Flax Seeds have grown in popularity over the past several years, but it is actually a crop that’s been harvested for millennia. Archeologists and historians have dated the crop back to up to 30,000 years ago in the Upper Paleolithic age. During that time, it was spun and used as a fiber. It reached mass appeal and was first domesticated in the region known as the Fertile Crescent, which is modern-day Middle Eastern countries, including Iraq, Kuwait, Israel and Jordan.
At the time, this area was known as the ‘cradle of civilization’ and had a strong hand in flax seed spreading from the region to the far reaches of India and China. Ultimately, it came to the newly formed United States.
For millennia, this seed was known for the ability to weave it into a fiber, but its oil has long been used as well.
The Creation of Flaxseed Oil
Flax seeds are a tiny seed that grows in a variety of colors including brown and yellow. These little seeds are edible on their own, or when ground into a powder. However, the seeds are composed of 40% oil, so when ground down, it produces a large amount of oil for its small size.
Many are unaware that flaxseed oil and linseed oil are actually the same. However, linseed is usually referred to the industrial uses of the oil, including wood-finishing products and as a component of paints and varnishes. Flaxseed oil refers to the oil that is suitable for human consumption. This distinction is specific to the United States, as you may see linseed and linseed oil in European grocery stores.
The oil that is extracted from flax seed is incredibly healthy. Flax seed oil is rich in essential fatty acids (EFA’s), which the body needs to properly function, but cannot produce them on its own. One of the Essential fatty acids found in flax seed oil is alpha-linolenic acid, which the body converts to omega-3 fatty acid, appears to reduce the risk of heart disease and other ailments. According to the Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute, a flax seed is about 40% oil by weight, of this oil 55% of it is omega-3 fatty acid. One teaspoon of flax seed oil contains 2.5 grams of omega-3, twice as much as people normally get from their diet. Flax seed oil provides approximately 50% more omega-3 than you can get from fish oil, minus the awful after taste. Flax seed oil also contains omega-6 essential fatty acids, omega-9 essential fatty acids, B vitamins, potassium, lecithin, magnesium, fiber, protein, and zinc. Let’s talk about some of the benefits.
The Benefits of Flaxseed Oil
Almost every system in your body can benefit from flax seed oil’s properties they include: cardiovascular system, immune system, circulatory system, reproductive system, nervous system, as well as arthritis related joint pain.
Cardiovascular and circulatory system health:
Research has shown that Omega-3 fatty acids help lower blood triglycerides and cholesterol. It also aids in preventing clogged arteries, which can result in strokes, heart attacks and thromboses. It can protect against high blood pressure and sticky platelets and regulate the heartbeat. The addition of flax seed oil in your diet is one sure way to drastically decrease your chances of developing heart disease.
It also helps fatigued muscle recover faster after exertion, healing sprains and bruises; and increase energy in the body and stamina. Research shows that Omega-3’s essential fatty acids increases protein metabolism by restoring insulin sensitivity, which the body needs to effectively use food for energy, rebuild muscle tissues, and reduce stored fat.
Digestive and Intestinal Health:
For those suffering from Crohn’s disease or Colitis, ingesting flax seed oil may help lessen the diseases’ symptoms. Studies have shown that flax seed oil can help calm the inner lining of the intestines and stomach. Also, a natural laxative, flax seed oil can help alleviate the symptoms of constipation.
Joint and Bone Health:
Flax Seed Oil is also a natural anti-inflammatory and can help with muscle soreness and joint pain. Studies have proven that those diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis have seen a lessening in inflammation symptoms after adding flaxseed oil to their diet or supplement regimen. Flaxseed oil has been shown to improve the body’s absorption of Calcium, for stronger teeth, bones and nails.
Healthy Skin and Hair:
Flaxseed oil also helps with healthy growth of hair and helps skin cells regenerate and become plumper, which visibly reduces fine lines and wrinkles in the skin. It can also help with dry skin and eczema, since persons who suffer from these ailments generally have essential fatty acid deficiencies.
Flax seed oil can protect against lowered immune system function. More studies need to be done, but alpha-linolenic acid may also treat autoimmune diseases such as lupus.
In addition to the above benefits, flaxseed oil also does the following:
- Increases lung function in asthma sufferers
- Greatly reduces the risk of breast cancer
- Aids with diabetes
- Helps combat allergies
- Alleviates severe dry eyes.
- Helps treat depression, anxiety symptoms, and ADHD
- Reduces menstrual pain
Flaxseed oil is most often taken in its liquid form, but can also be ingested via soft gel capsules. The liquid form is generally considered more bio-available.
Keep in mind that not all flax seed oils are created alike. To get the most benefit, you need to ingest a high quality flax seed. The flax seed oil that you can buy at MedLabSupply.com is “Vale of Eden” brand and is of the highest and purest form available on the market. It is cold-pressed, USDA certified virgin organic, non-GMO, gluten free, and vegan. It is also stored in BPA free plastic bottles which will not leach any chemicals into the oil and are opaque amber to reduce exposure to sunlight.