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Flaxseed and Dry, Rough, Scaly Skin

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 03/22/2024

As skincare becomes more popular, one food that should not be overlooked is flaxseed.

Learn about the benefits of flaxseed and how to incorporate this superfood into your diet effectively.

Understanding Flaxseed and Alpha-Linolenic Acid

The world of nutrition is vast, but few elements stand out as much as flaxseed. Rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), these tiny powerhouses are a game-changer for health-conscious individuals.

The Role of Alpha-Linolenic Acid in Cell Structure

Alpha-linolenic acid plays an integral role within our bodies. It's essential to cell structure and function due to its unique properties.

This fatty acid forms part of the membrane that surrounds each of our cells, providing flexibility while controlling what enters or leaves the cell. ALA has potent anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation throughout your body.

Why Are Flaxseeds Important for Health?

For an excellent source of omega-3s, consider adding flaxseed to your diet. Packed with this vital nutrient - they provide us with plant-based sources (a.k.a., "alpha-linolenic" acids).

Studies show a tablespoonful provides nearly 1.6 grams, making flaxseed rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Fiber Content

Incorporating fiber-rich foods like ground flaxes helps maintain regular bowel movements, leading to overall digestive wellness.

This makes them the perfect addition whether you're following a ketogenic diet or intermittent fasting regimen, where maintaining gut health becomes crucial.

Symptoms of Linoleic Acid Deficiency

Linoleic acid insufficiency can be demonstrated in numerous ways, affecting our skin health and overall well-being.

Dry, Scaly, Rough Skin is a Symptom

A common symptom is the appearance of dry, scaly, rough skin. This occurs due to insufficient essential fatty acids to keep the skin hydrated. The lack of these nutrients hampers skin cells' normal functioning and regeneration, leading to such conditions.

Brittle Hair Induced by Linoleic Acid Deficiency

Beyond just your skin, linoleic acid deficiency may also lead to brittle hair or even hinder its growth altogether. This crucial nutrient disrupts healthy hair cycles, which could impede their ability to retain moisture, resulting in breakage or loss over time.

Cardiovascular system

Cardiovascular Problems Related To Essential Fatty Acids Deficit

In more severe cases, studies showed that deficiencies in omega-6 fatty acids like linolenic acid might contribute to cardiovascular problems;

Elevated levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) are often observed with decreased intake or absorption of these beneficial fats, leading to potential heart-related issues.

If you notice any symptoms related to linolenic acid deficiency, it's essential to address them through diet and seek medical advice to ensure optimal health outcomes.

Dietary Sources of Essential Fatty Acids

While flaxseeds are a fantastic source of essential fatty acids, they're not the only ones. Several other foods, rich in these vital nutrients, can also be included in your diet for maximum health benefits.

Chia Seed - A Rich Source Of Essential Fatty Acids

For an additional source of omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds are a great alternative to flaxseed oil and ground flaxseed. Packed with heart-friendly fats, chia seeds have been found to improve cardiovascular health.

Their high fiber content is beneficial for digestion as well.

Importance Of Grinding Before Consumption

The process of grinding certain foods before consumption, such as flaxseed, is a practice often overlooked. Yet it's crucial for nutrient absorption.

The Science Behind Grinding Foods For Better Nutrient Absorption

Whole flaxseeds are packed with essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. However, our bodies struggle to break down the hard outer shell of these tiny seeds.

This means that if you eat them whole without grinding first, most will pass through your digestive system intact - taking their valuable nutrients along with them.

Ground flaxseed (also known as linseed) allows more accessible access to the beneficial oils and fibers. To get all those health benefits from adding flaxseed into your diet efficiently, consider investing in a good quality grinder or buying pre-ground versions available at stores.

Ground flaxseed, also provides similar benefits but lacks dietary fiber in whole or ground versions.

  1. Add Flaxseed: Purely grind some fresh raw seeds before use.

  2. Mixing Ground Flaxseed Into Your Meals: Sprinkle on salads or mix into smoothies.

  3. Cook With It: You can add it while baking muffins or bread.

Remember not to heat the flaxseed. High temperatures may reduce its nutritional value by breaking down vital compounds.

Effects On Bad Cholesterol (LDL)

The impact of essential fatty acids on our cardiovascular health, particularly those found in flaxseed and flaxseed oil, cannot be overstated. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels can rise when essential fatty acids are lacking.

The Role Of Essential Fatty Acids In Regulating LDL

Essential fatty acids play a significant role in maintaining the balance between good and bad cholesterol levels within our bodies.

In particular, omega-3 fatty acids found abundantly in ground flaxseed have been shown by numerous studies to help lower LDL levels while increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or 'good cholesterol.'

Risks Associated With Elevated Levels Of LDL

Elevated levels of LDL are often associated with increased risks related to heart diseases such as coronary artery disease and stroke.

This is largely due to the fact that excessive amounts of this type of cholesterol can accumulate along the walls of your arteries, causing them to narrow over time - a condition known as atherosclerosis.

Flaxseed And Flaxseed Oil Into Your Diet

  1. An effective way you might mitigate these potential health risks could be through incorporating more sources richly laden with omega-3s into your diet like ground flaxseed or even using flaxseed oil for cooking instead of olive oil or coconut oils.

  2. Making sure you're getting enough alpha-linolenic acid from dietary sources will ensure healthier skin and contribute significantly towards maintaining healthy lipid profiles, thus reducing risk factors linked directly with elevated instances relating specifically to cardiac-related conditions.

  3. Before making significant changes to your diet, it's crucial to consult a healthcare professional who best understands your individual needs.

    Flaxseed porridge

Flaxseed and Oatmeal for Keto

Flaxseed is a nutritious and versatile food that can be included in a ketogenic diet. It is low in net carbs, healthy fats, and fiber, making it a suitable option for those following a keto diet.

Flaxseed can be ground into a flaxseed meal and used as a low-carb alternative to traditional grains like oatmeal.

It can be added to various keto-friendly dishes such as smoothies, salads, yogurt, and baked goods, providing a nutritional boost and a pleasant nutty flavor.

Unlike oatmeal, which is relatively high in carbohydrates and not recommended on keto, flaxseed can be a valuable addition to help meet dietary fat needs and maintain ketosis.

Remember to keep track of your overall carbohydrate intake and individual macro goals while incorporating flaxseed or any other food into your keto diet.


As the popularity of skincare rises, it's important not to overlook the benefits of flaxseed in promoting skin health.

Rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), flaxseeds offer crucial nutrients essential for cell structure and function, aiding in inflammation reduction and digestive wellness. Incorporating ground flaxseeds into your diet efficiently enhances nutrient absorption, supporting heart health by regulating cholesterol levels.

Whether sprinkled on salads, mixed into smoothies, or added to baked goods, flaxseed proves to be a versatile and valuable addition to any diet, particularly for those aiming for long-term health and wellness.

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