The flaxseed oil benefits have been known since antiquity. The ancient Greeks and Romans are among those who first documented the medical uses of flax. Even the ancient East Indian scriptures reveal that to reach the highest point of health and joy, one must eat flax daily. Indeed, flax seeds are by far one of the most nutritionally valuable of all grains.
Among the many uses of flax as a plant is the consumption of its oil. By weight, flax seeds are at least 35 percent oil. Rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, flax oil especially contains high amounts of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. ALA is vital for physical and mental health but lacking in most of the food that people regularly eat.
The essential fatty acids provide the body with the resources to build
proteins for nearly every tissue in the body and brain. This can
contribute to increased energy, stamina and overall vitality.
Traditionally, flaxseed oil has a strong reputation for dealing with degenerative and inflammatory diseases. Recently, scientific evidence has backed up thousands of years of continual use for cardiovascular disease, tumor growth, diabetes, liver disease, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and psoriasis.
To be more specific, flax oil can help to lower high blood pressure, high serum triglycerides and blood cholesterol. It basically makes blood platelets less sticky, so they can be carried throughout the bloodstream without building up along the walls of the arteries.
It is especially useful for treating omega-3 deficiency, which some would argue is what caused many of these conditions. This is because the standard American diet is heavy on inflammation-promoting omega-6s and low on omega-3s. Without the correct ratio of omega-3s to 6s, it can easily lead to an imbalance, resulting in these inflammatory and degenerative diseases.
Flax oil is also useful for treating mental disorders, such as depression and schizophrenia. For the elderly, it can help improve visual function and cognitive performance. For many people of all ages, it can encourage feelings of calmness.
Flax oil also has the benefit of promoting the health of the skin, hair and nails, boosting immune function and speeding recovery time after illness. It can also shorten the time it takes for muscles to recover after strenuous exercise and fatigue.
All of these wonderful benefits of flax make it sound like a wonder
grain. As miraculous as it is, flax oil needs other important vitamins,
minerals and antioxidants to be properly assimilated by the body.
Vitamins B3, B6 and C, as well as the minerals zinc and magnesium, are
vital components of a balanced nutrition plan with flax oil.
One more crucial thing to note is the relative instability of flax oil. Most fresh-pressed flax oil needs to stay refrigerated, for it tends to go rancid quickly if exposed to air, light and heat. Good flax oil should be dark-gold in color with a pleasant aroma and a light, nutty taste. Rancid flax oil smells and tastes awful.