What good is Flaxseed oil?
What is flax seed oil?
Many times in my store conversations or in this article I use the terms "healthy fat" and "good fat." Usually I do it in a sentence that goes something like... "All of your daily fat intake should come from foods that contain healthy fat." After that I usually give a short list of foods that contain this "healthy" fat. As you probably noticed... this isn't much of a list. The reason for that is because there are very few sources of this hard to find good fat. Luckily though, there is a solution... flax seed oil.
Flaxseed oil is rich in EFA's, essential fatty acids. More specifically it contains the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This is the technical meaning of "healthy fat." Your body needs these fats to function properly, yet it doesn't produce it on it's own. This makes EFA's an important part of your diet. Other sources of these fats are fish and nuts. Most of the fat in my diet comes from a combination of nuts and flax seed oil.
The hard part about getting all of your good fat from nuts or fish is that nuts contain extra calories from carbs and protein, and it's not very convenient to prepare and eat a fish like salmon everyday. Flax seed oil on the other hand is as quick and simple as can be, and contains, for the most part, just fat. So... it has less calories than nuts.
It is completely safe to take on a daily basis. It has no negative side effects. It does however have a ton of positive heath benefits. Most people into working out (myself included) take it just because our diet HAS to consist of protein, carbs and fat, and flaxseed oil happens to be a perfect source of healthy fat that our diets require. This is actually just the beginning of its positive benefits.
Some of the giant list of flax seed oil benefits includes:
Reduces the risk of cancer
- Helps lower cholesterol
- Helps lower blood pressure
- Protects against heart disease
- Aids the growth of healthy hair and nails
- Promotes healthy skin
- Many other really really good things
This list can go on and on. I'm sure you get the picture. Basically, taking flaxseed is good, and not taking it is bad. That pretty much sums it up. It's not rocket science.
Who should be taking flax seed oil?
Everyone. It's not goal specific. It doesn't matter if you're trying to lose weight or increase muscle. You don't need to have any weight or workout related goal at all for that matter. You can just be a person interested in improving your health. It's just plain old good for you.
How does it come? What does it taste like? Where can I get it?
Flax seed usually comes in 3-4 forms, oil, capsules, Milled Flax seeds and now Omega Swirl from Barlean's which is the consistency of a smoothie. I use and fully recommend the swirl and the liquids for efficiency. If you're wondering about its taste... it's not bad. Flaxseed is usually described as having a "nutty" taste, and I personally don't mind it at all. The swirl even comes in a Strawberry Banana Flavor or mango. The swirls can be shaken and taken right from the fridge. The regular flax oil can be used in salad dressings or mixed in oatmeal or shakes. Its that easy to get those healthy 3,6 and 9 fatty acids to give your body that balance in essential fats mandatory for proper hormonal production.