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Flax (also known as common flax or linseed) (binomial name: Linum usitatissimum) is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. There are various types of flax seed, and they usually differ by color. Two basic varieties are brown and golden yellow kind. Most of them have extremely potent nutritional value, with exception of a yellow flax seed called solin, that is unlike the others, very low in omega-3 fats.

Nutritional value

Serving size of flaxseed oil is approximately 218 grams. One serving has something around 1927 calories, and 20 grams of saturated fat. Being extremely rich in Vitamin E, one serving of flaxseed oil is enough to satisfy 191% of recommended daily value for this important vitamin. The same amount of flaxseed oil contains 116202mg of Omega-3 fatty acids and 27689 mg of Omega-6 fatty acids. Derived from a plant source, this oil is an excellent source of important essential acids for vegetarians.

Health benefits

Being rich in essential Omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed oil may prevent some of the severe health diseases associated with deficiency in essential fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are helpful in reducing cholesterol levels, optimizing the blood pressure, preventing the arterial plaque formation and cardiac arrhythmia. This way, diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids may help to prevent many cardio vascular diseases.

Omega-3 fatty acids possess potent anti-inflammatory agents able to relieve symptoms of arthritis and reduce the drug use in patients suffering from this condition. They are also excellent in treatment of skin problems related to Omega-3 deficiency, such as eczema, psoriasis and acne.

Flaxseed oil contains approximately 12% of mucilage, which makes it a natural laxative. This oil is often used in treatment of many gastro intestinal problems and regulation of stomach acids. It is beneficial to patients with irritable bowel disorder as it lubricates the bowel, absorbs the toxins and prevents the toxin buildup in the bowel.

Lignans, found in flax seed oil, have strong anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Lignans may also help to improve body’s natural response to infections and diseases.

Flaxseed pills side-effects

There are no serious side effects associated with flaxseed oil. However, an overdose may sometimes result in diarrhea and bloating. One of the features of flaxseed oil is their ability to reduce blood clotting by thinning the blood; therefore an overdose on flaxseed pills can increase the risk of bleeding.

Flaxseed oil, pills or other supplements, shouldn’t be consumed together with blood thinning medications or common Aspirin. It is possible to experience an allergic reaction upon taking this supplement. Allergic reactions usually involve skin rashes, hives, swelling, difficulty to breath, and feeling of tightness in the chest.

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