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Best oil for Omega 3 fatty acids - Flax Seed Oil...

Posted Dec 12 2008 12:33pm

Benefits of Flax seed Oil

Flax seed oil is an excellent resource for Omega 3 fat. Read on to know more about the benefits of the oil...

Benefits of Flax seed Oil

People across the world are more health conscious now than ever before. It may sound strange but fat is a very important part of the diet. As more and more people realize this fact, there has been a growing interest in the flax seed oil, which is rich in the Omega 3 type of fat and has been endorsed by the American Heart Association as 'good for the heart'. Along with Omega 3 fat, flax seeds are also a good resource for manganese and dietary fiber.

The scientific name for flax seeds is Linum Usitatissimum meaning 'most useful'. This is an apt term to describe the versatility and the nutritional value of this seed. Flax seeds are a little larger than sesame seeds and are covered with a hard shell that is smooth and shiny. Their color varies from a deep color of amber to reddish brown depending on the variety of the flax seeds.

Flax seeds have been widely used since the Stone Age. Ancient Greeks have used it in their kitchens and all through, the health benefits of flax seed have been widely known and acknowledged.

Benefits of Flax seed Oil

Some of the benefits of flax seed and flax seed oil are:

  • Flax seed oil helps in increasing the stamina by increasing the energy that is produced in the body.
  • It helps accelerate the healing of sprains and bruises.
  • It helps stimulate brown fat cells thereby increasing the metabolic rate making it easier to burn fat.
  • It helps with the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
  • Schizophrenics have shown an improvement in their behavior.
  • It has been scientifically proven that flax seed oil can be used to treat some forms of depression.
  • Improves the absorption of calcium, thus helps strengthen bones, hair and nails.
  • It can help improve eyesight and the perception of color.
  • Flax seed oil is known to reduce the risk of cancers like breast, prostrate and also skin cancer.
  • The oil also helps fight inflammation associated with lupus and gout.
  • Ground flax seeds can help in the passage of the stool thus relieving the patient from constipation and hemorrhoids.
  • A diet rich in flax seeds is also known to help people suffering from the dry eye syndrome.
  • Flax seeds also promote ovulation in women and extend the second half of the progesterone dominant cycle. This is highly beneficial for women who are trying to get pregnant.
  • It is known to relieve cases of premenstrual and postmenopausal syndrome in some women.
  • Flax seeds also helps in lowering the blood pressure in patients suffering from hypertension.
  • It helps lower the level of cholesterol in blood.
  • Flax seed oil can also be applied externally on the skin to soften it.

The recommended daily dose of flax seed oil is 1000 mg. It is always advisable to include flax seed in the daily diet like breads, yogurt, juices and salads. It can even be sprinkled on cooked vegetables to give it a nuttier flavor. As a matter of fact, research has confirmed that up to 30 grams of flax seed can be consumed on a daily basis with no side effect. Ensure that grounded seeds are used as whole flax seeds simply pass through the body. Also, there is no nutritional difference between brown and yellow flax seeds. The human body requires some time to absorb the flax seed. It may take anywhere between a few days to six weeks before you will be able to observe the benefits of the flax seed oil.
If including flax seed in your diet is not a feasible option, then you can even buy the flax seed oil capsules or flax seed oil. However, it is important to buy flax seed oil of good quality. Flax seed oil capsules or oil stored in brown bottles can be bought from stores. Flax seed oil is prone to rancidity and hence should be stored in a cool dark place or in the refrigerator. Discard the oil if it has developed an odor. Do make a note that some varieties of flax seed oil are also sold for painting, planting and other purpose and should not be consumed.

Some people develop gastrointestinal symptoms like flatulence and bloating when flax seed is made a regular part of the daily diet. Hence, it is suggested that small quantities, like one teaspoon is used initially and the quantity can be increased gradually as the body adjusts to the flax seeds.

However, if you unsure or require further information about the flax seed oil, do consult your doctor. Also, pregnant women must consult their doctors about the content of flax seed that they can take in their diet as animal studies have shown that a high intake of flax seeds may be harmful to the baby. It is always better to be safe than sorry later.

By Anju Shandilya
Published: 12/31/2007

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