The health benefits of flaxseed oil include its ability to improve heart health, reduce inflammation and gout, and prevent cancer and premature aging. It also helps to boost the immune system and regulate digestion. Flaxseed oil helps to regulate hormones in post-menopausal women, lower blood pressure, prevent various gastrointestinal diseases, and improve eye health.
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What is Flaxseed Oil?
Flaxseed oil, a concentrated vegetable oil obtained from flax, also known as linseed oil in much of the world, has been known to humans for a surprisingly long time. Flax, which is scientifically known as Linum usitatissimum, has many uses and has been a part of various cultures, although originally, it most likely came from the Mediterranean region. While Canada, Russia, France, and Argentina are its world’s largest producers. It is a very versatile plant since it grows in such diverse climates and is also extremely useful. For thousands of years, it was used not only as a key ingredient in linen but also as a very beneficial and easily accessible food source.
Flaxseed oil, rich in omega 3 fatty acids, is one of the most common alternatives for traditional vegetable oil, partly because it has the most impressive list of health benefits attributed to it. It can be used in the exact same way as any other vegetable-based oil, the flavor is pleasant and unobtrusive, it cooks evenly, keeps the body healthy, and is relatively simple to extract.
Health Benefits of Flaxseed Oil
While linen is the major area where you would encounter flax, the nutritional and dietary market around the globe is starting to see a marked increase in interest. Let’s take a look at some of these intriguing health benefits of flaxseed oil!
Controls Cholesterol Levels
Out of all the vegetable oils on the market, flaxseed oil actually has the highest content of omega-3s, which is very important. While both forms of cholesterol are necessary for the body, omega-3 is considered as the “good” form. Omega-3 fatty acid helps to scrape off the bad form of cholesterol (LDL) and helps to balance the cholesterol in your body. This means that you don’t have plaque buildup on the walls of your arteries and blood vessels, thereby helping in reducing blood pressure, lowering your chances of developing atherosclerosis, and effectively preventing heart attacks and strokes. In other words, protect your heart with flaxseed oil!
One of the other important elements of flaxseed oil is its high antioxidant content. Flaxseed oil is rich in plant sterols, also known as phytosterols. These act as very powerful antioxidants, which means that they can help to prevent the damage that free radicals do to our healthy cells in various parts of the body, including turning them into cancerous cells. Furthermore, the lignans found in flaxseed oil have a direct impact on the hormone balance in our body. This means that hormone-related cancers are less likely to occur since our body’s endocrine system is running smoothly.
Improves Digestive Health
The high fiber content of flaxseed means that the digestive system is regulated. Fiber helps to bulk up the stool and move it through the digestive tract, thereby preventing constipation, as well as diarrhea, since it absorbs watery stool. Furthermore, the lignans are able to help reduce your chances of colon cancer! Keeping enough fiber in your diet is also important for maintaining cholesterol levels in the body.
Prevents Dry Eyes
Some of the hormones in flaxseed influence the amount of fluid in your eyes, which can be a very annoying condition. Dry eyes can be prevented with the consistent use of flaxseed oil in the diet. It can also prevent more serious forms of this condition, such as Sjogren’s syndrome.
The anti-inflammatory capacity of flaxseed oil means that it can prevent various forms of inflammation in the body, including the natural aches and pains in the joints and muscles, as well as more serious conditions like arthritis and even gout! Flaxseed oil is a natural anti-inflammation agent, so make sure to include it in your diet if you suffer from inflammatory conditions.
Treats Crohn’s Disease
Although we have already covered some of the gastrointestinal benefits of flaxseed oil, Crohn’s disease is a health condition that afflicts people all around the world. Flaxseed oil research has shown a positive relationship between inflammation of the colon and intestinal tract with consumption of this oil.
Maintains Hormonal Balance
After women go through menopause, their body changes in dramatic ways, particularly in the hormone balance, such as estrogen. The lignans in flaxseed oil, secoisolariciresinol, matairecinol, and pinoresinol, have a dramatic effect on the hormonal balance, thereby helping many post-menopausal women function better and struggle less with the fluctuations of estrogen in their bodies.
Word of Caution: Although most specialists regard flaxseed as a generally healthy oil, there is still a great deal of research being done. It is shown to increase the flow of blood as it is a vasodilator, including faster healing post after surgery. Furthermore, it is unclear as to whether women should consume flaxseed oil during pregnancy or breastfeeding since the hormonal contributions of flaxseed oil can be dramatic and the effects have not been adequately researched.