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Flaxseed has long been touted as a good alternative to fish oil for vegetarians, but there are plenty of other healthy benefits associated with the superfood.
Although a lot of people know that flaxseed - and its derivative flaxseed oil - is good for you, exactly why it's so beneficial in your diet is still somewhat of a mystery, with most having shied away from this natural health supplement.
One of the main reasons behind Flaxseed's superfood status is because of its high level of omega 3 fatty acids. The '3' refers to the types of fatty acids that are ingested in the body through food and how we use them. These magic three omegas are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Once they are ingested, the body works to convert ALA to EPA and DHA which are more readily used around the body. Its main function is to make up cell membranes so high amounts of omega 3 are needed to maintain all round good health.
Because flaxseed oil also contains fibre, it has also been used to help a number of digestive problems, including Crohn's disease and Colitis. Several studies into flaxseed use in our diets have found that the oil works to calm the inner lining of the intestines and helps reduces any inflammation in the gut.
Further research into heart health also found that flaxseed oil can have a positive effect. Although doctors and research scientists say that having an overall healthy lifestyle including a clean diet and moderate exercise is the best way to reduce cholesterol levels, flaxseed has been noted as a good supplement to aid the condition. Similarly, heart disease risk is lower in those who take flaxseed supplements regularly. A high level of ALA in the diet has been linked to reducing high blood pressure which could in turn reduce your risk of heart attacks.
So with flaxseed being linked to improved heart health, cell production and digestion, there's no reason not to include it in your daily diet.