissue just below its surface. By adding flaxseed oil to your diet, you can actually help to fight the appearance of cellulite.
5. Reduces Eczema Eczema is a common skin disorder that causes dry, red, itchy skin that can blister or crack. It’s generally caused by an allergic response to foods, chemicals or other substances, such as perfumes or soaps. In addition to avoiding unhealthy skincare products, you can also greatly improve eczema through your diet. Essential fatty acids help improve skin elasticity and texture, making flaxseed oil one of the top choices for improved skin health in general and pesky skin problems like eczema.
6. Boosts Heart Health There’s evidence that eating foods high in alpha-linolenic acid like flaxseed oil may help prevent and treat heart disease. One study suggests that people who eat a diet high in ALA are less likely to have a fatal heart attack. Another study found that women who ate high levels of ALA (1.5 grams per day) had a 46 percent lower risk of sudden cardiac death than those who ate the lowest amount of ALA (about half a gram per day). Other population studies show that as people eat more foods with alpha-linolenic acid, heart disease deaths go down.
7. Treats Sjogren’s Syndrome Sjogren’s syndrome is a disorder of the immune system identified by its two most common symptoms — dry eyes and a dry mouth. A number of studies to date have suggested numerous potential associations between diet and tear film health. One such study evaluated if oral flaxseed oil can help Sjogren’s syndrome patients. Results showed that therapy with oral flaxseed oil capsules (one or two grams per day) reduced eye surface inflammation and improved the symptoms of keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye) in Sjogren’s syndrome patients.
Shocking Facts About Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil is a source of polyunsaturated fatty acids such as alpha-linolenic acid. The alpha-linolenic acid and related chemicals in flaxseed oil seem to decrease inflammation. That is why flaxseed oil is thought to be useful for rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory (swelling) diseases.
The Benefits of Flaxseed Oil
1. Cancer Prevention
Studies have shown that flaxseeds provide protection against breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer. Flaxseeds contain Lignans, which provide protection against cancers that are sensitive to hormones. Lignans also block the enzymes that are involved in hormone metabolism and inhibits the growth of the tumor cells.
2. Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Due to the high content of the omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed oil reduces the level of LDL (good cholesterol) and maintains the HDL level in the blood. But one should remember that this alone cannot be effective in reducing the cholesterol. Thus, a proper diet and exercise regime should also be maintained for a healthy heart and body.
3. Relieves Inflammation
Studies have shown that regular intake of flaxseed oil reduces the inflammation in the inner lining of the intestines. Flaxseed oil works as an effective laxative and has a high content of mucilage.
4. Prevents Arthritis
According to research, the omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed oil may help in reducing the stiffness you experience in the morning when you suffer from autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. It may also help in relieving swelling. Osteoarthritis may also respond to these essential fatty acids. It has been found that the acids can help in easing stiffness in the joints and the speed at which patients with osteoarthritis can walk.
While one teaspoon every day helps some people gain relief from the symptoms of osteoarthritis, others may require double this dose or more. According to experts, finding the right dose plays an important role as it may mean the difference between the complete remission of the condition’s symptoms or no relief at all. To find the right dose of flaxseed oil for arthritis, it is recommended that you take it with meals and divided doses.
5. Bowel Health
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, flaxseed oil can be used for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disorders like Crohn’s disease and colitis. Crohn’s disease is caused due to the deficiency of omega-3s. Thus, regular intake of flaxseed oil can cure the disease.
6. Colon Health
Studies have proved that omega-3s prevent the replication of cancer cells, especially in colon cancer. Thus, the AHA content in the flaxseed oil may be beneficial for the treatment of the colon disorders like colon cancer.
7. Prevent Cardiovascular Diseases
ALA is known to be cardioprotective i.e., they prevent various cardiovascular diseases and promote the functioning of a healthy cardiovascular system. Regular consumption of flaxseed oil reduces the probability of heart attacks. It lowers blood pressure, maintains the level of total cholesterol, promotes blood vessels health and regulates heartbeat.
8. Weight Loss
Did you know that using flaxseed oil for weight loss is considered very effective. Like all other nuts and seeds, flaxseed is also rich in healthy and dietary fats, with 3g in 1tsp. So it helps in curbing your appetite by keeping you full throughout the day. It helps to build the muscle mass, which burns more calories that fat. The high fiber content aids healthy digestion, and thus, supplements weight loss.
9. Helps In Constipation
While flax seeds are a well-known remedy for constipation with their high fiber content, the oil obtained from them also promotes healthy digestion and gives relief from uneasiness caused due to constipation. Flaxseed oil is good for colon health and aids in the reduction of hard stools. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, folate, manganese, copper, phosphorous, and vitamin B6.
Add a tablespoon of flaxseed oil to a glass of juice or smoothie that you have early in the morning. You can also mix it along with your salad dressing if you don’t like juices or smoothies.
You can also directly take one spoonful of oil early in the morning. It is said that mixing the oil along with the food enables the body to absorb the oil better.
Flaxseed oil is a lipid that stimulates the gallbladder to release bile. Bile contains bile acid, which is very important for digestion and absorption of fats in the intestine. So, when bile enters our duodenum, the gallbladder gets stimulated, thereby releasing some amount of bile. Bile is a natural laxative, which softens the stool, and speeds up the movement of stool through the colon.
10. Maintains Cholesterol Levels
A diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains is good for reducing the level of cholesterol in our body. Along with that, the addition of flaxseeds also helps to promote a healthy heart. Omega-3 present in flaxseed oil helps to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the body.
11. Prevent Dry Eyes Syndrome
Some of us suffer from dry eye syndrome in which the outer layers of our eyes lack the required lubrication. This makes the eye sting and burn. A person suffering from dry eyes must take flaxseed oil to reduce the symptoms of dry eye syndrome.
12. Flaxseed Oil For Hair
Flaxseed oil is rich in fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, which give you healthy hair. Regular application of flaxseed oil promotes hair growth and prevents additional hair fall. It eliminates dandruff and flakiness on the scalp. Flaxseed oil also maintains the moisture content in the hair, keeping your hair lustrous and healthy. Indulge in a hot oil massage or add two teaspoons of oil in your regular conditioner.
Why Flaxseed Oil Is The #1
Specifically, flaxseed oil contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a form of omega-3 fatty acid that is only converted in small amounts to active forms of omega-3, like EPA and DHA (4). If you aren’t getting enough DHA and EPA in your diet, most guidelines recommend at least 1,600 mg of ALA omega-3 fatty acids daily for men and 1,100 mg for women
Top 3 Questions People Ask About Flaxseed Oil
There are a few frequently asked questions about these Flaxseed Oil.
1. What is flaxseed oil Flaxseed oil also call linseed oil, a colorless to yellowish oil obtained from the dried, ripened seeds of the flax plant. It is one of the best sources of Omega 3 fatty acids, it is an alternative to fish oil if you don’t like the taste of fish oil or you are a vegan/vegetarian. A research says benefits of flaxseed include aiding digestion, skin and heart health, among others. For me, it a natural remedy for those people who is suffering dry eyes especially after the Lasik eyes surgery. It also would improve the conditions of fibroma. You may use it as a natural skin beauty supplement. Surprisingly, flaxseed oil is a blood thinner!
2. How do I use flaxseed oil? I was suffered dry eyes in 15 years ago. It’s serious enough that I can’t wear contact lens, glasses or watch TV in the flight. It was coincidence that my relative who was suffered dry eyes after the Lasik eyes surgery. She was so happy that she is no longer needs to wear glasses. But her dry eyes were bugging her and consulted with her surgeon. Surprisingly he prescribed her a few bottles of Purtain Pride flaxseed oil not eye drops. And advised her it on daily basis from now on. I did research about flaxseed to see if there is any side effect. If it would help her that means it could help me too! I was amazed about the benefits of flaxseed. So I ordered it online for myself. I am taking it daily. And take it an hour before I take flight. It does improves my condition.
3. How does it work? Flaxseed oil is a source of polyunsaturated fatty acids such as alpha-linolenic acid. The alpha-linolenic acid and related chemicals in flaxseed oil seem to decrease inflammation. That is why flaxseed oil is thought to be useful for rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory (swelling) diseases.
Tips for a Flaxseed Oil
Flax seeds are one of nature’s best sources of vegetarian omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats support heart health, skin elasticity, joint mobility and proper cellular growth. This oil also supports digestive health and blood sugar balance. Properly pressed, flax oil is easily absorbed by the body and does not tax the liver or other organs. 1) Always make sure the seal is intact when you first receive your bottle. 2) Keep the bottle tightly capped and out of direct sunlight. 3) Shake vigorously before each use. 4) Take 1 teaspoon per day straight or mixed with a little water. 5) Add it to your smoothies or salad dressings for an omega–3 boost. 7) Great for beautiful glowing skin and hair.