Looking to increase your intake of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids? Most people automatically think of fish oil. But flaxseed oil is a great alternative to fish oil, particularly if you’re vegetarian or vegan.
What is Flaxseed Oil?
Flaxseed oil (also known as linseed oil) is derived from the seeds of the plant Linium usitatissimum and contains over 50% of its fatty acids as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid, making it nature’s richest and best source of vegetable-based omega-3 fatty acids. ALA (recommended as part of the Mediterranean diet), is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.
How Your Body Digests Flaxseed
Once eaten, the human body converts ALA to EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which are more readily used by the body. Omega-3 fatty acids are an important component of almost all cell membranes and are known for their anti-inflammatory properties as well as helping to support brain and heart health.
Flaxseed Oil Benefits
Flaxseed oil may also provide digestive health benefits and according to research may be effective at treating both constipation and diarrhea. In addition, Flaxseed oil has been shown to benefit skin health and improvements in skin smoothness and hydration, as well as a decrease in skin sensitivity, moisture loss, roughness, and scaling.
Recommended Flaxeed Oil Dosage
While there are no specific recommendations for flaxseed oil intake, 1-2 tablespoons a day is often a recommended amount. Flaxseed Oil capsules offer a convenient alternative. Generally, the suggested dosage is between one to three capsules per day. So, if you’re looking to boost your intake of omega-3 fatty acids and are looking for an alternative to fish oil, you may want to give fish-free flaxseed oil a try.
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