The raw material for flaxseed oil is a seed of a plant called flax.
Linseed oil has become a hot topic as an oil that is good for the body, overturning the image that oil is bad for the body.
Flaxseed oil is said to have a wide range of effects, from preventing dementia to improving cholesterol levels, but it may not be well known that the raw material is flax, a plant species.
You're wondering what the material looks like because it's good for you. In this article, we will introduce what kind of plant flaxseed oil is, and the excellent effects of flaxseed oil.
A plant called flax, which is the raw material for flaxseed oil
Here, we will explain flax, the plant that is the source of flaxseed oil.
In fact, the origin of "flax color" that appears in famous songs comes from the plant flax introduced here. Spinning flax, which is also a raw material for clothing, produces yellowish light brown fibers. I came to use this as an adjective for brown hair. And if you squeeze the seeds that do not become fiber, you can extract flaxseed oil.
Flax is an annual plant that is also a raw material for linen
Flax is an annual plant of the flax family. The stems are thin and the beautiful bluish-purple (or white) flowers come in summer. The history is so old that it is called the oldest fiber of human beings, and it has been cultivated in the Middle East and the Eurasian continent since ancient times. Today, the main production areas are the cool and mild climates of each continent, and the harvest season is from July to August when the flowers bloom.
Stem fibers become linen products and are a material for expensive clothing and tablecloths.
Flax for flaxseed oil is harvested 1-2 weeks after the original harvest time. The flaxseed oil is completed by carefully crushing the fully matured flax seeds and extracting only the oil.
By the way, flaxseed oil is used not only for food but also at manufacturing sites. It seems to have various uses such as using it as a raw material for paint and printing ink, and applying boiling material to the finish of wood products.
Cultivation of flax in Japan
Cultivation of flax in Japan is slower than in other continents, and full-scale cultivation is said to have started in Hokkaido during the Meiji era.
Cold regions, which were unsuitable for cotton cultivation, which was the mainstream at that time, were rather suitable for flax growth, and were cultivated in Nagano prefecture as well as Hokkaido.
When the war began, hemp production was encouraged under the initiative of the state, and a lot of flax was grown at one time. However, from around 1950, production decreased, and flax cultivation in Japan declined. However, in 2000, volunteers from Hokkaido started their activities with the aim of reviving flax cultivation. Currently, the "Hokkaido Flax Renaissance Project" is underway with the aim of using edible seeds, centered on the flax public corporation in Tobetsu Town, Hokkaido.
Reference: Where flax cultivation continues in Hokkaido
Ingredients and efficacy of flaxseed oil
Not limited to flaxseed oil, the lipids of this world are made up of fatty acids. There are various types of this fatty acid, and it can be said that the properties of oil are determined by what kind of fatty acid is contained and how much.
Speaking of flaxseed oil, "omega 3 fatty acid" is famous for its health effects, but it also contains some other fatty acids. Here, we will introduce some fatty acids that are the raw materials that make up flaxseed oil.
Ingredients contained in flaxseed oil. @: Palmitic acid
It is one of the saturated fatty acids contained in many oils. If you eat too much, it will accumulate in your body and become bad cholesterol, so it is a fatty acid that tends to have a bad image. However, it is also an ingredient that is highly evaluated as a cosmetic product rather than a food product.
Moderate intake of palmitic acid stabilizes vitamin A in the body.
This regulates the turnover of the skin and exerts a beautiful skin effect. Therefore, palmitic acid is often used in cosmetic oils.
Ingredients in flaxseed oil A: Oleic acid
It is a fatty acid that is abundant not only in vegetable oils but also in animal oils such as beef and pork. Of particular interest in the effects of oleic acid is the control of blood cholesterol.
It suppresses the increase in bad cholesterol, which is the cause of arteriosclerosis and heart disease, and works to maintain the amount of good cholesterol.
If you make good use of this effect, you can think that it will be very effective in improving and preventing lifestyle-related diseases. However, it is important to be aware of the appropriate amount, as it has been reported that eating too much may affect your health.
Ingredients contained in flaxseed oil B: Linoleic acid
Linoleic acid is a familiar fatty acid that is also found in cheap vegetable oils. Although it is cheap and familiar, it will have excellent effects if used properly.
Similar to the oleic acid mentioned earlier, it is thought that continuing to take an appropriate amount of linoleic acid will stop the increase in bad cholesterol.
Those who are concerned about lifestyle-related diseases should actively choose fatty acids. However, some say that taking too much increases the risk of developing allergies and cancer.
The most notable effect of omega 3 fatty acids in flaxseed oil
The omega-3 fatty acids contained in flaxseed oil have attracted attention as "essential fatty acids that make you healthy to eat." The "essential" of essential fatty acids means "because it cannot be made by the body, it must be ingested from food." Omega 3 fatty acids can cause illness such as hair loss and immunodeficiency when deficient, but when taken properly, they can have great effects on the body.
Good for dementia
Did you know that about 60% of the brain we are thinking about is actually oil? It is said that dementia, which is a dysfunction of the brain, may be prevented by paying attention to oil, which is the basis of the brain. It is also effective for atopy and allergies.
There are also several types of omega-3 fatty acids, which of flaxseed oil are also called plant-derived alpha-linolenic acid. When this α-linolenic acid is taken into the body, it is metabolized to DHA. This DHA maintains the function of the cranial nerves and activates the brain.
Effective for atopy and allergies
Atopy and allergies that annoy people in the world. One of the possible causes is the linoleic acid explained earlier. Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid that can be easily ingested in daily life because it is abundant in vegetable oils. Although essential, too much linoleic acid has the property of turning into an inflammatory substance in the body, causing atopy and allergies. Omega 3 fatty acids have the effect of stopping the movement of linoleic acid to convert to inflammatory substances.
Proper intake of flaxseed oil may reduce atopy and allergies.
Lowers blood, fat and cholesterol
In 1991, a paper was published in the American Medical Association magazine to the effect that when eight adult men were given α-linolenic acid contained in vegetable oils such as flaxseed oil, the effect of lowering blood cholesterol was confirmed. It was published.
Taking flaxseed oil will help wash away bad oils and keep blood vessels and blood clean.
Build a healthy body by reducing bad cholesterol and fat in your blood.
Reference: Why do you tend to be deficient in omega 3 fatty acids?
So far, we have introduced flax, which is the raw material of flaxseed oil, and the fatty acids contained in flaxseed oil. The fiber of the stem becomes the material of clothing, and the seed is flaxseed oil that can be used for both food and industry. Flax is a plant that cannot be thrown away. In particular, the health benefits of flaxseed oil from flax seeds were amazing.
And Hokkaido is the only area where such flax is cultivated in Japan today. If this activity does not spread and ends quietly, Japanese flax and flaxseed oil may disappear. From now on, why not take a look not only at "flaxseed oil is good for your health" but also at the raw material flax.