Many people choose to add supplements or nutritional products to their daily routine to support good health. For instance, flaxseed oil, also known as linseed oil, contains nutrients that can assist with common female health issues, from serious disease to fighting the appearance of aging. Flaxseed oil is a vegetable oil derived from the flaxseed.
Learn the nutritional benefits of flaxseed oil to find out if this functional food is something that you'd like to add to your diet. Find out how it can help with heart disease, reproductive issues, and cancer. Explore the different types of flaxseed oil available and what to look for when choosing the best product for you.
Health Benefits of Flaxseed Oil
The Cleveland Clinic notes that flaxseed oil has been used for centuries as an ingredient in paints, varnishes, and even cattle feed, as well as in healing balms for skin problems and to relieve constipation. More recently, flax seed has become an important staple for the health conscious. Flaxseed oil contains all of the nutrition of the seed itself and can be purchased as supplements, in liquid form, or in capsules.
Flaxseed Oil Nutrition
Flaxseed is rich in vitamins and nutrients. A 2014 research review published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology (JFST) found that flaxseed oil contains the following nutrients:
- B vitamins
- Omega 3 essential fatty acids
- Omega 6 essential fatty acids
- Plant estrogens
The fatty acids in flaxseed oil are especially important for women's health. A study published in the journal Nutrients explains that consumption of fatty acids leads to healthier cell walls, which are better equipped to fight infection while protecting healthy cells.
General Flaxseed Oil Benefits
The 2014 review from JFST pointed out several potential advantages of including flaxseed oil in your diet. It is important to note, however, that the review included human studies along with animal studies. More in depth human research is needed to understand how flaxseed oil may play a role in these potential benefits:
- May help fight depression
- May help prevent cancer
- May help prevent kidney diseases
- May help reduce cholesterol
- May improve recovery time after injury
- May increase metabolic rate
- May promote regularity, reduce constipation
- May reduce inflammation due to disease, including arthritis and asthma
- May strengthening the immune system
- Might help control blood sugars
- Might help to regulate high blood pressure
Flaxseed Oil Benefits for Women
Flaxseed oil contains elements that can help support good health in women in various stages of life. For example, one study suggests that flaxseed oil may help improve symptoms related to polycystic ovary syndrome when paired with a healthy lifestyle.
But there are many flaxseed oil benefits for women that have been researched. The Nutrients study points out possible benefits of flaxseed oil many which could be especially helpful for women during and after their childbearing years. However, they add that more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between flaxseed oil and human health. Potential benefits may include:
- Better management of eczema and psoriasis
- Improvement in the body's natural ability to absorb calcium, which helps to stave off osteoporosis
- Improved brain function
- Reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers, including breast cancer
- Relief and prevention of endometriosis
- Reduced signs of aging
- Decreased water retention and hot flashes during menopause
- Improved appearance of skin, hair, and nails
How to Add Flaxseed Oil to Your Diet
Flaxseed oil is widely available at health food stores, or any place where you would buy your usual vitamins and supplements. Flaxseed oil contains proteins with a complete acid profile, which are especially beneficial to vegetarians and vegans.
Liquid Flaxseed Oil
Liquid flaxseed oil has a short shelf life, so store it in the refrigerator. Use up to one tablespoon per day, sprinkled over salads or other dishes, or stirred into yogurt or other soft foods. Cooking flaxseed oil could damage some of the nutrients, so try to take it cold or at room temperature.
Flaxseed oil supplements can be stirred into water or other liquids or added to smoothies or shakes. Read the label on your supplements for serving suggestions as well as proper dosage.
Flaxseed Oil Capsules
Capsules are perhaps the easiest way to take flaxseed oil. They are best absorbed by the body when taken with milk or food, especially with proteins. Check labels for dosage instructions, and if the suggestion is to take more than one capsule, spread them out over the course of your day for maximum benefits.
If you're a vegan or vegetarian, make sure to check what the capsule itself is made of. Some capsules use gelatin for elasticity, which is a no-no to vegans and some vegetarians.
Lastly, remember that no single product or food has the potential to change your overall wellbeing. To support good health, try to consume a balanced diet and participate in some form of regular physical activity that you enjoy. Along with a healthy lifestyle, adding flaxseed oil may provide benefits to help you enjoy a vibrant long life.