Flaxseed oil is natural oil derived from seeds of the flax plant. It is grown in Western Canada and in the Northwest of the United States. Flaxseed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that make it beneficial for our health.
Flaxseed oil and omega-3 fatty acids
As the University of Maryland Medical Center says, omega-3 essential fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats necessary for the overall health of our body. The body is not able to produce them, thus, we should receive them from our nutrition. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish (salmon, halibut, tuna), plants and walnuts. Some researches show that they lessen the risk of heart disease, also help reduce blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels, ease the symptoms of arthritis and better bone and joints strength.
Usually omega-3 supplements are available in the form of fish oil. However, people allergic to fish and strict vegetarians are advised to take flaxseed oil for omega-3 fats. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that it is not quite clear if flaxseed oil and omega-3 fatty acids in it can be as beneficial as fish oil. The main reason is if the human body can effectively convert flaxseed oil’s omega-3 fats into DHA and EPA, already available in fish oils.
Flaxseed oil nutrition data
According to Wikipedia, flaxseed oil has 50 percent more of omega-3s than fish oil supplements. Moreover, it contains omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. Flaxseed oil contains omega-3 in the form of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), which should be converted by the body into EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). The National Institute of Health suggests further researches be carried out to study the benefits of flaxseed oil and omega-3s in it.
|Amounts per 1 cup (218 g)||% DV|
|Calories (all from fat)||1927||96%|
|Total Fat||218 g||335%|
|Saturated Fat||20.5 g||102%|
|Monounsaturated Fat||44 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||144 g|
|Total Omega-3 Fatty Acids||116202 mg|
|Total Omega-6 Fatty Acids||26689 mg|
|Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)||38.1 mg||191 %|
SEE ALSO: Flaxseed Oil vs Fish Oil
Flaxseed oil is sold in capsules or a liquid form. Flaxseed oil shouldn’t be used for high temperature cooking, but can be taken together with salad dressings, smoothies and yogurts.
The recommended dosage for flaxseed oil makes up 1 – 2 tbsp. or capsules daily. Flaxseed oil should be extracted from fresh seeds, bottled in dark sealed containers and kept in refrigerators as it is destroyed by light, heat and oxygen.
It should be noted that flax seeds have their own benefits if compared to flaxseed oil’s nutrition data and thus shouldn’t be confused with flaxseed oil. Flax seeds contain much less fat than flaxseed oil. 1 tbsp. serving of flaxseed oil contains 120 calories while ground flaxseed contains just 37 calories per 1 tbsp. serving. Moreover, flax seeds have lignans and fiber that make flax seeds acquire anti-oxidant effect and can act as a phytoestogen.
Talk to your doctor before consuming flaxseed oil as it can be harmful in some conditions and has contraindications.