Flaxseed oil is one of the most underrated foods that we should take a closer look at. Especially in light of recent scientific research. But first, a little background.
What’s the most valuable thing about linseed oil?
Most likely, you know about the so-called essential fatty acids. These are the same substances known collectively as Omega-3 and Omega-6.
They are called irreplaceable because they are vital for every cell of our body, but the body itself does not know how to synthesize them from other, simpler components. A person can get them only with food.
The benefits of flaxseed oil are directly related to Omega-3s.
Of the whole Omega-3 group, the most important are alpha-linolenic, which is found mainly in vegetable oils, and docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids, which are found only in animal fats, most of all in fish.
Flaxseed oil is the absolute record holder for the content of alpha-linolenic acid. Compared to other vegetable oils, it is in flax that it contains the most – about 55%.
And here lies the most interesting effect of flaxseed oil. Our body is able to convert one acid into another, namely, alpha-linolenic acid into docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, which, as we just mentioned, are found in pure form in animal fats.
Thus, the unique composition of flaxseed oil allows us to completely saturate our body with Omega-3 without using animal fats. That is why it can replace fish oil.
Only perilla oil is superior to flaxseed oil in terms of alpha-linolenic acid content, and only by a few percent. Have you heard of perilla oil? Most probably not. And is it worth looking for him now ?! After all, linseed is practically not inferior to him and at the same time is inexpensive and affordable.
What can one tablespoon of flaxseed oil do a day?
One tablespoon is about 15 ml of oil.
Half, that is 7.5 ml, is alpha-linolenic acid.
It is known that the human body is capable of converting, according to various estimates, from 4 to 8 percent of alpha-linolenic acid ingested with food into other essential fatty acids.
And this amount is really enough, for example, 0.15 ml of the substance gives 150 mg of docosahexaenoic acid. As a result, we get 450 mg of essential Omega-3 fatty acids from one spoon of flaxseed oil.
We turn to the reference books and see that the minimum daily intake of Omega-3 for an adult is from 250 to 500 mg.
Let’s repeat – only one tablespoon of flaxseed oil a day is capable of this!
The benefits of flaxseed oil
We associate the benefits of flaxseed oil precisely with the record content of essential fatty acids Omega-3.
And here is what these “omegas” affect in our body:
First, the cardiovascular system will say “thank you”:
- decreased blood density ;
- improved blood circulation;
- preventing the formation of blood clots ;
- prevention of early development of atherosclerosis ;
- antiarrhythmic action.
Thus, we become more vigorous and resilient.
Secondly, we will provide an invaluable service to the brain:
- promoting the formation of new connections between brain cells;
- improved signal transmission;
- improved memory;
- preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Yes, we are really getting smarter!
The immunomodulatory properties of Omega-3 have been proven many times over.
The positive effects of consuming essential fatty acids are noticeable even with depression. These components of linseed oil help to improve the nutrition of organ tissues, reduce the intensity of inflammatory processes.
How to choose and store flaxseed oil?
Like any other product, flaxseed oil is different. But here you need to understand how different it is. The most important difference is how the oil is obtained.
Only unrefined cold-pressed linseed oil is suitable for consumption.
And here’s what’s important:
- It cannot be stored for a long time – a maximum of a week or two at room temperature and no more than a month in the refrigerator.
- You cannot fry on it – the high temperature nullifies the beneficial properties of flaxseed oil and even releases carcinogenic compounds.
- Since it will not be possible to store linseed oil in an unsealed container for a long time, it hardly makes sense to buy it in a liter bottle – except that there are plans to introduce all relatives and neighbors to the consumption of this healing product. The optimal volume for yourself and your household is 250 ml.
- The most “correct” bottle for linseed oil is dark glass. The ingredients in unrefined oil are not very friendly with sunlight. For the same reason, it is inappropriate to take the last bottle from the showcase, where it stood for an unknown amount of time in the light.
The main thing in linseed oil is freshness. A sign of freshness is a pleasant aroma and almost complete absence of pronounced taste.
The evidence that flaxseed oil should be bitter is flawed. It can be sweetish, slightly tart, but should not be bitter. If the oil is rancid, then it is already hopelessly deteriorated.
Finally, let’s clarify what’s wrong with refined linseed oil. Everything is simple here. Refined and extracted are technical oils.
Unlike sunflower, which is mostly just refined in grocery stores, they have completely different properties and consumer characteristics.
For example, drying oil, which is used in the paint and varnish industry, is nothing more than technical linseed oil. Sounds already tasteless, right? Therefore, you should buy flaxseed oil at pharmacies and trustworthy stores, and certainly not on the market.
How to use flaxseed oil?
The expression “you can’t spoil porridge with butter” is largely applicable to flaxseed. It is actually universal and goes well with anything – porridge, meat, fish, vegetables, even, as strange as it sounds, with fruits.
We remind you of the only restriction – you cannot fry in linseed oil and you cannot fill ready-made hot dishes with it. This will be at least not useful, and most likely even harmful.
In its pure form, flaxseed oil can also be consumed – one tablespoon per day is enough, and this technique can be combined without restrictions with many methods of nutrition in order to get rid of excess weight.
The key components of flaxseed oil effectively contribute to the normalization of metabolism, which is important not only for weight loss but also for health in general.
Can linseed oil be harmful?
Like any other product, if used incorrectly and do not know about contraindications.
Flaxseed oil has such contraindications:
- gastrointestinal diseases – ulcers, gastritis, colitis ;
- gallstone disease in the exacerbation phase;
- pancreatitis ;
- cholecystitis ;
- oncology ;
- individual intolerance.
Flaxseed oil should be used with caution during pregnancy. In general, you should refrain from it on the eve of a surgical operation – the components of the oil thin the blood, which is always good, but not when you need to heal wounds.
In any case, in the presence of any chronic diseases, before actively introducing flaxseed oil into your diet, you should definitely consult a doctor.