Flax seed oil has been widely promoted as a health food that provides a whole host of minerals and vitamins. They are especially rich in Manganese, dietary fiber, folate, copper, phosphorous and the B vitamin complex.
But the most significant health benefit derived from flax seeds comes from the oil it produces. Flaxseed oil benefits are comparable to those found in fish oil – notably omega 3 fatty acids.
Flax seed Oil and Omega 3
Flax seeds contain high levels of alpha linolenic acid (ALA) which is a form of omega 3 acid and derives the same benefits as the omega 3 found in oily fish known as eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA. The oil derived from flax seeds contains much more health promoting ALA than flax seed, with just one tablespoon providing nearly the entire recommended daily dose of omega 3 fatty acids.
Flax oil does not contain as much nutrients found in whole or ground flax seeds, such as fiber and manganese, but the importance of omega 3 in your diet outweighs this consideration by some distance.
Flaxseed Oil and Heart Disease
For all the flax seed oil benefits none are more important than how it can help prevent heart disease. It is no secret that heart disease is the number 1 killer in the western world and our diet of high fat and processed foods might explain this problem.
Countries like Japan and Korea, who consume a variety of fish almost daily, have much lower rates of heart disease. Numerous studies have shown that omega 3 helps reduce blood clots, thus reducing the risk of heart attacks.
Flax Seed and Lower Blood Pressure
Individuals who consume omega 3 rich foods on a regular basis have lower blood pressure than those who consume less than them.
A study conducted by the Shiga University of Medical Science in Japan, showed that omega 3 was even more beneficial to people who had not yet developed high blood pressure. The study also concluded that omega 3 oils found in nutrient rich nuts such as flax seed provided as much benefit as the omega 3 fatty acids found in cold water fish.
More Flax seed Oil Benefits
Flax seed nutrition and especially flax seed oil contain numerous health benefits. You just need to research the subject on the internet to see how this natural food source can improve our health and wellbeing.
You Don’t Always Need To Eat Fish
Many people just can’t eat fish through either medical reasons or purely because of the taste and texture. Fortunately you can still benefit from healthy the omega 3 fatty acids found in fish without ever taking a bite or consuming a fish oil supplement.
A study by the Journal of Nutrition discovered that flax seed oil capsules taken over a 12 week period by African-American men, increased their levels of eicosapentaenoic acid by as much as 60%. Flax seed oil benefits are numerous and a great alternative to eating fish. It can be consumed as a supplement or bought as oil and poured over salads, vegetables or added to smoothies.
Cooking and Storing Tips
Never cook with flaxseed oil. Heating it will turn it into a bad, unhealthy oil. Add it to fresh or previously cooked foods. Flax seed oil will perish quite quickly and so should be stored in the refrigerator. It has a sweet, nutty flavor and a quick smell will soon tell you if it has gone rancid.