Flaxseed Oil Composition
Flaxseed oil contains several nutrients that are essential to a healthy life:
- Omega-3 fatty acid: More than half the fat in flax seeds are Omega-3, alpha-linolenic fatty acid (ALA). Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid which cannot be naturally produced by the body and must be obtained through our diets. Regular intake of Omega-3 has shown to protect against hypertension, inflammation, heart disease, immune disorders, arthritis, diabetes and constipation.
- Omega-6 fatty acid: Flaxseed oil also contains linoleic-acid, an essential fatty acid. Most omega-6 fatty acids in the diet come from vegetable oils. This fatty acid is essential to your health, especially when combined with Omega-3. A ratio of 4:1 (4 parts Omega-3 to 1 part Omega-6) is recommended for optimum health. Unfortunately, most western diets consist of a 1:15 ratio (1 part Omega-3 to 15 parts Omega-6)! Excessive amounts of Omega-6 linoleic-acid can contribute to inflammation.
- Omega-9 fatty acid: Also present in flaxseed oil is the monounsaturated fatty acid, Oleic acid. Omega-9 fatty acids have been shown to increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol and decrease LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and help eliminate plaque buildup in the arteries, for the prevention of heart attacks or strokes.
- Extra Fibre: Flax seeds contain both soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibres dissolve in water and helps delay the emptying of the stomach, keeping you feeling full. Soluble fibre also affects the absorption of foods, which can lower blood cholesterol levels. Insoluble fibres stay relatively whole while moving through the intestinal tract and helps speed up the movement of food and waste through the body. This type of fibre has a laxative effect and helps in preventing constipation.
Top Health Benefits
- Inflammation and Immune System: Omega-3 is known to help reduce inflammation, which can affect the immune system and be an underlying cause of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, lupus and some forms of cancer.
- Heart Diseases: Studies show a diet high in Omega-3 ALA reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- High Cholesterol: Studies have shown that a healthy intake of Omega-3 ALA can help reduce cholesterol levels and in preventing buildup in the arteries.
- High Blood Pressure: Studies have also confirmed the consumption of Omega-3 can lower blood pressure levels or help prevent them from rising.
- Brain Development: Evidence shows the Omega-3 is beneficial to cognitive and brain development as well as helping prevent memory loss and dementia. This is especially good for infants, young children and seniors.
- Diabetes: Studies show Omega-3 lowers blood glucose in healthy, young adults. It can also have a positive effect on triglyceride levels and type 2 diabetes.
|What is it?||Essential Fatty Acid|
|Essential for the body?||Yes|
|Naturally Produced by the body?||No|
|Best Sources||Plants & Fish|
|Type Found in Flaxseed Oil||Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA)|
|Type of Fat||Polyunsaturated (Good Fat)|
What is Fat?
Fat provides essential fatty acids that our bodies cannot manufacture. Without it, fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K would not be properly utilized. Fat also serves to maintain body temperature and adds flavour to our foods.
We do not like to say there are good foods and bad foods; rather, there are good and bad fats. Saturated fat would be considered bad fat; it is harmful to our bodies as it is utilized differently from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats in our bodies. Flax seed is considered a good fat!
There are three main types of dietary fats: