Flaxseed oil uses and benefits are many. However, one must consult a health expert as there are Flaxseed oil side effects too. Let's understand Flaxseed oil / Linseed oil better!
What Is Flaxseed Oil?
Flaxseed Oil is derived from flax seeds that are known for their amazing ability to boost your health. Just like the seed, the oil is also loaded with omega-3 acids that are essential for skin, hair and heart health. It is an important part of several diet plans for weight loss and is also consumed by those who are actively involved in bodybuilding.
Along with the several flaxseed oil benefits, you will also be happy to know that the flavor is quite pleasant and easy on the palate. It has a great nutty flavor with a hint of sweetness that makes it easy to include in your regular diet.
While it was popularly considered a great source of omega 3 fatty acids for vegetarians, research shows that it is more beneficial than fish oil as well. So, no matter what your eating habits are, you can reap the benefits of flaxseed oil.
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Components Of Flaxseed Oil?
Flaxseed oil benefits come from its main active components. It is rich in both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that are very important for good health. The most important component, however, is alpha-linolenic acid or ALA that is converted into eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA and docosahexaenoic acid or DHA. DHA is the omega-3 fatty acid that you will find in fish.
While flaxseed is known for its protein and lignin content, flaxseed oil only gives you a small portion of these proteins but no lignans.
How Does Flaxseed Oil Improve Health?
It is necessary to have a good balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in our diet. These fats are also called essential fats and are polyunsaturated fats of PUFAs that are needed by the body for several of its processes. There are several Flaxseed Oil uses because of its main components.
The most important thing to know about Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids is that they are both necessary for proper development right from infancy. They also play a major role in our health. However, these essential fatty acids are not produced by the body and must hence, be derived from an external source like flaxseed oil.
The essential fatty acids that are derived from flaxseed oil help regulate processes like protecting the cell membrane. With this, only the necessary substances from the food that we consume are absorbed while the rest is eliminated. This simple process of filtering what goes in is the key to reducing several pressing health conditions.
These fatty acids also help maintain the elasticity of skin and hence, people around the globe rave about the benefits of flaxseed oil for skin. The use of flaxseed oil for hair is also popular as the scalp is nourished. In fact, the European Food Information Council reveals that omega 3 fatty acids form the basis of the body’s inflammatory response and processes that help regulate blood pressure.
How To Use Flaxseed Oil?
As mentioned before, flaxseed oil has a pleasant nutty flavor that makes it a very simple to use the oil. You can make the most of the flaxseed oil benefits by incorporating it in your routine:
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Flaxseed Oil In Your Diet: You can consume flaxseed oil as is in the recommended dosage. Flaxseed oil uses include adding flavor to your food. If eating the oil is unpleasant because of the strong flavor of flaxseed oil, you can even add it to your salads as a dressing. One popular way to consume flaxseed oil is to mix it with yogurt. This helps emulsify the fatty acids making it easy for the body to absorb and metabolize it. You also have the option of adding flaxseed oil to smoothies and protein shakes. Be careful about the amount you add in, as the flavor can be very overbearing sometimes.
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When flaxseed oil is added to foods, the digestion of food slows down, therefore avoiding sudden spikes in blood sugar. As a result, the insulin level is also balanced correctly. Now, insulin is responsible for fat storage in the body. When you eat foods that are high in carbohydrates, insulin production is increased to correct the sudden increase in blood sugar. When insulin levels in the body are high, you also tend to feel tired and lethargic. Most of this excess weight is tucked away in the waist, hip or belly making it impossible to lose flab in the lower body.
With the healthy fats that you get with flaxseed oil, this process is counteracted. In addition to that, flaxseed oil is also known to improve metabolism. It helps in increasing thermogenesis which is a fat burning process. So, as ironic as it seems, flaxseed oil benefits come from the fact that it is rich in essential fats. These fats actually prevent the storage of fats in the body.
- Reduced cholesterol levels: Ground Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil can help reduce the cholesterol level in the body. This prevents the chances of any heart diseases. In fact, a study conducted at Simmons College in Boston showed that the chances of a second heart attack are reduced significantly with the consumption of flaxseed oil.
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- Managing High Blood Pressure: Including flaxseed oil capsules in your routine can help reduce the inflammatory reactions due to high cholesterol that leads to plaque in the artery. That way, flaxseed oil can help manage blood pressure efficiently.
- Reducing Inflammatory Response: One of the most important benefits of flaxseed oil is that it can reduce the inflammatory reaction associated with conditions like lupus and gout. It also reduces inflammation in the kidney, skin or joints caused by these pre-existing conditions. Flaxseed oil capsules benefits include an increased absorption of iodine that makes it possible to reduce any pain in the joint or body caused by inflammation.
- Relieves Diarrhea and Constipation: One of the most traditional flaxseed oil uses is relieving constipation. Flaxseed oil lubricates the colon and helps relieve constipation in the most natural way. According to a study conducted in 2015 that was published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, it can also stop symptoms associated with diarrhea such as bloating and gas.
- Removing Cellulite: With flaxseed oil, weight loss is increased and cellulite is removed from the body. Usually aging leads to a deposit of superficial fat just below the skin As the skin becomes thinner, this cellulite becomes more visible. The benefits of flaxseed oil for skin include maintaining the structure of collagen in the skin and thus fighting the appearance of this cellulite.
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- Reduces the symptoms of Eczema: Eczema leads to dry and itchy skin that is usually the result of any allergic reaction to soaps, foods or chemicals. The primary flaxseed oil capsule benefit is to maintain the elasticity and texture of the skin by maintaining collagen structure. This ability alleviates the symptoms of eczema.
- Better Hair and Nail Health: You can consume flaxseed oil for hair and nail health as the Omega 3 in the oil nourishes the nail and hair. The benefits of flaxseed oil for hair and nails include shinier hair, better hair growth with better scalp health and the reduction of brittleness, damage, splitting and cracking in nails as well.
Those who are scheduled for any surgery or dental procedure or have a preexisting bleeding condition, flaxseed should be avoided as flaxseed oil can affect the blood clotting process.
- Pregnant women and breastfeeding women should not consume flaxseed oil capsules or the raw oil as it may interfere with the development of the fetus.
- While flaxseed oil benefits include reduced blood sugar, those who are taking diabetes medication should not consume flaxseed oil. The reaction of flaxseed oil with the medicine can lead to hypoglycemia or a sudden drop in blood sugar levels.
- Loose stools
- Easy bruising and reduced blood clotting capacity.
- Blood in the stools or vomit
- Severe headaches
- Numbness in the leg or arm