According to the Flax Council of Canada, there are numerous benefits of which omega-3 is at the top of the list. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) constitutes 57% of the total fatty acids in flax, making flax the richest source of ALA in the North American diet. Every tablespoon (15 ml) of flaxseed oil contains 8 grams of ALA, and this is a polyunsaturated fatty acid.
The “3” in Omega-3 refers to the major types of fatty acids used by our body: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Human body converts ALA to EPA and DHA which are more readily used by the body. Omega-3 is an important component of almost all cell membranes; therefore, sufficient amounts of these fatty acids are necessary.
A Harvard study titled, “The Preventable Causes of Death in the United States: Comparative Risk Assessment of Dietary Lifestyle and Metabolic Risk Factors” revealed that an omega-3 deficiency is an important issue causing health problems.
Other foods (especially walnuts) and oils (canola and soybean, for example) contain ALA. But at about 7 grams per tablespoon, flaxseed oil is by far the richest source.
But ALA must be converted into EPA and DHA. As a result, only a small fraction of it has omega-3’s effects . So in terms of omega-3 “power,” a tablespoon of flaxseed oil is worth about 700 milligrams (mg) of EPA and DHA. That’s still more than the 300 mg of EPA and DHA in many 1-gram fish oil capsules, but far less than what the 7 or 8 grams mentioned as the ALA content of Flax Seed oil.
It is supposed to help the heart, lower blood pressure and cholestorol and number of other problems including dry eyes. But the scientific research support may not be strong as a cure for the problems. It is certainly valuable as dietary source of nutrients.
Doctors treat memory disorders with pharmaceutical medicines that directly influence levels of brain chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine. These drugs have very important clinical uses. Treatment of cognitive disorders should include foods and supplements that benefit the overall health of brain cells. Brain health isimproved by omega-3 fatty acids found in flaxseed and fish. One way to influence brain health through diet is to consume the right fats and oils. About 60 percent of the brain consists of lipids (fats) which make up the lining, or cell membrane, of every brain cell.
Daily recommended intake
Three tablespoons - one each three times in a day
21 Foods for Heart Health including Flax Seeds
Updated 5 November 2016