Flaxseed oil is a nutritional supplement produced from the seeds of the flax plant (Linum Usitatissimum) and is truly one of natures finer gifts to mankind. Confusingly, they are also known as linseed and are brown or golden in colour. The oil is rich in both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, a vital and essential polyunsaturated fat required for the human body. Omega oils cannot be produced by the human body, nor can they be stored in the body for later consumption, making flaxseed oil very special and important.
With the rising costs of living in the twenty-first century, healthy lifestyles can become expensive and often unaffordable. We live in an age where buying pre-packaged processed food is cheap, but the most exciting thing about flax is that it is very cheap to buy, whether as an oil or simply the seed.
Interesting Fact: The common linen that we use in our bed sheets, table linen and underwear are made from the fibres spun from the flax plant.
Adding flaxseed oil to your diet couldn’t be easier, simply drizzle over salads or eat it direct from the tea teaspoon. Now let’s take a look at the 9 health boosting reasons to add flax to your diet…
9 Reasons to Add Flaxseed Oil to YOUR Diet
1. Heart Health
We live in times where the risk of acquiring cardiovascular disease (CVD), an umbrella term for numerous conditions affecting the heart and blood vessels including peripheral vascular disease, heart disease, stroke and heart attack. Moreover, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
There have been a number of studies conducted with startling results, indicating that flax assists in the lowering of cholesterol, thus acting as a preventative to CVD. Other studies have shown that it may also lower high blood pressure and prevent angina (chest pain).
2. Reduces Inflammation
I am of the opinion that autoimmune disorders are on the rise, with increasing numbers of people being diagnosed with numerous disorders every year, ranging from lupus to fibromyalgia.
Studies have been conducted showing signs that omega 3 fatty acids assist in the reduction of inflammation. In the case of lupus, flax has been shown to reduce inflammation of the joints, skin and kidneys. An increase in cholesterol is also commonly associated with lupus, yet another benefit of taking flax oil. Flax has also been tested in the case of gout, and studies have shown that using the oil helps to reduce the pain and swelling . The rich oil from flaxseed has also been found to reduce dry eyes of those suffering from Sjogren’s syndrome too, with a 1-2g of flaxseed oil recommended daily. Finally, omega 3 assists in the absorption of iodine. In women who suffer from fibrocystic breasts, their levels of iodine tends to be reduced, thus giving more reasons to add flax to your diet.
3. Rich Fibre Content
Technically, this is a benefit of the ground seed itself, not the oil, but flaxseed are very high in fiber and gives the body a boost in the passing of stools, thus easing constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticular disease.
4. Skin Care
The essential fatty acids found within flaxseed are a tonic for the skin itself and assists in the reduction and treatment of acne, rosacea, psoriasis, sunburn and eczema. Even more interesting is that it protects us from ageing too.
5. Healthy Hair and Nails
A lack of omega 3 fatty acids has been proven to have a detrimental effect on hair and nails too, leaving them dry, brittle and lacking lustre. Having good levels of omega 3’s ensures that you have healthy hair and nails, always.
6. Assists Nerves in Degenerative Disorders
Flaxseed oil nourishes and assists the transitions of nerve impulses, making flaxseed beneficial to disorders of the nervous system such as Parkinson’s disease, and against the nerve damage associated with disorders such as multiple sclerosis and diabetes.
7. Combats Cancer
The rising levels of cancer, and the escalating costs of treatment can be reduced by merely taking flax as a supplement. Studies have demonstrated that the lignans in flaxseed protect against a number of cancers ranging from breast, bowel and prostate. More studies are needed, but the current level of research is promising. Anyone living with cancer should always discuss taking natural treatments with their doctors first and only take with their approval.
8. Assists menopausal Symptoms and Endometriosis
The phytoestrogens and hormone balancing lignans, flaxseed oil is particularly useful for stabilising a womans oestrogen-progesterone ratio, meaning that it cn assist in regulating the menstrual cycle and reduce the hot flushes in the premenopause and menopause. Also known for its beneficial effects on women’s fertility and to help in the heavy bleeding caused by endometriosis.
9. Enhances Male Fertility, Prostate Issues and Impotence
The essential fatty acids prevalent in flaxseed oil helps to reduce inflammation of the prostate, a usual occurrence as men get older causing the feeling of needing to urinate very frequently. It keeps sperm healthy, thus enhancing fertility. Finally, flaxseed can help men who are impotent get better erections due to the flaxseed’s ability to increase blood flow to the penis.
Flaxseed oil is certainly worth adding to your diet, just look at the list above.
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