Flaxseed oil supplements are broadly included in the general category of natural food supplements readily available in the market today.
Flaxseed oil joins the ranks of olive oil, fish oil and other types of herbs as a dietary add-on that fills-up the required nutrition for the body. In general, these products are consumed for the purpose of satisfying and preventing any deficiencies in an individual’s daily diet.
Flaxseed oil supplements that come in liquid form or capsules are considered relatively more expensive than whole flaxseeds or ground flaxseeds. This is primarily because extraction of the oil involves cold-pressing – a procedure utilized to squeeze out the liquid portions of the seeds with the application of the minimal heat possible. The less heat applies translates to a lesser amount of oil obtained but with the rich nutritional value of the mixture retained in it – this explains why unrefined and cold-pressed oils are pricey in general.
Understanding Health Supplements
Flaxseed oil is considered by dieticians as a health supplement product. Also called dietary supplements, nutritional supplements or food supplements, these products fall in one of the following three types (1) natural and organic, (2) made of chemical components (synthetic) or (3) a mix of both. Intuitively, an individual cannot get all the required nutrition from the typical diet. Other sources are needed to supplement and provide the needed vitamins, minerals, fiber, and essential fatty acids for the body to function optimally, hence the name of these products as food supplements.
Dietary supplements have multitude of branches and categories. Some are organ specific – these are health supplements that are specific to the part or organ of the body which it addresses. Examples include liver supplements, supplements for preventing gallstones formation, supplements to improve eyesight and many others. Others are generally for improving physical appearance; the like of weight loss supplements, supplements for increased muscle volume and whitening dietary tablets are some examples of this kind. The third type broadly focuses on developing the overall health condition, which basically provides the essential nutrients needed for the whole body and not targeted to specifically one area.
Flaxseed Oil Supplement – How Does This Fit the Description?
Flaxseed oil clearly fits the description of health supplements. In detail, the following are the attributes given to flax oil:
- Flaxseed oil as a natural health supplement
- Flaxseed oil as a source of essential nutrients needed by the body
- Flaxseed oil for improving of overall health condition
Primarily considered as a plant-based substance, flaxseed oil supplements found in the market today are generally natural. By this we mean that flax oil products are rarely combined with preservatives, chemicals or other additives. However, raw and purely unrefined oil has several downsides: shelf life of flaxseed oil is relatively short as they do not contain preserving chemicals; in turn, it takes just a short time for these products to be rancid. On the other hand, consumers enjoy the advantage of these products having no or minimal synthetic chemicals which may be of little value for the body.
Alpha linolenic acid (ALA), a type of Omega 3, is the core of flaxseed oil. The health benefits that this supplement brings to the body are mainly attributable to the preventive and corrective effects of the ALA fatty acid on the body systems. This essential fatty acid is being supplemented in an individual’s diet alongside with a mix of fiber, lignan, Vitamins A, B Complex, C, E, K, magnesium, protein, iron, calcium, potassium and many other vitamins and minerals found in flaxseed oil.
Unlike organ/area- specific health supplements, flaxseed oil generally promises benefits for the whole body. For this product, focus is on the internal condition of the body – optimal functioning of the heart, stable cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels and sharper mental health. As additional uses, flax oil likewise offers improvements on the external appearance of the body – well-maintained hair, clearer skin, reduction of skin imperfections.
Forms of Health – Flaxseed Oil Product Formats
Efficacy, the results delivered and the large consumer base all contributed to the global image of flaxseed oil as a health supplement. This product, broadly accepted as flaxseed oil vitamins come in different formats each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
1. Flaxseed oil in liquid format
- Lends itself to flexibility in use – consumption is not only limited to direct ingestion of the oil as is; it can be mixed with dishes or drinks as a condiment
- Flax oil’s unrefined state retains the integrity of the oil and locks in the rich nutritional value of flaxseed
- Supplements in raw and liquid format have shorter shelf life; storage of flaxseed oil is one aspect that consumers should be careful of
- Flax oil has a distinct taste which proves to be excessively strong when taken directly in oil format
- The runny texture and feel of flaxseed oil can be a discomfort for some people.
2. Flaxseed oil pills or flaxseed oil capsules
- Flaxseed oil capsules or pills are more convenient for everyday consumption since the liquid format is encapsulated in individual and separate dosages
- Capsulated flaxseed oil that are further processed beyond its raw and unrefined version are believed to have longer shelf life
- The strong taste and runny texture of the oil is reduced when flaxseed is taken in pill or capsule format
- The nutritional content of the unrefined oil can possibly be reduced because of the additional processing needed to encapsulate the oil
- In terms of nutritional content, a tablespoonful of flaxseed oil is much heavier then one capsule of the supplement
- Cost per dosage of flax oil in capsule form may be more expensive than consumption of the oil itself
Differences in flaxseed oil supplements available in the market today are the result of the proliferation of many brands and variations of this product. While the price and availability of different flaxseed oil products vary depending on the brand, the health benefits of this supplement rarely differ, be it in capsule/pill format or the liquid version – flaxseed oil, in general, remains a powerful source of an individual’s appropriate nutrition.
Thank you for reading Flaxseed Oil Supplements: What They Are and What They Do?.
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