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Flaxseed oil (also known as linseed oil) is derived from the seed of the flax plant, which is a very common food and fiber crop cultivated in cooler climates around the world. For years now, nutritionists have considered flaxseed a “superfood” for many reasons, and it provides essential health benefits for athletes and bodybuilders, as well.
Flaxseed contains both soluble and insoluble forms of dietary fiber, which is necessary for healthy digestive system function. Fiber also helps the body extract and use vitamins and minerals more efficiently. What’s more, a special fiber found in flaxseed known as mucilage can help protect against colon cancer, provide a natural laxative effect, and help stabilize blood sugar levels. Finally, many clinical studies suggest that a diet high in dietary fiber can help stave off high cholesterol, which is a common side effect of many anabolic steroids that bodybuilders use for performance enhancement.
Protein is vital for bodybuilders; catabolic processes break down the proteins in food, and anabolic processes use the building blocks to create new muscle tissues. For every 100 grams of flaxseed you consume, you get about 25g to 30g of protein among other nutrients – a significant amount. Flax is also one of the best known sources of alpha linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid (omega-3) that is known for enhancing insulin sensitivity within the muscle cells. This allows for faster metabolism and therefore a more efficient muscle-building system.
Simply put, lignans are natural chemical molecules found in plants that are thought to have many positive benefits within the body. They contain anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, and they might lower your risk of getting breast, prostate, or even colon cancer. Some experts believe that lignans can block the formation of tumors caused by hormones, and they improve the production of substances that attach to estrogen and carry it out of the body – which is great news for athletes who use anabolic steroids with estrogenic side effects.
Most of the nutrients that come from flax – including the dietary fiber – are only found in the seeds. If you are concerned about your nutrition and the amount of fiber and protein you consume, then the seeds are definitely the right choice. On the other hand, flaxseed oil contains a massive concentration of the healthy fats that athletes and bodybuilders need to ward off high cholesterol and stay healthy, so oil is also a great choice. The best advice is to consume both the seeds and the oil in order to reap the benefits of both. Both the seeds and the oil are virtually tasteless and can be added to almost any dish.
Flaxseed oil is vital for bodybuilders because it provides many vital nutrients, minerals, fats, and plant chemicals that are necessary for sustaining the body during times of intense stress. What’s more, many of the properties of flaxseed oil can help fight off the side effects of the most popular anabolic steroids.