What Is Flaxseed Oil?
Flaxseed oil is a natural oil which is derived from the Linum Usitatissimum (Common Flax or Linseed) plant, which is commonly found in countries such as India and the Eastern Mediterranean. The oil is high in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids which are essential to a healthy and balanced diet.
The plant grows to around 1.2 metres in height and has five pale blue coloured petals on each flower. A distinctive feature of this plant are the capsules/pods which grow on the stalks. These measure around 10mm in diameter and are home to the flaxseeds which are brown or golden in colour. It is from these seeds that the flaxseed oil is extracted.
How Is Flaxseed Oil Made?
Flaxseed oil is generally made via one of two methods which are
Cold pressed flaxseed oil is by far the best form of flaxseed oil to take. This is because when exposed to heat the quality of the oil Is substantially degraded. This method is normally done by a machine which crushes the seeds, thereby extracting the oil.
Another way to extract flaxseed oil is by boiling the seeds in a pan of hot water and then filtering the oil off using a sieve/sock or other implement. This is not the preferred method (as mentioned above) but does work.
What Are The Health Benefits Of The Oil?
Scientific testing has proven that the flaxseed oil has many health benefits when included as a part of our every day diets. The omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids contained within the oil have almost miraculous like health benefits. These include
There are a number of alternative health treatments that make great use of the healing properties of Flaxseed oil including the Budwig Diet which was found by Johanna Budwig and has been found to have fantastic results in fighting cancer using the Flaxseed oil and cottage cheese diet.
How To Take Flaxseed Oil?
To get the full benefits of the flaxseed oil, you ideally need to take around two tablespoons per day.
By far the simplest way of taking the oil is to just take it neat, although for many this is not always an option.
If swallowing the oil neat is unimaginable for you, there are a number of other ways of introducing the oil into your diet including adding to smoothies and shakes, adding it to your salad dressing or mixing it into a yoghurt.
Remember though, you cannot heat the oil as its fundamental health properties will be destroyed.
Where Do I Store My Flaxseed Oil?
As mentioned previously, flaxseed oil loses its goodness when exposed to heat and sunlight. For this reason, it is best to store the oil in the refrigerator or in a cool dark place. If left in direct sunlight or at room temperature the oil can go rancid meaning that you will need to throw it away.
Purchasing Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil is widely available in health stores and supermarkets or you can purchase it via the internet.
When purchasing flaxseed oil, make sure that it is contained within a dark bottle which protects it from sunlight. You also want to make sure that the oil is unrefined and cold pressed meaning that it has not been through many cycles of processing which generally reduces the overall quality of the oil.
If you stick by these simple, rules you should be purchasing a good quality product.
February 12, 2014