Through cold pressing of flaxseeds, scientific name of the plant Linum usitatissimum of the family of Linaceae, a very delicate oil with a flavor reminiscent of hazelnuts and characterized by important healthy properties is obtained. Like the seeds, flaxseed oil is rich in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids that are in the right proportion. Omega 3 and omega 6 are considered very useful to keep under control the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in blood and are able to protect the heart. This plant based oil contains vitamins, such as group B, C and E, very helpful to protect the nervous system and the brain functions, and mineral salts, such as phosphorus, selenium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and manganese.
In addition to this, flaxseed oil has a protective action on the digestive processes and, thanks to the mucilage contained in it, it is also able to improve the intestinal transit.
Moreover, flaxseed oil is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticancer. As a proof of this last statement we can mention the study performed in 2015 and published in the journal Experimental cell research by a group of scientists of the University of Toronto, Canada. The research has focused on the role played by the alpha-linolenic acid, present in a high quantity in flaxseed oil, in the apoptosis, namely the death, of damaged cells in case of breast cancer. The study has confirmed this role but has been also able to explain the process on a molecular level. For what concerns the way to use the oil, the flaxseed oil should always be used raw in order to season vegetables or salads, it is better not to cook it because with heat the powerful properties can be destroyed.
Alternatively you can add a teaspoon of flaxseed oil to the yogurt or take it in the morning before breakfast, don’t exceed the dosage of one tablespoon per day in order to avoid possible side effects such as, for example, diarrhea. Flaxseed oil is a perfect substitute for ground flaxseeds, that, as a consequence of grinding and chewing, can develop a trace of a derivative of hydrogen cyanide. The quantity of this substance is so small that it isn’t able to cause any problems, also because the advice is to limit the consumption of flaxseeds to one-two tablespoons per day. However, a good choice can be to stop taking flaxseeds for a month every year and to use, in that period, the cold pressed flaxseed oil. The pressing process indeed doesn’t release the hydrogen cyanide. Finally, the flaxseed oil should be kept in a dark glass jar, in the fridge, because it is very delicate and can easily oxidize.