Many people today are looking to add the health benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids to their diets. These fatty acids are most often consumed through eating fish, but flaxseed supplements are good alternative for vegans, vegetarians, or people who prefer not to eat fish. Choosing a good supplement can be confusing and overwhelming, but a few simple steps can ensure that you're getting the best supplement possible. You'll need to decide what form of supplement you prefer, the means of processing, and the packaging, among other considerations.
Flaxseed comes in many forms, including ground flaxseed, whole flax seed, flax powder, flax meal, and flax oil. Some people enjoy adding flaxseed to recipes or sprinkling it on foods, as it adds a nutty flavor that many enjoy. Others prefer the convenience of a supplement. Two of the most popular forms of flaxseed supplements are in oil and capsule form. It's important to consider a few things when choosing a quality supplement.
First, decide which form you prefer. For those who wish to get the most concentrated form of supplement possible, oil may be the best choice. Those who do not enjoy the taste or texture of flaxseed oil may prefer to purchase a supplement in pill or capsule form. Most groceries, health food stores, or vitamin shops carry a vast selection of both types of flaxseed supplements.
Next, you'll want to look for information on the packaging or bottle to determine the means of processing. Light, air, and heat lead to the breakdown of oils and ingredients in the supplement and cause it to be ineffective. Look for phrases indicating that the flaxseed product has been processed in a nitrogen rich environment through a cold expeller press. There should also be an indication that processing was done in the dark or under a yellow light. A supplement that includes processing information is likely to be of high quality.
Take a look at the bottle a supplement comes in. You will want to choose a dark colored or opaque bottle, as this will mean less likelihood of light exposure. An additional measure of protection is to take a look at the pills themselves. Clear pills are more likely to expose the ingredients to light.
There are some side effects and warnings associated with flaxseed supplements. People with certain medical conditions such as diabetes and schizophrenia should not take flaxseed supplements. In addition, some medications can be adversely affected when combined with flaxseed supplements. In particular, those taking blood thinning medications should not take a flax supplement because it can cause excessive bleeding to occur. Always consult your physician before taking any nutritional or vitamin supplement.