and how it can benefit your body
Ah, the wonders of nature. So much is available for nourishing our bodies and for keeping us healthy and fit. One of the more lesser known but incredibly beneficial superfoods nowadays is the flaxseed oil. This amazing substance is derived from an actual seed (Flaxseed, obviously) and contains a plethora of health benefits that can be put to use by everyday people. In this article, we will discuss what flaxseed oil is, what it can do for the human body, and how one can benefit from its properties.
So, what is flaxseed? It is a part of the linum plant family, which is best known for producing the linseed oil for use in industrial applications like floor varnishes, paint additives, and linoleum. The actual edible part of the flaxseed is actually the seed that is harvested from the flax plant. These seeds are incredibly nutrient-rich, containing a plethora of omega fatty acids and proteins. What makes flaxseed oil so amazing is that it contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is a type of Omega 3 fatty acid.
Now that you’re aware of what flaxseed oil is, what can it do for you? Firstly, flaxseed oil is an excellent source of fiber, which can help maintain your digestive system and prevent certain diseases. The high content of ALA in flaxseed oil helps to keep cholesterol levels under control, thereby preventing certain coronary diseases and stroke. Flaxseed oil can also help reduce the risk of cancer, as it contains lignans, which are plant compounds known to decrease the risk of certain types of cancer.
Flaxseed oil can also reduce inflammation in the body, which is important to combat the physical and mental fatigue caused by inflammatory disorders. It can also help improve skin and hair health, as it can be used to condition both. It can also help to reduce redness and itching that is caused by certain skin problems, as well as reducing scarring. Furthermore, studies have shown that taking flaxseed oil supplements can help with reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
In addition to all of these health benefits, flaxseed oil can also be used for culinary purposes. It has a mild nutty taste that goes well with dishes such as salads and baked goods. It is also an excellent condiment for sauces and marinades.
Now that you know what flaxseed oil is and what it can do for you, you must be wondering how to take it. As with any supplement or health food, it is important to ensure that you are getting the right dosage. Start by taking one teaspoon of flaxseed oil per day, either by itself or in a salad or smoothie. You can also use it to cook with, as it is a healthy substitute for vegetable or olive oil. Flaxseed oil can also be found in capsule form if you prefer to take it that way.
So, there you have it – a brief overview of the amazing flaxseed oil. With its many health benefits, it is no wonder why many are now turning to this superfood for all their needs. Whether you are looking to improve your health from within or just want to add a little more flavor to your dish, flaxseed oil is sure to be of great use. Try some today and experience all its goodness for yourself!
Flaxseed oil is gaining popularity as a nutritious and healthful ingredient in many diets, but how exactly is it created and how does it arrive safely at our dinner table? To understand this detailed and scientific process, let’s look at the path flaxseed oil typically takes from its origins to the kitchen.
What is Flaxseed Oil?
Flaxseed oil, also commonly referred to as linseed oil, is derived from the seeds of the plant species Linum usitatissimum, which is native to the Middle East and part of southern Europe. This oil is composed of polyunsaturated fatty acids, making it more susceptible to oxidation and peroxidation, which is why it should be stored in a cool, dark area.
Flaxseed oil has been used for centuries, obtaining its name from “linum,” which is Latin for “flax” and referring to its origin from the flax plant. Its most notable benefit is its high concentration of Omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are essential to human health, particularly brain and eye development. Recently, it has become popular due to its heart-health benefits, including reducing the risk of high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Processing Flaxseeds into an Oil
The first step in the process of turning flaxseeds into an oil is the selection of quality batches of flaxseeds to ensure they are free of any contaminants and have suitable properties, such as an acceptable oil content and a satisfactory ripeness. The flaxseeds are then cleaned through a series of sieving, winnowing and separation processes and checked for any foreign objects, before being stored until ready for use.
Once the flaxseeds have been cleaned, certain mechanical (expeller pressing) or chemical (solvent extraction) methods are used to produce the oil itself. The process of mechanical expeller pressing involves heating the flaxseeds and squeezing them until the oil is forced from the seed kernel. This method is preferred for its low usage of energy and potential for greater oil yields, however due to the heated environment the oil is exposed to, it may produce lower-quality oil with a shorter shelf life.
Alternatively, the chemical method involves soaking flaxseeds in a mixture of hexane (a hydrocarbon solvent) and water. The combination of chemical reactants further breaks down the oils in the seed, allowing the oil to be removed from the kernel with a low amount of energy. The resulting product is of a much higher quality and has a longer shelf life than using the expeller press method.
Whichever method is used, the extracted oil is collected into a tank where any remaining byproducts, such as protein, cell wall components and sensory material, is filtered out, before it is ready for degumming.
The Degumming Process
High-quality flaxseed oil must go through the degumming process to improve its clarity, flavor, and shelf life. Degumming involves treating flaxseed oil with acid and water. This treatment causes the gum and other insoluble compounds in the oil to form an emulsion with the oil, which can then be easily removed using a centrifuge. After the degumming process, the remaining oil is further treated with a bleaching agent, such as activated carbon, to absorb any remaining impurities that could lower its quality.
Refining Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil is now ready for refining which is the process exclusive to vegetable oils and requires specialized techniques for each type of oil. Typically, the refining steps for flaxseed oil include neutralization, winterization, and stripping, each of which is broken down into a separate process.
The neutralization process involves adding crude flaxseed oil to a lye solution, which then reacts with the free fatty acids in the oil and separates them out.
In the winterization process, the flaxseed oil is placed in a cold environment until large crystals of wax form, which make it easier to filter away any remaining impurities.
In the stripping process, the flaxseed oil is heated, then passed over a drying bed, where any remaining volatile components such as soap and solids are removed, giving the oil a clearer consistency.
Processing, Packaging and Delivery of Flaxseed Oil
Once the oil is refined, it undergoes a further process of testing to ensure that all of the correct levels of impurities have been removed, giving the product a consistent color, flavor and shelf-life.
Once the oil has been approved and tested, it is transported in a secure container and stored in a cool, dry environment until it is ready to be bottled and packaged. To ensure its safety and freshness during transportation, the flaxseed oil is typically bottled in plastic jugs or cardboard boxes, though stainless steel barrels are more resistant to temperature changes, making them more suitable for long-distance transport.
Finally, when the flaxseed oil is ready for delivery, it is transported to its final destination, often to restaurants, grocery stores, or to private customers, who can then enjoy the benefits of this healthy and nutritious oil.
The lengthy process from seed to oil is done with care and precision to ensure a quality product, and understanding each step of the journey helps us appreciate the value and nutrition found in flaxseed oil. Ultimately, the effort and time put into producing flaxseed oil ensures that we have access to this healthy and nutritional oil that can be added to many diverse dishes.
|Vitamin E||0.47 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.0093 mg|
|Vitamin B4||0.2 mg|
Daily Value 1.3 g
Daily Value 1.25 g
Daily Value 0.011 g
|Total Sugars||0 ug||
|Capric acid (10:0)||0.01 grams||
|Lauric acid (12:0)||0.02 grams||
|Myristic acid (14:0)||0.08 grams||
|Palmitic acid (16:0)||5.11 grams||
|Stearic acid (18:0)||3.37 grams||
|Arachidic acid (20:0)||0.13 grams||
|Behenic acid (22:0)||0.11 grams||
|Lignoceric acid (24:0)||0.08 grams||
|Total Saturated fatty acids:||8.91 g|
|Nervonic acid (24:1)||0.02 grams||
|Erucic acid (22:1)||0.03 grams||
|Oleic acid (18:1)||18.32 grams||
|Palmitoleic acid (16:1)||0.06 grams||
|Total Monounsaturated fatty acids:||18.43 g|
|Omega-6 Eicosadienoic acid (20:2)||0.03 grams||
|Omega-3 Alpha-linolenic acid (18:3)||53.37 grams||
|Linolenic acid (18:3)||53.37 grams||
|Linoleic acid (18:2)||14.33 grams||
|Total Polyunsaturated fatty acids:||121.1 g|
|Total Sterols:||0.34 g|
|Trans-monoenoic fatty acids||0.04 grams||
|Total Trans fat:||0.04 g|