Flaxseed oil, especially made through cold-pressing ground flaxseeds, can be a powerful tool for maintaining your overall health.
Ingest it in salad dressings and smoothies, take it in capsule form or even apply it directly to your skin or hair to realize the powerful boost it can give to your heart, brain and other vital organs.
Just like the seeds it’s made from, flaxseed oil is packed with plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, also known as ALA. The body converts this substance into other forms of the acid it can use in several different ways.
It shouldn’t be heated because it quickly oxidizes and can release free radicals.
Ideal culinary uses for it include the aforementioned drinks and dressings, as well as dips and cold sauces, a finishing oil for grilled meats after they’ve been removed from heat, or an alternative to olive oil or butter when served with bruschetta or in pesto.
One tablespoon of flaxseed oil can meet or exceed your recommended daily value of ALAs. Check with your doctor before using it in liquid or capsule form if you’re pregnant or take medications to reduce blood clotting, blood pressure or blood sugar levels.
Omega-3s contain healthy unsaturated fats and have been shown to reduce inflammation throughout the body, which helps to relieve symptoms of arthritis and other auto-immune disorders, as well as reduce heart disease risk.
For even more help, use flaxseed oil fortified with lignans, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds found in flaxseeds that don’t survive the cold-pressing process.
Hydrated skin and thicker hair
Flaxseed oil’s omega-3 and vitamin E content moisturizes and soothes dry, irritated skin while improving the skin barrier, which reduces its sensitivity. Similarly, it helps control dry, brittle hair by sealing the cuticle to prevent breakage and frizz.
Its anti-inflammatory properties may also reduce hair loss, dandruff and other harmful scalp conditions.
Possible anti-cancer effects
Studies of mice and rats have indicated flaxseed oil can inhibit or block the growth of malignant melanoma, lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer. More research in humans is needed.