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Flaxseed oil – Benefits, Side Effects

What is Flaxseed Oil ?

Flaxseed oil benefits the whole body and is regarded as the next best thing to multi-vitamin supplements. It is rich in minerals, vitamins, protein, dietary fiber and beneficial omega 3 and 9 fatty acids that it is considered helpful for almost all body systems. This oil, which is usually used as a cooking ingredient for cereals, salads and vegetables, as well as for certain healthy beverages, is also known to help maintain a healthy heart. In addition, it is a popular remedy for a number of health issues affecting women.

Flaxseed oil is derived from the flax seed or flax plant which is also referred to as linseed. It was primarily grown for decorative purposes, but because of the many flaxseed oil benefits, it has become one of the most sought-after healing oils.

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History of Flaxseed Oil

The use of flaxseed oil had its roots in Ancient Egypt wherein the oil was extracted from the flax plant to treat an array of illnesses. The fibers from the plant, on the other hand, were used as weaving material for fishing nets and clothing. The flax plant entered the US market in the early part of 1800’s when farmers grew two kinds of flax plant for linens and oil. Majority of flaxseed production took place in North Dakota. The fiber found in flaxseed is also used as a laxative, while the flaxseed oil is mainly advantageous for the heart.

Benefits of Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed oil can be used to aid in the treatment of a variety of conditions, such as asthma, eczema, high blood pressure, diabetes, bruises and sprains, rheumatoid arthritis and even cancers like breast and colon cancer.  It is also known to boost the immune system, lower the cholesterol level and prevent obesity.

Women, specifically, can enjoy countless benefits from using flaxseed oil because:

  • It aids in the proper regulation of the menstrual cycle as well as alleviates menopause-related symptoms.
  • Flaxseed oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids which lower a woman’s risk to breast cancer and limit the amount of prostaglandins produced and released by the body, thereby preventing heavy menstrual flow.
  • It helps in assuaging pre-menopausal and menopausal symptoms due to the presence of phytoestrogens which balances the amount of estrogen and progesterone in a woman’s body.
  • It has also been found to help address female infertility issues due to the naturally-occurring estrogen, lignan, found in the oil. Lignan also prevents tumors from metastasizing into cancers.
  • Women suffering from osteoporosis will also benefit from flaxseed oil since the omega-3 helps in the optimum absorption of calcium, thus lowering the chances of calcium deficiency.

Flaxseed oil for weight loss

One of the significant benefits of flaxseed oil is weight loss. The oil is a powerful antioxidant that can increase your metabolic activity. It provides you with dietary fiber which can make you feel fuller.  The Omega 3 fatty acids reduce your cravings for processed food.

Flaxseed Oil side effects

Aside from learning about the flaxseed oil benefits, it is also advantageous to understand its side effects. This healing oil carries some side effects even if it is considered as a mild dietary supplement. Unwanted effects often arise when the oil is consumed excessively, though certain medical conditions do not allow the use of the oil to avoid serious side effects, like:

  • Premature labor
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscular degeneration
  • Increased blood sugar levels
  • Allergic reactions

Nutritional Information of Flaxseed Oil

Below is the nutritional information of 1 tablespoon of flaxseed oil.

  • Calories 120
  • Monounsaturated fat 2.7g
  • Polyunsaturated fat 8.9g
  • Saturated fat 127g
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