If you keep up with the latest in the world of health foods, then you’re probably familiar with flaxseed. Hailed for its nutritional benefits, this superfood comes from an industrially useful plant simply known as flax.
The flax plant (Linum usitatissimum) is said to be one of the oldest crops in the world, having been cultivated since the dawn of civilization.  Grown as a food and fiber crop, the flax plant enjoys warm, moist climates and thrives in temperate and tropical regions. 
Flax contributes two commercially important products: fiber and flaxseed. Flax is usually harvested about four months after planting so its stems can be processed and its seeds threshed out. 
Once they are retted, dried and combed, loose, flexible fibers can be extracted from the stems of flax plants. Coarse fibers are used to make ropes and twine, while fine fibers are used to make linen fabrics. Flax fiber is also used to make high-quality paper for printing banknotes. 
Like its stems, the seed pods of the flax plant are left to dry after harvesting and then crushed to obtain the functional food known as flaxseed. Flaxseed is sold either as whole seeds, milled seeds or roasted seeds.
When ground and pressed, flaxseed also produces a versatile oil that’s loaded with health benefits. Not only is flaxseed oil great for skin and hair care, but it’s also an excellent source of omega fatty acids.  This is why flaxseed oil is a favorite among health enthusiasts.
So what makes flaxseed oil better than other omega-rich food sources?
The richest and most reliable source of ALA
According to nutritional analysis, flaxseed contains a variety of important nutrients, such as protein, fiber, vitamins A, C and E, and minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, manganese and zinc.
Flaxseed also contains high amounts of healthy fats, most notably the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and the omega-6 linoleic acid (LA), both of which are essential fatty acids. You need to get these fats from your diet because your body cannot produce them naturally.
ALA and LA are important for the healthy functions of your cells. Your body uses both as raw materials to create polyunsaturated fatty acids that will serve as structural components of your cell membranes. 
According to studies, the body synthesizes two important omega-3s from ALA, albeit in small amounts. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) plays a crucial role in brain and eye function, while eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is needed for the production of eicosanoids.  Eicosanoids are compounds involved in many biological processes, including reproduction, gastric secretion, blood pressure regulation and immune response. 
LA, on the other hand, plays a role in the maintenance of your skin’s epidermal barrier, which prevents the loss of water and protects against external threats.  It is also important for the synthesis of arachidonic acid, an omega-6 that confers flexibility and fluidity to cell membranes. Nerve cells, muscle cells and immune cells all need fluid cell membranes to function optimally. 
Between omega-3s and omega-6s, the former is much harder to come by than the latter. Omega-6s can be found in a wide variety of foods, such as nuts, seeds, meat, poultry, fish and eggs.  These foods are common in the standard American (Western) diet. 
Meanwhile, omega-3s can only be found in a handful of food sources, most of which are not typical of the Western diet. Some of the best sources of omega-3s are fatty fish (DHA and EPA only) like salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines; walnuts and chia seeds; and plant oils like flaxseed oil. 
Because many people follow a Western diet, they get more omega-6s than omega-3s from the foods they eat. Researchers previously believed that this led to many health problems involving the heart, but recent studies have found that this is not the case. On the contrary, omega-6s have proven to be able to support healthy heart function. 
Still, the American Heart Association recommends that you get no more than 10% of your daily calories from omega-6s and focus more on getting omega-3s.  Clinical studies show that consuming 2 to 3 grams of fish-derived omega-3s (DHA and EPA) daily can help you maintain a healthy heart as well as healthy blood pressure levels that are within the normal range. 
If you’re a vegan or vegetarian who can’t eat fish, there’s no need to worry: Adequate intake of ALA may be enough to compensate for the lack of DHA and EPA in your diet. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for ALA, by the way, is 1.1 grams (g) per day for women and 1.6 g per day for men. 
In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers compared the omega-3 status of fish eaters and non-fish eaters and found that the difference between their blood EPA and DHA levels was surprisingly small. The researchers believe this could be due to the bodies of non-fish eaters adjusting to their diet and ramping up the conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA to suit their needs. 
So if you’re a vegan or vegetarian looking to boost your intake of plant-based omega-3, the best thing to do is incorporate flaxseed into your daily routine. Flaxseed, particularly flaxseed oil, is a rich and reliable source of ALA. In fact, flaxseed oil tops the list of the richest food sources of ALA, trumping other superfoods like chia seeds and hemp seeds. 
And as reported by a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, the ALA in flaxseed oil is more bioavailable than the ALA in either ground or whole flaxseed. This means that flaxseed oil delivers more ALA that your body can utilize than whole or milled flaxseed. 
Health benefits of organic flaxseed oil*
Extensively studied for its health-supporting properties, flaxseed oil’s many health benefits are sufficiently backed by science. Most of its beneficial effects are attributed to the presence of ALA, which it contains in abundance. But that’s not all flaxseed oil has to offer.
According to research, flaxseed oil also contains oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid that supports optimal immune function and your body’s natural ability to heal.  In addition, flaxseed oil offers protection against oxidative damage, thanks to the presence of powerful antioxidants like phenols and vitamin E. 
Together with ALA, these bioactive compounds allow flaxseed oil to support optimal health in various ways. Here’s what this omega-rich superfood can do for you:
- Support a healthy heart – According to a study published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, dietary ALA from foods like flaxseed oil is good for the heart because it can help you maintain healthy blood pressure and blood triglyceride levels that are already within the normal range.  ALA has been shown to support normal heart rhythm and heart pumping. 
- Support a healthy digestive system – The beneficial microbes that reside in your colon play a key role in digestion, specifically in the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose, which serves as energy for your cells.  According to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, the omega-3s in flaxseed oil can support a healthy and balanced gut microflora, which is important for keeping your digestive system running smoothly. 
- Support a healthy immune system – Your immune function is heavily influenced by the balance between your omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid levels. As explained by a study published in the journal Lipids, consuming more omega-3s than omega-6s will support healthy and robust immune responses.  Fortunately, flaxseed oil contains considerably more ALA than LA, making it the perfect superfood to support a healthy immune system.
- Support good eyesight – According to a study published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, ALA’s beneficial properties can support optimal cornea health.  The cornea is a protective outer layer that keeps dirt, germs and other substances from harming your eyes. Because it also plays a crucial role in vision, supporting the health of your cornea is important for maintaining good eyesight. 
- Support healthy bones – Supplementing with flaxseed oil can help you maintain optimal bone health and bone density. This is according to a study published in the International Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health, which suggests that the omega-3s in flaxseed oil can support normal bone matrix formation and mineralization. 
- Support healthy joints and tendons – Aside from your bones, flaxseed oil also offers benefits for your joints and tendons. According to a study published in the journal Pharmacological Research, the omega-3s and omega-6s in flaxseed oil can protect against oxidative stress, which can damage your cartilage and tendons.  Cartilage is the gel-like coating at the ends of bones that protects your joints and facilitates movement. Your tendons, on the other hand, connect your muscles to your bones.
- Support healthy, glowing skin – Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are the building blocks of healthy skin cell membranes. They are also involved in the production of your skin’s natural oil barrier. Flaxseed oil can help you maintain healthy, glowing skin by providing you with these skin-supporting, essential fatty acids.  According to experts, flaxseed oil’s beneficial properties can help soothe, smooth and hydrate your skin. 
- Support healthy hair – According to a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, supplementing with omega-3s and omega-6s is a great way to support healthy, glowing hair.  Flaxseed oil can provide you with these healthy fats, as well as vitamin E. This potent antioxidant can protect hair follicles from oxidative damage, giving your hair a strong base from which to grow. 
- Support sensible weight management plans – Healthy fats like the omega fatty acids in flaxseed oil can help naturally curb your appetite by delaying gastric emptying.  Because you feel full for longer as a result, you won’t be tempted to snack between meals or overeat. This is how flaxseed oil, when combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise, can help you achieve sensible weight management goals.
- Support a positive mood – Adding flaxseed oil to your daily routine can naturally uplift your mood. This is because the omega-3s in flaxseed oil can travel through the membranes of your brain cells. This allows them to interact with brain chemicals like serotonin, a hormone that stabilizes mood and helps regulate feelings of happiness and well-being. 
Where to get clean, lab-verified organic virgin flaxseed oil
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are important nutrients that you need to supply your body with on a daily basis. Because of their involvement in many cellular functions, you can’t afford to be deficient in these healthy fats. Fortunately, superfoods like organic flaxseed oil contain a combination of these essential fatty acids – more than enough, in fact, to support the healthy functions of your organs and organ systems.
For those looking to take advantage of flaxseed oil’s nutritional benefits, the Health Ranger Store is proud to bring you Groovy Bee® Organic Virgin Flaxseed Oil. Derived from the dried seeds of the Linum usitatissimum plant, this concentrated plant oil boasts high amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, especially the plant-based omega-3, ALA. This healthy fat is one of the most important forms of omega-3s and can only be obtained from plant-based foods or supplements.
A rich source of bioavailable nutrients, Groovy Bee® Organic Virgin Flaxseed Oil reliably delivers high-quality omega fatty acids to help you maintain healthy heart, eyes, skin, bones, joints, hair and immune and digestive systems. This premium food-grade flaxseed oil is cold pressed to retain maximum nutrition and potency, and is also lab-verified for cleanliness and purity.
Groovy Bee® Organic Virgin Flaxseed Oil is vegan, non-GMO, non-China and certified Kosher and organic. It also contains no gluten, preservatives, fillers or additives. And like every product you can find at the Health Ranger Store, our organic virgin flaxseed oil is meticulously lab tested for glyphosate, heavy metals and microbiology.
Boost your intake of plant-based omega-3s by incorporating organic flaxseed oil into your daily diet!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any diseases.