Flaxseeds (also knows as linseeds) are tiny seeds which provide generous amounts of healthy fats, protein and fibre. In fact it comes as no surprise that these seeds fall under the umbrella of ‘superfoods’.
Flaxseed oil (or linseed oil) is therefore typically produced by cold-pressing the seeds of the flax plant, with “cold-pressing” referring to the fact that heat and chemicals are not used in the extraction of oil. For this reason always be sure to look for “cold-press” or “virgin” linseed or flaxseed oil.
Its composition differs it from other oils made out of seeds such as canola or sunflower. In fact, flaxseed oil contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a form of omega-3 fatty acid, that is partially converted (albeit in small amounts) to active forms of omega-3, like EPA and DHA.
Omega 3s are typically found in fatty fish, however, for people who do not eat fish, linseeds are a great alternative. As you may have probably heard a number of times, consuming sufficient omega 3s brings many benefits to your health.
Speaking of which, the most common indicators for omega 3 deficiency are the following:
- Rough or dry skin
- Dry, brittle hair and dandruff
- Soft, peeling or brittle nails
- Excessive thirst, frequent urination
- Sleep problems
- Attention problems (distractibility, poor concentration)
- Emotional sensitivity (such as depression, excessive mood swings or anxiety)
If you experience two or more of the above symptoms, you are very likely to have an omega-3 deficiency. We recommend you either see your personal doctor or otherwise supplement your diet with linseed oil, subsequently assessing whether your symptoms disappear.
In terms of consumption, linseed oil can easily swap other oils in your salad dressings or sauces. It is however very important to note that you should not use linseed oil for cooking as heat will damage its fatty acids.
You can alternatively simply consume a tablespoon of linseed oil straight from the bottle as a supplement.
To fitness with love,