Flax Seed Health Benefits
The flax seed has long been known as a great non-animal source of omega-3 fatty acids, and recent research has found that this tiny nutritional powerhouse may reduce inflammation and provide skin health benefits.
Healthy postmenopausal women who ate a low-fat muffin enriched with flax seed daily for six weeks saw a 15% reduction in the inflammatory marker, C-reactive protein, according to a study published in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases.
In addition to these flax seed health benefits, German and French researchers also suggest that flax seed oil supplements may protect skin against reddening and improve overall skin health. According to findings published in the British Journal of Nutrition, the omega-3-rich flax seed oil can decrease skin roughness and scaling. Subjects who took flax seed oil supplements for 12 weeks saw an increase in blood levels of ALA (alpha linolenic acid), an omega-3 fatty acid. When an irritant was applied to the subjects’ skin, the researchers noted a 45% decrease in reddening of the skin in the flax seed oil group.
The ALA found in flax seed oil has been shown to be beneficial for preventing heart disease and arrhythmia. Studies have also found that taking flax seed oil may prevent atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) by reducing inflammation and increasing arterial elasticity. (Nestel, Pomeroy et al. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1997;17:1163-70.)
The Anti-Aging Bottom Line: Flax seeds are among the best plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and they are easy to incorporate into tasty foods like muffins and other baked goods. Recent research has revealed some unique flax seed health benefits. Among the most notable of recent discoveries is the finding that the ALA flax seeds contain can improve skin health and help prevent cardiovascular disease.