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Flax seed oil

Updated: Mar 11, 2021

Flax seed oil is an oil which when involved in our diet is very healthy due to its highly beneficial properties. It is also called flax oil or linseed oil. The scientific name for these seeds Linum usitatissimum directly meaning to the “most useful.” The oil has a slight nutty flavour to it but overall, it is light, fresh with a mild smell. It is more palatable in comparison to marine algal oil with similar health beneficiary effects. It is also more stable and is obtained at a low cost than marine algal oil.

Flax seed

How it’s made?

The whole seed of yellow or brown (readily available) colour are chosen to make fresh oil. They grinded into powder and pressed with the help of oil presses to extract the oil from the seeds. Since minimum heat is used the process is called cold pressed method. The leftover is discarded as fiber. The oil is then sealed and allowed to sit for a few days in cool dark place to remove the impurities from the oil. The clear purified oil is then transferred to cark coloured storage jars and is ready to use.

Beneficial effects

The usefulness of flax seed and its oil has been known to mankind since a very long time. In fact, Father of medicine, Hippocrates is known to have prescribed these seeds to his patients suffering from digestive ailments.

Highly rich in omega-3-fatty acids: Flax seed oil contain a good amount of a fatty acid called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) which is a converted into active forms of omega-3. Omega-3 is very important for our body and health as it helps in improving the condition of heart, reducing inflammation in the body. It also regulates the cholesterol triglyceride levels and improves brain health. Fish oil has been known a very common source for omega-3 but flax seed oil is a very good alternative for it.

Prevents the occurrence of cancer: In recent studies flax seed oil has been proven to lower the risk of various types of cancers like prostate, breast and colon cancer. The diet of cancer patient has flax seed oil as mandatory ingredient and increases the survival rate of the patient.

Maintaining digestive health: Flax seed oil is known to act as a laxative thus improving stool consistency. It also helps prevent constipation and diarrheas. The effectiveness of flax seed oil is equivalent to that of olive oil and mineral oil with additional benefits.

Rich source of lignan: Flax seed oil contains almost 75-800 times more lignan than that provided by any another plant-based product. Lignan is known to have anti-inflammatory (in relation with Parkinson’s disease and asthma) and anti-oxidant functionality. They also prevent the obstruction of arteries by plaque preventing heart stroke.

Improving heart health: Flax seed oil reduces blood pressure and the LDL (bad cholesterol) in the body. It also known to improvise the flexibility of the arteries as with age they tend to loss flexibility. Flax seed oil has been compared to safflower oil in heart patients and is proven to be more effective in lowering the blood pressure thus reducing the stress on the heart.

Enhancing skin health: The regular intake of flax seed oil has proven to reduce the sensitivity, inflammation and roughness on the skin. It also prevents the occurrence of red patches, itching and swelling of the skin. Flax seed oil has natural anti-aging properties and prevents wrinkles and enhances the elasticity of the skin.

Natural painkiller: Flax seed oil is used through various method by arthritis patients. It also helps relieve muscle and lower back pain.

Diabetes management: Flax seed oil increases insulin sensitivity in the body as it is rich in lignan. This helps to regulate and normalize blood sugar levels.

There are many other benefits of flax seed oil like treating post menstrual symptoms, cellulite reduction, helps in weight loss etc.

Preventive measures

- Flax seed oil shouldn’t be consumed by people having irritable bowel syndrome, suffering from seizure disorder, people on blood related meds like blood thinners, tropical steroids etc., pregnant or lactating mothers and people using painkillers.

- They can obstruct the absorption of other medicines.

- It shouldn’t be consumed in large quantities.

- There can be side effects like itching and redness of skin or shortness of breath when consumed in excess quantity.

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