Flax Oil: An Easy Way to Get Essential Fatty Acids

Published April 19, 2023

Flax oil is an essential part of a healthy diet. Flax oil contains omega-3 fatty acids and has many health benefits. The flaxseed (also known as the linseed) is a tiny seed that is produced by the flax plant. Flaxseed oil is made by pressing the seeds of the flax plant and extracting the oil from them. The oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and has many health benefits.

Why Your Body Needs Fats

Fats are one of the three main macronutrients, along with proteins and carbohydrates. Fats are essential to human health and well-being, but what are they made up of and how does the body use fats for fuel? And how can you ensure your diet is made of an optimal amount of healthy fats?

There are three types of dietary fat: saturated fatty acids (SFA), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). SFAs are found primarily in animal products such as meat and dairy; MUFA’s come mostly from plant sources like olive oil; while PUFAs include omega-3s (found in seafood) or omega-6s.

Good vs Bad Fat

Good fats come from whole food sources and are minimally processed. They can be used by the body to maintain healthy cell membranes, which help regulate different functions of your body. Unsaturated fats have a lower melting point than saturated fats, meaning they’re less likely to oxidize when exposed to air or heat, so they’re more stable in cooking.

Good sources of good fat are fish, nuts and seeds, avocados, and olive oil.

Health Benefits of Flax Oil

Flax oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to support brain health and reduce the risk of heart disease. The compounds in flaxseed oil may also help with weight loss when combined with exercise and healthy eating.

Flaxseed oil is rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential fatty acid that helps keep your body’s systems running smoothly. It’s thought to play a role in growth and development, and maintaining healthy skin and hair. ALA supports healthy cholesterol levels, helps decrease the buildup of fat in the arteries and regulates a healthy blood pressure level. ALA also supports healthy immune function due to the fact that immune cells have omega-3 fats in their cell membranes. Additionally, ALA plays a large role in hormones, and supplementing with it can help to support healthy hormone levels in both men and women. ALA also supports male fertility and its anti-inflammatory properties make it a helpful adjunct treatment for arthritis.

Research shows that just one tablespoon of flax oil per day will provide you with your daily intake of ALA.

How to Take Flax Oil

When shopping for flax oil, look for cold-pressed, because heat processing can affect the beneficial properties of the oil. For this reason, avoid cooking with flax oil as heating the oil can create dangerous trans fats, which can cause inflammation and are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

You can find flax oil in both liquid and capsule forms:

  • Liquid flax oil: Take 1-2 tablespoons daily with a meal or snack. You can mix it with juice, smoothies, yogurt or other cold foods. Store your flaxseed oil in an airtight container, away from heat and light. Keep it refrigerated when not using, and take out only what you need.

  • Flax oil capsules: Take 3-9 capsules daily or a dose recommended by your practitioner. One that is popular is Natural Factors Flax Seed Oil 1000mg softgels. They’re made with certified organic, cold-pressed flax seed oil, they have a high lignan content and they aren’t refined, deodorized or bleached. Simply take 1-3 softgels per day.

It is also worth pointing out that for best absorption, fatty acids like flax oil should be taken with food. Those who are unable to absorb fats should take an enzyme complex to facilitate the intake of EFAs. Caution should be used when taking EFAs while using blood-thinning medication. It is highly recommended that you take professional consultation from a qualified naturopathy doctor before taking any supplements.

Overall, flax oil is a great addition to your diet. It can help with weight loss, improve heart health and boost brain function. If you are looking for an alternative to other oils or a source of omega-3s, then consider adding flaxseed oil to your daily routine.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your practitioner prior to taking herbs or nutritional supplements.