Flax or linseed is a plant from whose seed both flour and oil are extracted. It is approximately 40% oil, and most of it is Omega 3, which are essential fatty acids that the body cannot manufacture, and that is why it needs to acquire them from food. Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that offer many benefits and properties for the body.
Flaxseed oil can be used both topically and ingested and has many benefits on the skin and body, depending on how it is used. You can buy it from herbalists. In this FastlyHealarticle, we talk about flaxseed oil: properties and benefits.
Flaxseed oil: nutritional properties
Flax or linseed oil has fatty acids in its composition, most of which are polyunsaturated, approximately 72%. Of these, more than half are Omega 3 fatty acids, and the rest are Omega 6, all of the essential fatty acids that the body needs and very beneficial for health. Flaxseed contains five times more α-linoleic fatty acid, an Omega 3, than other plant foods. The rest of the fatty acids are monounsaturated, 18%, and saturated in a small proportion, close to 9%.
In addition, flax provides:
- Lignans which have antioxidant properties
Properties and benefits of flaxseed oil
Due to its high content of Omega 3, as we have seen, flaxseed oil is perfect for health since it provides the body with essential fatty acids that it cannot produce on its own. However, it is not the only benefit of this vegetable oil; it has numerous therapeutic and skin properties and can be used nutritionally and in cosmetics. Let’s see all the help and properties of flaxseed oil :
Flaxseed oil is high in fiber, which helps with bowel activity. It also contains mucilaginous substances. Mucilages are viscous vegetable substances typical of some plants that have a gel texture and absorb a lot of water. In the stomach, it makes the stool larger, and intestinal activity is promoted. In addition, the large amounts of water make them softer and easier to expel. Therefore it is a good remedy for constipation and favors intestinal activity. For this, you can take a teaspoon of flaxseed oil a day.
Flaxseed oil is suitable for reducing cholesterol and can lower LDL, the so-called bad cholesterol, by 18% and total cholesterol levels by 9%.
It has phytoestrogens called lignans in large proportions, which helps to promote hormonal balance. It also has anti-cancer properties. It inhibits bone loss and competes with ovarian estrogens at breast receptors. The fiber it has helps trap and eliminate estrogens that are not useful by preventing them from accumulating in the breast. Being rich in Omega 3, it combats the excess of type 2 prostaglandins, highly inflammatory substances that get in the breast ducts and are considered factors that favor the formation of cancerous tissue, especially in the breasts.
Good for cardiovascular diseases
It makes the blood more fluid which prevents clots from forming and protects against heart attacks. In addition, consuming it can prevent heart diseases such as high blood pressure.
Source of Omega 3
Flaxseed oil has a high proportion of Omega 3 about Omega 6. This balance helps the metabolism of prostaglandins which, as we have seen before, are essential molecules for regulating inflammation. But they also have other functions in blood pressure, heart function, blood clotting or the production of steroids, and the synthesis of hormones.
Therefore, the balance between Omega 3 and Omega 6 can be very beneficial in treating inflammations, arthritis, allergies, high blood pressure, and numerous conditions.
Promotes fat loss
The fatty acids in flaxseed oil help eliminate fat. In addition, the fiber it contains helps regulate digestion, which can help maintain weight.
For the digestive system
As we have seen, flaxseed oil is perfect for the digestive tract and prevents constipation. But, in addition, it can also be of help in other digestive processes such as:
- The stomach ulcers
- Stomach inflammations
This is thanks to the mucilages that, in addition to maintaining hydration, fight acidity and reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. In addition, mucilages can reduce the absorption of sugars by the intestine by swelling and forming a viscous gel. But flaxseed oil has therapeutic uses for the body; it also has many benefits on the skin.
Helps smooth wrinkles
The proteins it contains help restore the skin and keep it hydrated in a way that disguises expression marks. Others firm and repair cells, giving the skin more elasticity. It also acts as a preventive against premature aging.
Since it helps with inflammation, flaxseed oil is a good anti-inflammatory and can help with psoriasis.
Hydrates dry skin
It can hydrate the skin; it is even capable of treating eczema. Essential oils provide moisture to the skin giving it greater hydration. It also nourishes hair and nails. Hydration makes the skin soft and repairs it.
How to use flaxseed oil
You can take up to three tablespoons of flaxseed oil a day, but you should always follow the directions on the bottle. It is not advisable to abuse this oil since, although it is very beneficial, it could cause:
- Excess fat on the skin
- Very fatty stools (steatorrhea)
For constipation, it is advisable to take a tablespoon of flaxseed oil a day.
You can also mix flaxseed oil with tea, water, or juice. Or you can add a few drops to your meals once they are done. It can be found in oil or capsules.
Flaxseed oil topically
In the case of the topical route, it is advisable to put a small amount on the tips of our fingers or hands and apply it on the face giving a massage. In this way, we will hydrate and nourish our skin giving it elasticity. You should not go over oil, and if you see that your skin begins to have too much fat, it is better to stop using it for a while.
Flaxseed oil: adverse effects and precautions
Although it has many beneficial properties, flaxseed oil also has adverse effects, so you should be careful when using it:
- People with dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) or thyroid should not take flaxseed oil.
- Also, if you have an allergy to any plant and are taking medication, it is advisable to consult your doctor.
- The capsules are well preserved since they protect them from exposure to light, but if you have linseed oil in a bottle, you should keep it in a place where it does not get direct sunlight and protect it from air oxidation. Otherwise, it might not be helpful or even toxic.
- Consult with your doctor before taking it if you are being treated with some drugs since flaxseed oil could interact with them.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.