Have you heard of flaxseed oil? This sort of oil can be used in a variety of exciting ways. Let’s take a look into this fascinating product and its background.

Omega 3

Let’s start by looking at omega 3, something you will probably have heard a lot about in recent years if you’re the sort of person who’s into healthy living.

Flaxseed oil is a source of this famed fatty acid - more specifically, the sort within the oil is called alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA for short.

When you consume ALA, your body partly converts this into something called EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid), although it doesn’t do this very efficiently.

Some well-known examples of foods people can get EPA as well as DHA from are shellfish, mackerel and other fatty fish from cold water. But of course there are many reasons why not all of us eat these sorts of food.

Perhaps you have ethical questions about consuming fish and meat, or you just do not like how seafood tastes - a boat (so to speak) that many people find themselves in! For strict vegetarians, flaxseed oil can be one way of getting EPA.

As the Vegetarian Society’s Liz O’Neill said in 2011, having a vegetarian diet that is balanced provides every nutrient required by people, no matter what their age.

She cited “flaxseed, walnuts and hempseed" as sources of omega 3.

“Great veggie sources of protein include pulses (such as lentils, beans and peas), seeds, nuts, grains (like rice and quinoa), soya products (tofu, tempeh, soya mince and lots of processed veggie foods), mycoprotein (Quorn), eggs and some dairy products,” she added.

How flaxseed oil is made

As the name suggests, flaxseeds are, well, seeds! It also won’t come as a surprise to hear that they come from the flax plant.

As well as some very pretty blue or red blooms, this sort of plant produces a fruit, inside which flax seeds are to be found. These seeds are pressed to create flaxseed oil.

A range of culinary possibilities

Flaxseed oil could be brought out when you’re eating and added to the grub you’re enjoying. It has a nutty flavour. It’s important to keep your oil in the fridge after you open it, though.

Why not add a dash to food at the table? There’s also the option of adding it to salads, as a form of dressing. You can use other salad dressing staples like lemon with it too, if that suits your tastes.

Smoothies are another tasty and healthy treat that it’s possible to use flaxseed oil as an ingredient in, with ground flaxseed also a possibility here.

Smoothies have become an increasingly popular sort of drink in recent years, with a lot of people enjoying these fruity treats.

As with many things, it’s important to check with a doctor first if you’re thinking about incorporating flaxseed oil into your diet, to check that this exciting option is right for you!