Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your health—they can help to prevent some chronic diseases and help to prevent and treat certain heart conditions, inflammatory disorders, and hormone-related issues. Fatty acids protect cell membranes; they permit healthy substances while blocking damaging ones.
How can it help?
Here’s a breakdown of what flaxseed oil can help with specifically. In some instances, studies have been done; in other cases, more research is needed.
- Contributes to heart health. Studies show that flaxseed oil may lower cholesterol, dramatically lowering heart disease risk. It may also protect against high blood pressure, chest pain, having a second heart attack, and atherosclerosis.
- Lowers cancer risk. Studies indicate that flaxseed oil may help to prevent the growth of breast tumors.
- Helps gastrointestinal disorders. Because flaxseed oil is high in fiber, it can help with passing stools and therefore relieves constipation, diverticulitis, and hemorrhoids. If it’s taken for an inflammatory bowel disease, it can help to calm inflammation and repair damage to the intestinal tract.
- Reduces inflammation. Flaxseed oil may reduce inflammation associated with lupus, gout, and fibrocystic breasts. For gout, it may lessen severe joint pain.
- Treats skin problems. The essential fatty acids in flaxseed oil can help to heal irritated patches due to eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, and sunburn. These same fatty acids also help to nourish dry, brittle nails.
- Minimizes nerve damage. Nerve damage can cause tingling and numbness. By transmitting nerve impulses, essential fatty acids in flaxseed oil can help treat conditions that present with these symptoms. In particular, it may help with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes.
- Aids issues related to the male reproductive system. The essential fatty acids in flaxseed oil may help to prevent swelling and inflammation associated with an enlarged prostate. These acids also help to keep sperm healthy.
One teaspoon of flaxseed oil contains approximately 2.5 grams of omega-3s—that’s more than two times the amount most people get from food. Flaxseed oil is available as a nutritional supplement in liquid and soft gel capsule forms. Be sure to refrigerate it, or it could turn rancid. Look for brands using fresh pressed seeds that are bottled in dark containers.