Flaxseed oil is derived from the seeds of the plant called linum usitassimum. It is gaining wide spread popularity due to high concentration of Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish and chicken, thus making it ideal for vegetarians.
The major components of the flaxseed oil are:
Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids: These are unsaturated fatty acids which are very good for the heart’s health.
Lignans: They are known to contain antioxidant properties. Flaxseed contains8000 times more anti oxidants than other plant derivatives.
Fiber: It is known for healthy bowel movement and aids digestion, flaxseed contains both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Benefits Of Flaxseed Oil:
1. Cancer Prevention:
Studies have shown that flaxseeds provide protection against breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer. Flaxseeds contain Lignans, which provide protection against cancers that are sensitive to hormones.
Lignans also blocks the enzymes that are involved in hormone metabolism and inhibits the growth of the tumour cells.
2. Reduce Cholesterol Levels:
Due to the high content of the omega 3 fatty acids, flaxseed oil reduces the level of HDL (bad cholesterol) and maintains the LDL level in the blood. But one should remember that this alone cannot be effective in reducing the cholesterol. Thus a proper diet and exercise regime should also be maintained for a healthy heart and body.
3. Relieves Inflammation:
Studies have shown that regular intake of flaxseed oil reduces the inflammation in the inner lining of the intestines. Flaxseed oil works as an effective laxative and has high content of mucilage.
Like the other healthy oils, flaxseed oil also helps to reduce the pain and the inflammation in the joints of the knees caused due to arthritis. It contains alpha- linolenic acid (AHA), which the body converts into omega 3 fatty acids and is beneficial for arthritis. It relieves pain, stiffness and improves mobility.
5. Bowel Health:
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, flaxseed oil can be used for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disorders like Crohn’s disease and colitis. Crohn’s disease is caused due to the deficiency of omega-3s, thus regular intake of flaxseed oil can cure the disease.
6. Colon Health:
Studies have proved that omega-3s prevent the replication of cancer cells especially in colon cancer. Thus the AHA content in the flaxseed oil may be beneficial for the treatment of the colon disorders like colon cancer.
7. Prevent Cardiovascular Diseases:
ALA is known to be cardio-protective i.e they prevent various cardiovascular diseases and promote the functioning of a healthy cardiovascular system. Regular consumption of flaxseed oil reduces the probability of heart attacks. It lowers blood pressure, maintains the level of total cholesterol, promotes blood vessels health and regulates heart beat.
8. Weight Loss:
Like all other nuts and seeds, flaxseed is also rich in healthy and dietary fats, with 3g in 1tsp. So it helps in curbing your appetite by keeping you full throughout the day. It helps to build the muscle mass, which burns more calories that fat. The high fibre content aids healthy digestion and thus supplements weight loss.
9. Prevent Dry Eyes Syndrome:
Some of us suffer from dry eye syndrome in which the outer layers of our eyes lack the required lubrication. This makes the eye sting and burn. A person suffering from dry eyes must take flaxseed oil to reduce the symptoms of dry eye syndrome.
10. Healthy Hair:
Flaxseed oil is rich in fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, which give you healthy hair. Regular application of flaxseed oil promotes hair growth and prevents additional hair fall. It eliminates dandruff and flakiness on the scalp. Flaxseed oil also maintains the moisture content in the hair, keeping your hair lustrous and healthy.
Indulge in a hot oil massage or add 2 teaspoons of oil in your regular conditioner.
Safe daily dosage should be restricted to 1 to 2 teaspoons of flaxseed oil.
One should consult a doctor (especially children) before consuming the oil regularly.