Flax seed oil is known for its many medicinal uses. Also called linseed oil, it is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and essential fatty acids (EFAs) that help lower cholesterol and fight heart disease. Flax seed oil benefits are similar to those of fish oils, but many people prefer flax because it has no fishy odors or aftertaste.
Flax seed oil is used as a health supplement and comes in liquid or soft gel capsules. Depending on your overall health, flax seed oil benefits can take from a few days to six weeks to be observed. This article lists the most common flax seed oil benefits and some tips on choosing supplements.
Essential fatty acids
EFAs account for many of the flax seed oil benefits. Flax seed oil contains three EFAs: omega-3, omega-6, and alpha linolenic acid. Omega-3s are one of the most effective substances for lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Alpha linolenic acid helps store energy in the muscles and maintains muscle mass during exercise. EFAs are vital in reducing plaque formation, and preventing strokes and heart disease.
Flax seed oil benefits extend to the digestive system. About 12% of the flax seed is made up of mucilage, a natural laxative. This protects the digestive lining from toxins and excess stomach acids. It also soothes ulcers, relieves irritable bowel disorders, and keeps residues from building up in the bowels.
Antioxidants destroy free radicals that cause cell and immune damage and increase the risk of cancer. Lignans are believed to have antioxidant properties, and flax seed oil has up to 800% more lignans than other grains and vegetables.
Flax seeds contain about 25% protein and amino acids. These are essential in tissue repair and cell regeneration, especially for athletes and bodybuilders who engage in heavy physical exercise. Flax seed oil contains a complete profile of amino acids, providing a full range of benefits including immune protection, fertility, and arthritic pain relief.
Flax seed oil is rich in soluble and insoluble fibers, which clean the colon of waste materials like toxins, dried mucus, and metabolic waste. Fibers also feed the beneficial bacteria that fights disease-causing microorganisms in food.
IMPORTANT: Flax seed oil is considered a dietary supplement, so it is loosely regulated compared to conventional medicines. Additives in some products such as silica, starch, sugar, and gluten can reduce flax seed oil benefits and even have harmful effects. Choose only flax seed oil supplements that are GMP-compliant and avoid those that contain artificial colors and flavorings.
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Jean Helmet is one of the editors for a series of health sites, We offer a free health book for subscribers to our websites newsletter. We cover everything you need to know on nutrition, as well as omega 3 nutrition, and how to improve your general overall health. Check out our nutrition health book for more information on our free featured book.