Health Benefits of Flax Seeds and Flax Oils

 beautiful blue flax flowersFlax is a plant that has been cultivated and used in the Mediterranean and Egypt and Africa for 7 thousand years. The seeds are eaten or ground for their vegetable oil and the stalks used for making linen and other fabrics.

Flax oil is an omega 3 oil and the main health effect is to act in the body as an anti-inflammatory oil.

Since all major diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis are inflammatory disorders it is clear that a natural food oil like flax may help damp down the inflammation, reduce tissue damage and lessen the pain.
 
There is evidence that including flax seeds in the diet helps those with breast and prostate cancers.
 
In fact there are hundreds of studies showing that omega 3 fatty acids lower cholesterol and triglycerides.
 
The principle to remember is that Flax seeds have anti-inflammatory ingredients and may help in any disease like gout or psoriasis and many others where inflammation is a major feature.
 

brown flax seedsFlax Seeds or Flax Oil – Which is Best?

Straight answer – the seeds, now let's look at both and see why thst is.

The seeds have

1.   the omega 3 oils in them

2.   lignans – which have a weak oestrogenic effect and act as anti-oxidants too

3.   Mucilage or gum to calm and lubricate the gut

Lignans are found in small amounts in several nuts, grains and fruit but only flax seeds have a rich supply.

According to Dr. Sears of AskDRSears website "Lignins seem to flush excess estrogen out of the body, thereby reducing the incidence of estrogen-linked cancers, such as breast cancer. Besides anti-tumor properties, lignins also seem to have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties."

Now you can see why flax is regarded as a superfood.

How to Enjoy Flax Oil and Seeds

1.   When you get an attack of the munchies just snack on flax seed

2.   Grind them fresh and sprinkle on muesli or puddings

3.   Include in baking for bread, pizza dough, biscuits etc

4.   Smothies – always use some ground seeds or flax oil

5.   As a salad dressing – pour on direct or blend with lemon

6.   Pour onto cooked rice or drizzle onto cooked veggies

Never, never, never use flax oil to saute or fry – it is a valuable and sensitive oil which can be damaged by too much heat and direct heat in a wok or frying pan is way too much.

But it is OK in baked goods – the temperature inside the bread, for example does not rise enough to damage the flax.

Flax oil is the major source for omega 3 oils so you may wonder why fish oil is advertised as an omega 3 oil. Quite simply fish get the oil in their bodies either by eating green plants in the water which have small amounts of omega 3 or by eating other fish.

Buying your omega 3 oil as flax cuts out major sources of pollution in the sea.

So you can get omega 3 oils from either…

  •        Flax oil supplements – in capsules
  •        A bottle of flax oil to keep in the fridge       
  •        Flax seeds to be ground when needed
  •        Flax powder – already ground and stored in specail packaging

By the way you can expect your hair and skin to look better when the flax has been assimilated by your body. Your skin will probably get smoother. And yes, you can have too much of a good thing, so if you take too much then your skin will get a little dry – so you know when to cut back.

 

Flax Seeds, Powder, Oils and Capsules

To make your job a little easier when flax shopping I have picked out some high quality products. You may find these locally but I found these at Amazon…

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If you are an experienced user of flax in any form what benefits have you noticed, how has it helped?

 

Alex

AuthorAlex Newell ND

I love learning and being healthy so as soon as I came across Yoga, read and practised to get the health benefits. When I was approaching middle age my health declined under the onslaught o stress and possibly poor diet, I had a perfect opportunity to learn more and I qualified in both Osteopathy and Naturopathy. Our health really is in our own hands and not in the hands of "The Doctor" or our Genes :-)

4 thoughts on “Health Benefits of Flax Seeds and Flax Oils

  1. I struggle with flaxseed, and most grains/seeds, so I use macadamia oil in my salads and cooking, so that I get the Omega 3 etc.

    • Sounds like there may be an allergy to something in the seed. Are you OK with flax oil Helene?

      Macadamia is generally a balanced omega 3 and omega 6 oil.

      It’s not an oil I come across much, I’ll have to do a comparison with walnut oil and a few others.

      Thanks for your comment

      🙂

      Alex

  2. I have ground flaxseed on my smoothie every morning. It has definitely helped to keep me regular

    • O yum – I know who to ask for smoothie recipes then!

      🙂

      Thanks for dropping in Janet!

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