What is flaxseed oil?
Linseed, also known as flax, is a plant belonging to the family of the Linnaceae, known scientifically with the name of Linum usitatissimum . An oil rich in healthy fatty acids is extracted from its seeds. Specifically, it contains about 55% oil in the form of omega-3. It becomes, therefore, one of the best vegetable sources of healthy fatty acids.
As it is obtained from the seeds of this wonderful plant, it is usual that we can also find it in the market under the forms of linseed oil, or simply as flax seed oil. In any case, it is advisable to always choose flax oil that has been obtained by the process of extraction by cold pressure.
Why? Fundamentally because cold extraction of any type of oil (not only in the case of linseed oil, but also in the case of olive oil), ensures and guarantees that the oil retains all its nutritional content, as well as all its properties and benefits.
The incredible benefits of flaxseed oil
The truth is that the benefits and properties offered by regular consumption of flaxseed oil are very varied. Here we discover the most interesting (and known):
- Reduces cholesterol and triglycerides: Flaxseed oil helps lower high cholesterol , being rich in Omega 3 and fiber. This helps, for example, to lower the levels of both LDL (bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol. It is estimated that flax seeds contain 40 percent oil, of which 55 percent is rich in omega-3. With regard to these omega 3 fats, it has a significant proportion (between 45 and 60%) of alpha-linolenic acid , which as we can see in the not too distant future, helps lower LDL cholesterol levels by 18% and high cholesterol levels by 9%.
- Improves circulation and prevents hypertension: Its anti-cholesterol qualities also help positively in improving blood circulation, preventing the formation of clots in the arteries. It has been shown that flaxseed oil also helps when it comes to lowering high blood pressure.
- Useful against constipation: We are faced with an oil rich in dietary fiber. In addition, in its composition we distinguish a series of mucilaginous substances with laxative capacity and effect, which means that when they reach the stomach form a kind of viscous gel capable of increasing the volume of stool. In addition, it promotes peristalsis, which translates into relief for constipation.
- Reduce blood sugar: It also has a hypoglycaemic effect, which means that it helps reduce glucose (sugar) levels in the blood. This quality we owe precisely to its content in mucilages, capable of diminishing the intestinal absorption of the carbohydrates that we obtain through food.
- Pain treatment: Recent scientific studies have proven that omega-3 can help positively to treat and relieve pain in the case of rheumatic pain, bumps and sprains, thanks to its anti-inflammatory qualities.
It can be taken through specially prepared supplements or capsules, and although its use is not recommended for frying, it can be eaten with salads.
Nutritional value of flaxseed oil
In what has to do with the different nutritional values found in flaxseed oil, we observe:
- 72% of polyunsaturated fatty acids: between 45% and 65% of omega 3 and between 13 to 20% omega 6.
- 18% monounsaturated fatty acids.
- 9% saturated acids.
How to take flaxseed oil and how much a day?
If you want to consume linseed oil regularly and every day, It is advised to take half a tablespoon of flaxseed oil daily . It is the best way to ensure the recommended daily dose of omega-3 a day, which is found in the 1.6 grams for men and 1.1 grams for women.
Contraindications of linseed oil or flax
Although we could say that flax oil is a safe oil, whose consumption in the recommended doses does not imply or exert any kind of secondary effect on health, it is not advisable to consume it in the following circumstances:
- In case of obstruction of the intestine, pylorus or esophagus.
- In case of thyroid problems. May favor the appearance of goiter.
- In case of following a medical treatment based on insulin.