Flaxseed oil is currently one of the best known sources of alpha linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid. Many researchers have called it the most significant health-promoting supplement – and with good reason. Its rich supply of omega-3 fatty acids not only help to improve your cardiovascular system but it also helps to improve your immune system and your skin, among other benefits.
Unfortunately, the amount of ALA we consume in our daily meals has declined significantly, while most Westerners have tripled the amount of omega-6 fatty acid they consume. Chicken, pizza, mayonnaise, corn, potatoes, chips, and even nuts; which make up a high percentage of our diets are rich in linoleic acid an omega-6 fatty acid.
Of course it’s important to include an appropriate amount of omega-6 fatty acids in your diet, but what’s even more important is that it’s balanced with the omega-3s in your diet. According to nutritionists, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 ought to range from 1:1 to 5:1, unfortunately it ranges from 50:1 in many Westerners diets today. For those of you concerned with the appearance of your skin this is not good news.Foods rich in ALA like flaxseed oil can help you to maintain smooth skin; free of eczema, psoriasis and other conditions that tend to conceal your beauty.
You may be under the perception that you are getting the right amount of omega-3s from your current diet but there is a higher chance that you are eating way too much omega-6 fatty acids such as linoleic. ALA is an essential omega-3 fatty acid needed to produce eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which work together to give you great skin among other health benefits (more on this later).
While your body needs omega-6 fatty acids for optimal performance, too much of it can lead to inflammatory prostaglandins.As the saying goes “too much of anything is good for nothing.” Prostaglandins are lipids with hormone-like effects and can regulate a number of body process like inflammation. Omega-6 fatty acids simplify prostaglandin pathways by creating pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory prostaglandins, while the omega-3s aid by only producing anti-inflammatory prostaglandins.
The omega-6s are often referred to as ‘bad’ fats because of their role in producing pro-inflammatory products. Your body needs adequate amounts on omega-3s for the omega-6s to produce anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. If there is a small amount of omega-3s and too much omega-6s in the body there will be a greater production of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins, causing skin inflammation.
It is also associated with regular skin outbreaks causing people to experience severe acne, eczema and psoriasis. With the growing number of linoleic acid rich foods on the market (I have lost count) it’s even harder to balance the amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids you consume.
More Omega-3 For Radiant Skin
Since omega-3s aid in the creation of anti-inflammatory products, they have a greater effect on the skin than their counterpart. Most people consuming the right amount of omega-3s experience gradual skin improvements, especially those who apply omega-3 oil topically as well – its makes a great face moisturizer.
Of the omega-3 fatty acids, ALA is the ‘mother’ responsible to giving birth to other useful fats like EPA and DHA. It offers a lot of benefits to the skin on its own but EPA and DHA also have their unique benefits. For instance EPA helps to regulate oil production and keep your skin moist.
Considering the body is not good at converting ALA to EPA and DHA, fish oil maybe a better choice to reduce skin inflammation since it already contains EPA and DHA. Nonetheless, flaxseed oil is still a good choice and it’s also cheaper than fish oil.
With a reduction in skin inflammation, you can attain smother, younger looking skin without worrying about acne and psoriasis.
Using Flaxseed Oil
Flaxseed oil is a convenient, affordable solution for great skin. Nutritionists recommend that you consume 8-10grams from your daily meals but 2grams a day is also enough to improve your skin. It’s best to approach it moderately, starting with 1gram per day for a week and then increase it as you go along. This way you will be able to see how your body responds to it in different portions. Once you begin to witness changes in the appearance of your skin you can commit to that particular dose.
Most people will settle with 8-10 grams but if you think your skin needs a harder push you can always add 2 more grams. If you begin to experience symptoms of detoxification you should reduce the amount you are eating. To make things more interesting, pair it with a high-quality fish oil and you will see great results.