07- Apr-2017

Flaxseed Powder or Flaxseed Oil Capsules: Which is better?

Dt. Pooja Maheshwari
Research Dietician, CDE, N.D.D.Y.

Flaxseed oil contains all essential fats of Omega-3, 6 & 9. In comparison with flaxseed powder or alsi seeds that you can eat, flaxseed oil offers improved health benefits as it contains a more concentrated form of omega-3 fat and other vitamins.

There has been a lot of discussion on the health benefits of flaxseed or also seeds. The also seeds are also known as flax seeds and linseeds. Alsi seeds are cultivated in cooler regions and count among one of the oldest crops humans eat for health. Alsiseeds are a good source of omega 3 fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Omega-3 refers to essential fatty acids or ALA (alpha linolenic acid) which converts in the body inits EPA & DHA form. Alsi seeds or flaxseed oil also contains Omega 6 (linoleic acid) & 9 (oleic acid). Combination of all threeof these fats makes flaxseeds or alsi seedsa miracle food offering many health benefits.Alsi seeds and flaxseed oilprovide multipurpose benefits. People traditionally eat it as an ingredient in many dishes such as in stews or soups, mixed into smoothies or shakes, in breads, or as a garnish on the top of cereals, salads and yogurts. New researches proved that regular use of flaxseeds oil or alsi seedsmay lower the risk of the following diseases or conditions:

  • Diabetes: According to a review study, eating flaxseed oil as part of one’s diet may provide benefits by decrease insulin resistance in diabetes and pre diabetes; it also reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Heart Disease: Alsiseeds are rich in essential fats—Omega 3, 6 and 9. A retrospective study proves that if you eat a daily 1g/d of ALA, the intake lowers the risk of heart disease and cardiovascular benefits.
  • Immunity: A study done on schoolchildren has concluded that daily supplementation of flaxseed oil in children’s diet may prevent children from contracting infections. This is because the health benefits from flaxseed oil’s vitamins E and Omega 3 content.
  • Weight loss: Alsiseeds are high in essential fats, which directly increase the metabolic rate of the body (which helps to burn extra fat), and ultimately offers benefits of taking the body into thermogenesis.This health beneficial action is done by linoleic acid.
  • Healthy Skin: Alsiseeds fight against dry skin and eczema by providing nourishment to the skin pores.

Flaxseed or alsi seeds are available to eat in many forms such as whole alsiseeds, flaxseed powder, oil and flaxseed oil softgels. People generally eat flaxseed powder or flaxseed oil, as both have significant nourishing benefits. However, the best form by which one can get complete health benefits is often unclear.

A recent market study advised consumers not to purchase powdered flaxseed or alsi seeds, as ground alsi seeds can easily get oxidized (by heat, light& air), turning the seeds or oil rancid. Rancid flaxseed powder should be avoided, as it is toxic and cancer causing.

The following points explainwhy flaxseed oil is the best health option offering maximum health benefits:

  • According to controlled study done in India on 120 patients, who were suspected of acute myocardial infraction, when their diet was supplemented with ALA rich oil, the study concluded that their cardiac health improved after supplementation as compared to the placebo group.
  • Flaxseed oil is rich in fats but powdered flaxseed easily can rancid as thesecontain unsaturated fat that is more prone to being exposed and turning rancid.This property affects theshelf life of both the powdered alsi seeds and of flaxseed oils, making the flaxseed oil contained in softgels the best solution to prevent rancidity.
  • Flaxseed oil generally holds more than 50% of ALA (alpha linolenic acid) Omega 3 fatty acids whereas ground seeds are usually contain 20% of Omega 3. Likewise, ALA from flaxseeds oil is easily absorbed by the body as compare to powdered seeds, due to thealsi seeds’ high fiber content creating problem of solubility when eaten.
  • Flaxseed oil contains a concentrated form of PUFAs or ALA(alpha linolenic acid).In the body, ALA turns into a hormone-like substance known as prostaglandin, which may decrease inflammation and swelling in joints. This is why flaxseed oil offers benefits for patients of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Flaxseed oil contains a relatively more concentrated form of vitamin E content as compared to powdered alsiseeds.Vitamin E is known as the anti-ageing vitamin. It helps maintain elasticity of skin and hydrates the skin.

Flaxseed or alsi seeds are more commonly available as oil and softgels forms. Flaxseed oil, being highly volatile, can easily turn rancid and sunlight may change its nutritional value. Hence, choosing the right product to eat is very important. After much research, I have discovered one of the finest flaxseed oil products. This is BestSource Nutrition’s Flaxseed oil softgels. I always recommend these softgels to my clients because its special packaging protects the flaxseed oil softgels from light, oxygen and heat. The softgels are in an amber shell packing and the extraction method of the flaxseed oil is cold pressed to ensure maximum health benefits from this pure flaxseed oil. Thus, if you are searching for the right supplements to offer maximum health benefits to include alsi seeds, which will complete your entire health requirement, than flaxseed oil softgels supplement is well worth to adding in your healthy diet.

Disclaimer: All content provided on this section is for informational purposes only. Any views or opinions or claims represented in this content are personal, belong solely to the writer and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the writer may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated. Bestsourcenutrition.com makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this article.
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Dt. Maithili Pashtekar, Registered Dietician ,P.G.Dip Clinical Nutrition
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