Flaxseed oil is derived from the seeds of the plant called linum usitassimum. It is gaining widespread popularity due to a high concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and chicken, thus making it ideal for vegetarians.
The major components of the flaxseed oil are:
Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids: These are unsaturated fatty acids which are very good for the heart’s health.
Lignans: They are known to contain antioxidant properties. Flaxseed contains 8000 times more antioxidants than other plant derivatives.
Fiber: It is known for a healthy bowel movement and aids digestion, flaxseed contains both soluble and insoluble fiber.
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.
[ Read: Benefits Of Castor Oil ]
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
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.
Some studies have proved that flaxseed oil may cause premature birth, and hence pregnant ladies should avoid the intake of this oil.
People with bleeding disorders must consult their doctors before using this oil. Otherwise, there might be chances of severe bleeding.
If you are on medication for diabetes or other hormonal problems, then it is advisable to consult a doctor before taking flaxseed oil.
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. Healthy 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.
Safe daily dosage should be restricted to one to two teaspoons of flaxseed oil.
One should consult a doctor (especially children) before consuming the oil regularly.
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