lax seeds 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 linseed oil or flax oil, is an oil harvested from the dried, ripe seeds of the flax plant. Like other oils, it is released through the pressing of these seeds.
Flaxseed oil contains many active compounds, including:
The reason this oil is so healthy is that it has a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. You may already know that omega-3s are important to overall health and body function and that they support the cardiovascular, pulmonary, immune, and respiratory systems.
We need omega-3s to function properly, and our bodies crave them. These fatty acids are found in foods like nuts, seeds, fish, and soybeans as well as in oils like flaxseed oil, but the high concentration of them in flaxseed oil will help us to get more of them even more easily.
Further, there are different types of omega-3s, and while they are all beneficial to our health, the specific one found in flaxseed oil is alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA. Our bodies don’t make this type of fat on their own because it is plant-based. However, we can still benefit from it because our bodies will convert it to the types it does need for us. This makes flaxseed oil a great way for vegans and vegetarians to get their needed omega-3s.
Flaxseed oil has other components that bolster our overall health as well. It includes proteins that help decrease heart disease risk factors. The fiber within it helps combat constipation. Flaxseed oil also has within it minerals our bodies need like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. And, best of all, flaxseed oil contains phenolic compounds to help protect us from cancer.
When buying flaxseed or any other oil, it’s important to buy the purest form possible. Not all flaxseed oils are created equal. In order to avoid things like fertilizers and pesticides, you should look for organic flaxseed oil when shopping for it.
Also, some flaxseed oils are created through a high-heat and high-pressure treatment that will, unfortunately, destroy many of the positive features of this substance. In order to get the best oil that you can for health uses, only buy cold-pressed oil.
Using flaxseed oil and incorporating it into your diet is easy. It can be used in so many ways. First, you can use it as an oil in salad dressings, dips, and sauces. It should not be used for cooking because it does not perform well at high temperatures and could actually become harmful to you. When served cold, though, you can reap the benefits.
You also might consider putting a tablespoon into a shake or smoothie. This is a great way to ingest it without even realizing you are doing so. These minor changes to your diet can result in major changes to your body.
Because flaxseed oil benefits also include benefits to the skin; you can apply it directly to the skin to improve skin health and to add moisture. Some people also use it on their hair to improve hair quality as well.
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