Flaxseed oil is loaded with omega-3s, and this alone makes it a great addition to most healthy diets. It provides ALA (alpha-Linolenic acid), the kind of omega-3s that come from plants rather than from fish.
Unlike fish oil, flaxseed oil is plant-based, so it’s easier to ensure a high quality, as well as consistent product, making it easier to find a flaxseed oil you can rely on.
It also doesn’t have the fishy taste often associated with fish oil products used for their omega-3s. However, it provides a different form of omega-3 because it is plant-based. You’ll want to get ALA from sources like flaxseed oil, and EPA and DHA from fish.
The benefits of omega-3s are well-established, and there are many of them. We’ve collected some of the biggest ones you can expect to receive from taking flaxseed oil.
1. Helps Prevent Heart Disease
A healthy heart is the foundation for a healthy life, so it’s important to take steps to make sure your heart is getting everything it need. Omega-3s can play a big part when it comes to heart health, and flaxseed oil will help you get enough.
There is promising evidence pointing to ALA being helpful in lowering blood pressure numbers, as well as helping to keep arteries from hardening. These two alone would be a big help to the circulatory system and your overall heart health, as well as lowering your risk for heart attack and stroke.
The anti-inflammatory properties of the omega-3s in flaxseed oil also helps the heart, and this works on a gradual basis, which is why it’s best to use it as a supplement over the long run.
How to use it: Take it every day for heart health. Perhaps the easiest way to make sure you’re getting enough is to use capsules.
2. Helps Prevent Cancer
Perhaps one of the most important benefits of taking flaxseed oil is that you’ll be increasing your omega-3 intake, which in turn helps protect the body from several different types of cancer. While no cure for cancer exists, more and more health news headlines show that it can be slowed down, prevented, and even reversed using all-natural foods.
A study came out that tried to link omega-3s and ALA to prostate cancer, but was subsequently disproved by many reputable health experts. Thanks to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nature of the ALAs that flaxseed oil contains it helps to protect the body, rather than make it more susceptible to cancer.
Of course flaxseed oil alone isn’t enough to protect you from every sort of cancer. You’ll want to make sure you are eating a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, and getting additional omega-3s from other sources, like salmon.
How to use it: Take flaxseed oil daily for anti-cancer benefits, either in oil or capsule form.
3. Decreases Inflammation
The anti-inflammatory nature of omega-3s has been well-documented, and by taking flaxseed oil you’ll be helping to achieve higher omega-3 levels, resulting in less inflammation in the body.
Several diseases and conditions are brought on by excessive amounts of inflammation, or worsened by it. These can be both short term, temporary conditions, or long term chronic conditions that result from extended periods of too much inflammation in the body. This makes is extra important to use omega-3s to try to avoid these, or lessen their symptoms.
Other examples of foods that can help curb inflammation are turmeric spice, beets, spinach, almonds, tomatoes, and tofu. It’s always best to use as many different all-natural sources to make up your diet and treat the problems you’re experiencing, and flaxseed oil can be a part of that strategy.
How to use it: At the first sign of arthritis or other pain or as a daily preventive measure, take in capsule form, or oil form, whichever you prefer.
4. Helps with Depression and Mental Illness
Omega-3s have been shown to help treat symptoms of depression, as well as other mental illnesses like bipolar disorder. While clinical cases of depression and other mental disorders need to be treated by a doctor, you can always take preventive measures and adjust your diet to include nutrients that help you.
How you feel is everything, and if you tend to have depressed thoughts it can create a spiral of unhealthy eating which only leads to more depressed thoughts and feelings. By supplementation with flaxseed oil you’ll be boosting the amount of omega-3s you’re getting, and can take a step in the right direction when it comes to feeling your best.
Your diet greatly affects your mental state, not just immediately after eating, but day to day and as a lifestyle choice. Make sure you are feeding your brain and body the things it needs to fire on all cylinders, or in this case synapses.
How to use it: Take flaxseed oil as a supplement to your diet each day for better mental health.
5. Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Keeping your cholesterol levels in the right place is part of the overall approach at maintaining a healthy heart. Omega-3 helps to lower the amount of bad cholesterol in the body, known as LDL cholesterol. You’ll want to be on the lookout for foods and supplements that lower your bad cholesterol while either leaving your good cholesterol alone, or boosting it.
The omega-3s that flaxseed oil contains are known as alpha-Linolenic acid, and these alone might not be enough to help with your cholesterol, which is why you’ll want to broaden your omega-3 intake to include EPA and DHA found in oil fish like salmon and sardines.
Cholesterol lowering drugs may be recommended by your doctor if your cholesterol is too high, but you’ll want to ask about making dietary changes and how this affects your need for these kinds of drugs. Always work hand-in-hand with your doctor.
How to use it: Take flaxseed oil daily for best results, along with omega-3s in fish oil to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
6. Provides Anti-Aging Benefits
The omega-3s in flaxseed oil act as an antioxidant in the body, helping to protect it from free radical damage. This slows the aging process on an internal level, and helps you look and feel younger.
Eating an assortment of fruit and vegetables, along with additional sources of omega-3s is your best bet to fight all of the signs of aging. Reducing the level of free radicals you take in is also a good method, as this will mean less damage to the body. Examples of free radical damage include excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, poor diet, and pollution in the air and water.
Omega-3s can even protect your brain from aging, making it an essential part of your diet, and a nutrient you’ll want to keep your eye on each day to make sure you’re getting enough.
How to use it: Getting the required amount of omega-3s each day will help the body stay young looking, both inside and out. Use flaxseed oil to help meet your daily needs.