To start with, flaxseed oil should always be cold pressed. Too much heat can damage the structure of the fatty acids so the oil has to be produced carefully to avoid high temperatures.
Cold pressing is the name given to the process of mechanically separating the oil from the seed using pressure only, without the heat or chemical solvents used to extract many other common vegetable oils.
Unrefined flax oil can also be a good source of antioxidant vitamin E. Alpha-tocopherol is sometimes added to help prevent oxidization, but natural vitamin E, with a range of tocopherols and tocotrienols, is more beneficial to our health.
Ideally, a good flaxseed oil should also be made from organic seeds to minimize any exposure to pesticides. Organic produce is often grow in in better quality soils as well, which may result in more nutrients in the end product.
Finally, the oil should always come in a dark bottle to protect it from light and be as fresh as possible. This is another reason, along with price, why online retailers with their much higher turnover than retail heath food stores, are a better place to buy from.
Cold Pressed Flaxseed Oil with High Omega-3
Barlean’s flaxseed oil is cold pressed, organic, unfiltered and unrefined. It is said to be incredibly fresh as is made to order and produce daily in the absence of light and heat. This is the best selling flax oil in America with good reason.
Omega nutrition also make a high-quality cold pressed and organic flaxseed oil with a rich and nutty flavor.
High Lignan Oils
One of the most popular types of flax oils are the new high lignan versions. Lignans are phytonutrients found in the highest concentrations in ground flax seeds. They have many health benefits and adding them to omega-3 rich flaxseed oil gives you the best of both worlds.
Cold pressed and organic super lignan flaxseed oil is also available with added antioxidants and good value on special.
While flaxseed oil should have a pleasant taste (bitter tasting oil is likely to be rancid and should not be used), many people prefer the ease of using capsules rather than liquid.
Ground Flax Meal
Although the oil is higher in omega-3, many people prefer ground flax meal for the balance of exceptional lignan content, dietary fiber, many vitamins and minerals and still being a good serving of omega-3 fatty acids. Flax meal is relatively inexpensive so, if you can afford it, then it would be worth using both flaxseed oil and the ground seeds for maximum health benefits.
Omega Nutrition make an excellent cold milled and organic ground flax that is very good value and goes well on breakfast cereals and in smoothies or yogurt. And, if you use it as regularly as I do, Bob’s Red Mill have a discounted four pack of organic golden flax seed meal.
It is vital to store flaxseed oil or meal in the fridge once you open them to preserve their freshness and potency. Some people even store ground flax in the freezer to minimize any chance of oxidization.
It’s generally advised to use the oil within a month of opening it and the ground seeds ideally within two weeks. Capsules may last a little longer, but for best results you would be using them regularly anyway.
Next is a look at a good dosage to take and whether there are any side effects of using flaxseed oil.
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