Flax Oil: What it is, Sources, Properties and Benefits
Every day more people who want to care for your body use linseed oil as a dietary supplement because of the benefits that come from it.
What is flaxseed oil?
The Flaxseed oil or linseed comes from the seed of the plant Linum usitatissimum (flax) is rich in fatty acids of the omega – 3, omega – 6 series, and Omega 9. The quality depends directly on the quality of the raw material used as with pressing processes used for extraction, with the higher quality is obtained when cold.
The source of linseed oil is linseed or flax. Are treated excellent source of micronutrients, fiber, antioxidants, and healthy fats such as ALA or alpha-linolenic acid.
Flaxen oil Cold Pressed
When buying flax oil is recommended in the labeling observe the mention “first cold” because it will be possessing better quality and availability. It becomes rancid quickly, so it is important to take certain precautions with the bottle containing it, so it is stored in a cool place and he will not get the sunlight directly.
Flax Oil Properties
The flax oil having interesting nutritional properties and potentially beneficial health effects, mainly due to its composition, especially, their PUFA with input from ALA (Omega 3) and phytochemicals as lignans (one of the best sources).
Lignans are a class of phytoestrogens, with important properties antioxidants, capable of neutralizing harmful oxidative action produced by free radicals in each cell tissue of our organism
This nutritional combination has significant potential in order to produce beneficial properties for health: reducing cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis (clogged arteries due to accumulation of fatty substances, cholesterol and others, on the walls of the arteries), diabetes, cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, autoimmune and neurological disorders.
Omega 3 for Veganos / Vegetarianos
Source Vegan Omega 3
Linseed oil is a vegetable source of omega 3, in fact, is the richest in this essential nutrient, and contains about 50-60% of omega 3 in the form of ALA. It is therefore an alternative for people who do not eat meat or fish oil. As we know, this type of fatty acid is manufactured by the body and therefore must introduce in the diet from the optimum sources. In this case, people who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, have the option to add this essential nutrient through linseed oil. There are three major types of Omega 3 Fatty Acids:
- ALA or alpha linolenic acid, which is found in a wide variety of foods (linseed and chia, nuts, wheat, soy…)
- EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid, which is found mainly in fish
- DHA or docosahexaenoic acid, found primarily in fish and certain types of seaweed.
ALA conversion in Omega 3
Should be noted this point: the conversion of ALA in Omega 3. In certain people, it seems that there is a high conversion rate, ie, obtain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) from ALA in a ratio important enough. Among the reasons we can find:
- Increased presence of linoleic acid (LA) due to increased intake of sources of this. It is an omega 6, also essential, and shares enzymes (arachidonic acid obtained from AL) working to convert ALA in Omega-3.
- Enzyme cofactors deficit due to a lack of nutrients or diet lacking such as zinc, magnesium, selenium, vitamin B and C.
- It also appears that the conversion capacity is greater in women than in men, as reflected in a study.
According to investigations, the conversion capacity of ALA in Omega 3 can be increased to not take direct sources of EPA and DHA (Fish). This fact suggests that people who do not often eat these foods, your body responds by amplifying the conversion ratio of ALA to EPA.
Importance Omega 3
Omega 3 essential fatty acid plays a key role in important processes in the body, such as acting as a natural anti-inflammatory, heart health and cognitive support. In children, it contributes to neuronal tissue growth during the perinatal period, as well as nutritional support in the development of premature babies. In adults, maintain adequate levels of this essential fatty acid reduces the chances of complications with clinical pathologies, including heart, kidney and neural tissue.
Benefits of Flax Oil
- Forces the body to metabolize stored fat (thermogenic effect), increasing the oxidation of this, which can decrease body fat, as long as the rest of our diet is correct.
- It also has a laxative effect because it contributes to intestinal transit.
- Increases metabolism.
Reduce Blood Sugar
- Improved sensitivity to insulin , making it more difficult to store fat and carbohydrates as providing a more durable and sustained energy.
- Glycemic control as reflected, is very interesting for people with diabetes.
- His extraordinary ability anti-inflammatory, helps to fight and appease pain resulting from chronic conditions (arthritis, sclerosis…)
- Relieves PMS in some women.
- It helps produce prostaglandins (anti-inflammatory hormones). Asthma, migraines.
- Decreases the time of recovery between workouts.
- Greater duration and intensity in training, as essential fatty acids quickly enter the energy production systems.
- Increases the amount of stamina needed for energy processes, so that you can experience feeling more energy and prolong physical activity.
- Increases the absorption of calcium, necessary for our intense workouts and people with osteoporosis.
Skin and Hair
- The skin has a better appearance and gains in health, as it helps in maintaining smooth, firm, and moisturized complexion. Thanks to its Antioxidant capacity slows the onset of signs of aging.
- Improved Eczema (dry skin, irritation, skin “flaked”…)
- Hair grows more strong, while improving its brightness naturally
- Regulate menstruation
- Balancing the levels of progesterone
- Reduce symptoms of Polycystic ovary syndrome, including occur: weight gain, irregular menstruation, infertility, acne…
- Reduce menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia…
Regular cholesterol levels, thereby providing a support face to maintain cardiovascular health.
Flax Oil Diet
When introducing this food in our diet we have two options: Linseed oil in liquid form or supplements Flax or Linseed oil. With both we’ll get provide the same benefits, only one way is eating more calories (oil), while the form in capsules or beads, we are left with only the active ingredient or fatty acid.
Storing Flax Oil
Once opened, it is advisable to keep in the refrigerator to preserve freshness. To prevent oxidation, it becomes stale, it is important that no light and seal the container.
No Cooking with Flax Oil
The recommendation when taking flax oil is used as is, as a dressing or sauce for our dishes, or eaten straight with a spoon. That is, taking raw. The reason is that if we use it for cooking, the fact of raising the temperature will produce rust.
Contraindications Take Flax Oil
Among the main problems that can be found when consuming flax oil, they are basically related to the digestive system. Thus, it is advisable to take small quantities, because it could cause stomach upset by indigestion, nausea, abdominal pain, or flatulence. Because of its laxative effects, it may lead to diarrhea. In other cases, you might consider the possibility of allergic reactions such as hives, swelling, or trouble breathing.