Health Benefits of Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil is very popular, especially in naturopathy. The edible oil made from flaxseed is very rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid. It makes up more than half of the fatty acids of flaxseed oil and therefore supplies the organism with essential omega-3 fatty acids. Furthermore, it only contains very little linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid. This feature makes flaxseed oil so special: It changes the ratio between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and shifts it towards omega-3. According to nutrition sciences, today's diet mostly contains too many omega-6 fatty acids, so it is recommended to ingest omega-3 fatty acids regularly, for instance in the form of flaxseed oil.
Maintaining a normal level of cholestorol with flaxseed oil
In the European Health Claims, an official list of approved health-related statements, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) confirmed the health benefits of ALA: It contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels. Only 2 teaspoons (at 3 g each) of flaxseed oil cover the daily requirement of ALA (2 g) of an adult. Nonetheless, a varied and balanced diet as well as a healthy lifestyle are a prerequisite for good health.
Daily intake of flaxseed oil
Only 2 teaspoons of flaxseed oil cover the daily requirement of 2 g ALA of an adult. As omega-3 fatty acids are very sensitive to oxidation, flaxseed oil should be stored in the fridge. Also, it should not be heated nor be used for frying. Still, there are many possible ways to use flaxseed oil, e.g. as supplement for smoothies or muesli as well as for salad dressings.