15 Amazing Benefits of Flax Seed Oil
Flaxseed oil is commonly found and used in rural areas of India. It is cheap and has many health benefits. Owing to the benefits it offers, it has become famous in recent times amongst fitness freaks. But still, many people refrain from using it in the kitchen because of its strong aroma. But I am sure that after reading this article about Flaxseed oil benefits you will ignore the strong aroma and start using it. I have also described some simple recipes using Flaxseed Oil, so happy reading. 🙂
What are Flax Seeds?
Linum usitatissimum or common flax or linseed is a food and fiber crop. It has been cultivated since antiquity and is a well-known food. The material made from the hardy plant is known as linen, which
is well-known as a lightweight and soft fabric, especially in hot weather. This plant grows well in cooler climates, with Canada being the highest producer of this glorious crop.
Nutritional Benefits of Flaxseed
Rightly known as a superfood, this tiny seed is a powerhouse of some important nutrients like Omega-3 essential fatty acids, lignans and fiber.
Every 100 g of flaxseeds contains
- 534 Calories
- 42% Fat,
- 29% Carbohydrates,
- 17% Protein
Flaxseeds are also known to be a rich source of soluble fiber that is essential for a good bowel movement.
Flaxseed Oil Benefits
Flaxseed oil or linseed oil is a flavourful oil obtained from the common flax. It is either colorless or yellowish in color and is a triglyceride. Some of the benefits of flaxseed oil are as follows
1. Good for Skin
Flaxseed oil is anti-inflammatory, rich in antioxidants and moisturizing. It has been known to be extremely beneficial for dry and sensitive skinned individuals. Linseed when applied topically on the
skin plumps up damaged skin, firms up the sagged skin and protects against harmful UV radiations. Flaxseed oil is best for a flawless glowing skin.
2. Reduces Cholesterol Levels
Studies have shown that flaxseed oil helps reduce low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol found in meat and dairy products, build up in the arteries and clog them. Over time, this
can lead to harmful cardio-vascular diseases, which can be potentially life-threatening. Cooking foods that are low in cholesterol in flaxseed oil is cherry on the cake.
3. Protects the Heart
Rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), linseed oil has been known to be beneficial to the heart. ALA is converted into heart-friendly fats like eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA),
that protect the heart from other harmful trans and poly-unsaturated fats. (1)
4. Reduces the Risk of Cancer
Flaxseed oil is rich in lignan, a type of phytoestrogen, particularly SDG, SECO, and matairesinol. It has been found that it reduces mortality rates in breast cancer patients and limited trials have even
shown the reduction in the size of tumors.
5. Reduces the Risk of Diabetes
Daily consumption of flaxseed oil has been shown to reduce insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients. It has also been known that with regular intake of this humble oil, fasting blood sugar levels,
triglyceride levels and hemoglobin levels have been improved. You can cook your favorite meal in flaxseed oil by following your Diabetes Diet Chart.
6. Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation as a consequence of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and Raynaud’s phenomenon, has been known to be alleviated by the regular consumption of linseed oil. As mentioned previously,
essential ALA, lignans, and flavonoids present in flaxseed oil are beneficial and have also been known reducing inflammation. (2)
7. Good Brain Health
Omega 3 found in flaxseed oil is an essential fuel for the brain and is important for growing children. Omega 3 is important for good memory, performance and transmission/ reception of brain signals.
In saying so, linseed oil aids people with depression, ADHD and Alzheimer’s in improving their brain function.
Here is an informative video from Wellness
8. Good Bone Health
Osteoporosis, a deadly disease that weakens the bones and primarily affects older ladies, has been known to be improved with the regular intake of linseed oil. Lignan and ALA-rich flaxseed oil mimics
natural estrogen and is a natural hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
9. Helps in Weight Loss
Flaxseed oil helps reduce appetite and accelerates thermogenic fat burning, that is essential to losing weight. Rich in essential fatty acid, linseed oil gives your body the right kind of fat that it
requires and helps flush out bad fats from your body. Weight Loss is the result of healthy eating and regular exercise.
10. Good Gut Health
Flaxseed oil is an essential accompaniment to good gut health. It has been long known that flaxseeds promote good gut flora and create a healthy environment for their survival by improving metabolism
and regulating blood sugar levels.
11. Helpful in Constipation
Rich in good soluble fiber, flaxseed oil helps improve bowel movement and alleviates chronic constipation. Good fiber adds bulk to the stool and has a laxative effect, which in turn helps reduce
the effects of constipation. Consumption of fiber-rich foods along with flaxseed oil reduces the chances of constipation.
12. Reduces Eczema
Flaxseed oil contains linolenic and oleic acid that is important in reducing the debilitating effects of eczema. When applied to the affected area, this oil moisturizes the skin, reduces inflammation and
prevents further scaling of the skin.
13. Healthy Kidney Health
Kidneys are known to be one of the fattiest organs in the body after the brain. Providing the body with good fats is essential for healthy kidneys. The good fats like Omega-3 fats, present in flaxseed
oil fosters a good environment for your precious kidneys.
14. Sjogren’s Syndrome
Sjogren’s syndrome is a syndrome in which the tear and salivary glands are affected. Preliminary tests have been known to alleviate dry eye conditions in affected individuals. Regular eye exercises and vitamin A rich foods improves eyesight.
Flaxseed Oil Vs Fish Oil
While both flaxseed oil and fish oil are both known to be good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed oil contains is ALA or Alpha-linolenic acid, which converts in very low quantities to DHA and
EPA. Fish oil, on the other hand, is a direct source of ALA and DHA. But, flaxseed oil is an essential source of lignans, which are essential plant-based compounds that are essential for the body. The
debate of one being better than the other has no ground as both have their individual benefits. One advantage, however, that flaxseed oil may have over fish oil is that it is suitable for vegetarians and
Cooking with Flaxseed Oil
1. Tasty Berry Smoothie
- 2 cups of whole frozen/fresh strawberries
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 cup milk/ soy milk
- 2 tablespoons of flaxseed oil
- Blend all the ingredients in a blender.
- Garnish with a sprig of mint & serve.
2. Healthy Salad Dressing
- ¼ cup flaxseed oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup/ honey
- Salt & pepper to season
- Mix all the ingredients well in a bowl.
- Drizzle on top of your favorite greens (preferably lettuce) & enjoy!
Side-effects of Consuming Flaxseed Oil
Some of the side effects of consuming flax oil include-
1) Due to its laxative effect on the digestive system, overconsumption of flaxseed oil can cause
2) Consumption of this oil can cause nausea, bloating and stomach pain in some individuals.
3) Flaxseed oil can interact with certain vitamin supplements, reducing their efficacy.
4) Certain compounds found in flaxseed oil may have also been a hindrance in the clotting of
blood and cause excessive bleeding.
5) Lignans found in flaxseed oil mimic natural estrogen and can be harmful during pregnancy.
So this was about Flaxseed Oil and its benefits. Do write me your feedback after using it.