Flax seed oil helps lubricate the digestive system and softens the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles. Flax seed is packed with oils, fibers and protein that supply your body with essential fatty acids (EFAs), notably omega 6 (linoleic acid) and omega 3 (linolenic acid) fatty acids. Your body uses EFAs through hormone production, the metabolism of vitamins and protection at the cellular level. The lignans from flax seed hulls help control blood sugar and insulin, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes. Flax seed oil has also been shown to be helpful in reducing "bad" cholesterol. Deficiencies in EFAs have been found to be associated with eczema and dry skin. Some women have also found flax seed be helpful to in relieving hot flashes associated with menopause.
According to the Health Sciences Institute, the most effective and inexpensive way to eat flax seed is to grind it fresh and add it to cereal or juice. This is when the flax seed oil and fiber is the most potent (it starts to lose potency when exposed to air), and so you get the most benefit. Flax seed has a mild, nutty flavor and is much more palatable in the ground form than straight pressed flax seed oil. Further, one quarter cup of ground flax seed is the equivalent of 17 flax seed oil capsules, so there is substantial savings.
You can find fresh whole flax seed at health food stores and natural grocery stores such as whole foods.
Valerie Goettsch is webmaster of Skin-Sage.com, a web site dedicated to reviews of anti-aging and anti-wrinkle skin care products and supplements.