Flaxseed oil (aka linseed oil) is derived from pressed seeds of the flax plant, which resemble sesame seeds. Velvety-smooth with a mellow, nutty taste, this precious oil is brimming with the omega-3 ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and protective antioxidant compounds called lignans.
Omega-3 fatty acids like ALA support cardiovascular function, digestion and skin health. On average, flaxseed oil contains 7 grams of ALA and 130 calories per tablespoon.
Interestingly, the body can convert ALA to EPA and DHA, the same omega-3's found in fish oil (approx. 20% can be converted to EPA, and .5% to DHA, according to a published study in Nutrition Reviews). Regardless of conversion rates, ALA is a phenomenal addition to a healthy diet in its own right.
Flaxseed oil can be taken quickly by the spoonful, mixed into juice or smoothies or used in salad dressings. It is not recommended for cooking.
Flax: A Brief History
Flax has a long history of use as both a food and fiber crop. Familiar with the textile linen? It's made from flax fibers. This breathable fabric has been found in the tombs of ancient Egyptian pharaohs, and is mentioned in the Bible and Homer's "The Odyssey".
Research suggests flax has also been a folk remedy since ancient times; the roman naturalist Pliny wrote about its therapeutic properties in the first century A.D.
How do you use flax oil? Share below!
University of Maryland Medical Center "Flaxseed"
University of Maryland Medical Center "Flaxseed Oil"
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