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Flaxseed is a widely available, soluble phytoestrogenic fiber. Flaxseed oil, sometimes called linseed oil, is made from its pressed seeds and is a versatile, delicious addition to salad dressings and dips. For that extra nutrient boost, some people add it to their smoothies and shakes. There are plenty of ways to integrate flaxseed oil into any diet, and the reasons to do so are pretty compelling.

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1. LDL Cholesterol

LDL cholesterol is a key player in the hardening of arteries and other forms of cardiovascular disease. LDLs have different densities and sizes, with small-density LDL more often associated with heart disease. Diets rich in flaxseed saw close to an 18 percent reduction in this LDL type, and more than a 15 percent increase in beneficial HDL levels.

LDL cholesterol flaxseed oil chrupka / Getty Images
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