You’re Basically Wasting Money on Flax Seeds If You Don’t Take This Extra Step

Photo: SOMMAI/

This story originally appeared on by Zee Krstic.

If you’ve been shelling out dough for flax seed-laden foods-or just for the seeds themselves-you may not be getting all the heart-healthy benefits that you were hoping for.

It’s true-flax seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, and it’s worth adding them to weeknight meals, like this classic meatloaf and this freshly seared fish. (They also aid in weight loss.) But note that both of those recipes call for ground flax seeds. This is because you have to grind flax seeds before eating or cooking with them. The human body doesn’t fully digest whole flax seeds, explains Brierley Horton, M.S., R.D. In order for you to get all the heart-healthy benefits that flax seeds provide, you have to break them down first, whether you chop them or grind them into your meals. (Related: 15 Ways to Use Ground Flax Seed)

As Cooking Light’s nutrition director, Horton has long championed delicious dishes that incorporate a flax seed-boost given that each tablespoon has more than 2 grams of protein at less than 30 calories, plus all those lovely omega-3s. There are a few ways you can optimize your flax seeds for the greatest health payoff: Use a handheld mill, a traditional spice grinder, or even the mortar and pestle you might have lying around.

Maybe you don’t have a mortar and pestle, but you’d still like to reap the rewards that a flax-seed-inspired dish can provide? You can just buy them already ground. However, there’s a benefit to grinding them fresh: Pre-ground flax seed isn’t as potent as freshly ground seeds, says Horton. Why? Many of the healthy compounds begin to oxidize after the seeds are ground, so it’s best if you can eat it within 24 hours of grinding.

  • By Cooking Light @CookingLight

How To Eat Flaxseeds? Health Benefits, Tips And Recipes

These shiny, nutty seeds have an earthy aroma and a host of health benefiting properties. I first came across this wonder seed while reading up on hair health. Experts seem to agree that if you need some help with hair fall and want to grow your hair, there is nothing like a regular dose of flaxseeds. Initially, I had a little difficulty in cultivating taste for it in its raw form, but my love for it grew after a while. You don’t really need to load up on flaxseeds, a little helping is enough. Experts and nutritionists recommend a tablespoon of flaxseeds a day to meet your essential, daily nutritional requirement. However, you need to be watchful of the way you consume flaxseeds. Flaxseeds are brown in colour and come with a hard, crunchy covering. Flaxseeds, if not chewed properly would render no benefit to your body, this is one of the biggest reasons why many like to soak it before consuming or simply have it in the ground or powdered form. The benefits of flaxseeds are in abundance.

Here Are Some Benefits Of Flaxseeds

These nutty delights come packed with a bevy of health benefits. “Flaxseeds are a great source of soluble mucilaginous (gumlike) fibre that can lower unhealthy cholesterol (LDL) and and balance blood sugar levels. It also acts like hunger suppressant and helps you feel full for long. Their high omega-3 fatty acids content can help lower undesirable fats (triglycerides) in the blood, reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack. flaxseeds are also good for eye health,” as mentioned in Dorling Kindersley’s book Healing Foods.

Flaxseeds are enriched with some of the most essential and basic nutrients that our body requires. These come enriched with fibre, protein, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, lignan among other nutrients and minerals. Lignans present in them help in battling high levels of estrogen and help in maintaining balanced hormonal levels. Since flaxseeds are energy-dense with great satiety value, these make you feel full and therefore facilitate weight management.
Flaxseeds are great for women’s health, regular consumption may help reduce menopausal symptoms and can also help tackling irregular periods and menstruation-linked discomfort. Women should make the best out of these alsi seeds benefits.

Lignans present in flaxseeds help in battling high levels of estrogen and help in maintaining balanced hormonal levels.

How To Eat Flaxseeds?

There has been quite a lot of debate on how should one consume flaxseeds. It is true that flaxseeds, when not chewed properly, can go undigested, flushed out your system. Ground or milled flaxseeds, in that case, make a better choice. You can also opt for flaxseed oil to replace other oils in your cooking. We share with you, some of the easiest ways in which you can incorporate flaxseeds in your daily diet.
“If you buy whole flaxseeds, grind as needed and add to yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, smoothies, casseroles, and baked goods. Sprouting flaxseeds releases more of their protein and omega-3 fats,” as mentioned in Healing Foods.

Flaxseeds, when not chewed properly, can go undigested, flushed out your system.
Flaxseeds, when ground, get so versatile that you don’t even have to think twice to create a splendid array of delicacies. From rotis, parathas, pooris, breads, desserts, drinks to soups, salads, and what not, adding a tablespoon of flaxseeds can give any dish a healthy, nutty, toasty spin. Just in case you want a little push to start using flaxseeds in your regular cooking, we have got some of the simplest and fuss-free recipes for you to get started.
Interesting Flaxseeds Recipes
1. Grilled Peach and Papaya Salad with Amaranth Granola Recipe
Recipe by Shamsul Wahid, Smoke House
The goodness of fresh peaches and papaya meets the crunchiness of granola made of flaxseeds, amaranth and other health-loaded ingredients.
2. Flaxseed Smoothie
Recipe by Dr. Gargi Sharma

  • 2 Tbsp flaxseeds
  • 1 cup flavored soya milk
  • 1 cup chilled and roughly chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup chilled and roughly chopped bananas
  • 2 tsp honey
  • Garnish: 2 strawberries and 2 bananas slices


  1. Add strawberries, bananas, flaxseeds and honey in soya milk, blend in a juicer till the mixture is smooth and frothy.
  2. Pour equal quantities of the smoothie into 2 individual glasses.
  3. Serve garnished with a strawberry and banana slice.

3. Flaxseed Raita
Recipe by Dr. Gargi Sharma

  • 1 cup bottle gourd, thickly grated
  • 1 cup low-fat curd, freshly beaten
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, finely chopped (pudina)
  • 1/4 tsp roasted cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1/4 tsp black salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp roasted and coarsely ground flaxseeds
  • Salt to taste


  1. Combine the bottle guard with one cup of water. Cover and cook on a medium flame for 4 minutes.
  2. Combine all the ingredients, including the cooked bottle gourd in a deep bowl and mix well.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and serve chilled.

How healthful is flaxseed?

Share on PinterestThe omega-3 in flaxseed may help prevent certain types of cancer cell from developing.

Flaxseed contains some nutrients that may have various health benefits.

Like other plant-based foods, flaxseed is rich in antioxidants. These can help prevent disease by removing molecules called free radicals from the body.

Free radicals occur as a result of natural processes and environmental pressures. If there are too many free radicals in the body, oxidative stress can develop, leading to cell damage and disease. Antioxidants help remove free radicals from the body.

Flaxseed is a good source of lignans, which appear to have antioxidant properties.

According to some scientists, flaxseed may be over 800 times richer in lignans than most other foods.

The following sections discuss the possible health benefits of flaxseed in more detail.

Reducing the risk of cancer

Flaxseed contains omega-3 fatty acids. Research suggests that these may help prevent different types of cancer cells from growing.

Flaxseed also contains lignans, which are antioxidants that may slow tumor growth by preventing them from forming new blood vessels.

One 2013 survey found a lower incidence of breast cancer among females who consumed flaxseed regularly.

Also, in 2018, the authors of a review concluded that flaxseed may help reduce the risk of breast cancer after menopause.

Lignans are a type of phytoestrogen, which is a plant-based nutrient that acts in a similar way to estrogen. There has been some concern that phytoestrogens may increase the risk of breast cancer, but recent research suggests that they may play a protective role.

How does diet affect cancer risk? Find out here.

Improving cholesterol and heart health

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommend eating more fiber and omega-3s to boost heart health. Lignans, too, may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Flaxseed contains all of these nutrients.

Flaxseed also contains phytosterols. Phytosterols have a similar structure to cholesterol, but they help prevent the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines.

Consuming phytosterols may therefore help reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad,” cholesterol in the body.

In 2010, researchers looked at the effect of flaxseed on the cholesterol levels of males with moderately high cholesterol. Participants took either a 20 milligram (mg) capsule containing lignans, a 100 mg capsule, or a placebo for 12 weeks.

Cholesterol levels fell after taking lignans, especially in those who took the 100 mg capsules.

The researchers behind a 2012 study involving 17 people found that consuming flaxseed lowered LDL cholesterol levels and helped the body remove fat, although they note that the overall diet may also play a role. The team suggested that dietary flaxseed may be useful for lowering cholesterol levels.

Some scientists have also linked omega-3 oils, which are usually present in oily fish, to reductions in cardiovascular risk. Researchers have suggested that flaxseed could offer an alternative to marine sources of omega 3. This could make it a useful resource for people who follow a plant-based diet.

Learn more about soluble and insoluble fiber here.

Easing the symptoms of arthritis

According to the Arthritis Foundation, flaxseed may help reduce joint pain and stiffness. Some people take it for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Raynaud’s phenomenon.

They add that there is a lack of evidence to support its use for this purpose, but they say that the ALA in flaxseed may help reduce inflammation.

People can take it:

  • ground (one tablespoon per day)
  • as an oil (one to three tablespoons per day)
  • in capsules (1,300–3,000 mg per day)

What is the anti-inflammatory diet? Find out here.

Reducing hot flashes

In 2007, a team of scientists published results suggesting that flaxseed may help reduce the incidence or severity of hot flashes in women not using estrogen therapy during menopause.

In 2012, however, further research by the same team concluded that flaxseed did not, in fact, make any difference.

Improving blood sugar

Lignans and other phytoestrogens may help reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes.

In 2013, scientists gave 25 people 0 g, 13 g, or 26 g of flaxseed every day for 12 weeks. The participants had prediabetes and were either males with obesity or overweight or females who had undergone menopause.

The 13 g dosage appeared to lower glucose and insulin levels and improve insulin sensitivity, but the other dosages did not have this effect.

Also, a 2016 rodent study suggested that the compounds in flaxseed may help reduce the incidence of type 1 diabetes and delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. These results may not be applicable to humans, however.

The same year, 99 people with prediabetes took 40 g or 20 g of flaxseed or no flaxseed and no placebo each day for 12 weeks. Consuming flaxseed appeared to reduce blood pressure, but it did not improve blood sugar levels or insulin resistance.

The benefits of flaxseed on the symptoms of diabetes remain unclear.

Which foods can lower blood sugar?

Preventing constipation

Flaxseed is a good source of insoluble fiber, which does not dissolve in water, instead remaining in the digestive tract after eating. There, it absorbs water and adds bulk, which may help promote regularity.

However, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) say that there is little evidence to suggest that flaxseed helps reduce constipation.

The NCCIH add that consuming flaxseed with too little water can worsen constipation and may lead to an intestinal blockage.

Also, too much flaxseed or flaxseed oil can cause diarrhea.

Which foods can help relieve constipation? Learn more here.

Reducing the impact of radiation

In 2013, scientists found evidence to suggest that dietary lignans from flaxseed helped mice recover from radiation exposure.

The mice that consumed lignans had lower levels of inflammation, injury, oxidative damage, and fibrosis, as well as a better survival rate, compared with those that did not.

If further tests in humans show similar results, lignans from flaxseed could help treat lung issues following exposure to radiation or radiation therapy.

Other conditions

The NCCIH are currently funding studies to find out whether or not the nutrients in flaxseed can help with:

  • ovarian cancer
  • cardiovascular disease
  • metabolic syndrome
  • diabetes
  • asthma
  • inflammation

Uses of flaxseed in Ayurvedic medicine include:

  • promoting overall health
  • restoring the skin’s pH balance
  • preventing chronic conditions, such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, and arthritis
  • providing protection from cancer

We’ll cut to the chase: As far as the nut and seed family goes, flaxseed is among the more high-maintenance members—and one of the most nutritious. These mildly nutty-flavored seeds have a relatively short shelf life and have to be chopped or ground before eating, but don’t let that deter you from seeking them out. Here’s how to incorporate flaxseed into everything from your morning oatmeal to quick breads for a fast health boost.

Types of flaxseed: Brown (left), ground flaxseed meal, and golden flaxseed. Photo: Flickr/alishav

Flickr/alishavWhat You Need to Know

Flaxseed is derived from the flax plant, which also yields fibers used to make linen fabrics. The flax plant also produces flaxseed oil, which is sold in both industrial- and food-grade forms. When shopping for flaxseed, you might come across golden and brown varieties—both taste lightly nutty, but brown flaxseed has a slightly earthier flavor.

The key thing to know about eating flaxseed is you need to grind it before you eat it. Nothing bad will happen if you ingest the whole seeds, but our bodies can’t naturally break them down to digest all the nutritional goodness bound within. To get the health benefits (more on that below!), you’ll either have to chop or grind whole flaxseed—a small spice or coffee grinder will do the trick. Only grind what you need, as flaxseed tends to spoil quickly once it’s ground. You can buy bags of pre-ground flaxseed meal at the store if you need the convenience factor, but it’s best to use up your supply quickly, as it can start to go rancid a few weeks after opening the package.

You can also opt to get your flax fill through bottled flaxseed oil, which is loaded with nutritious omega-3 fatty acids. An added bonus of flaxseed oil: It makes an excellent seasoning choice for your beloved cast-iron pans.

Chopped brown flaxseed gives these pancakes staying power. Photo: Kyle Johnson

Kyle JohnsonHow to Eat It

Unlike sunflower seeds or pepitas, flaxseed doesn’t make for the best eating straight outta the bag, since we can’t properly digest it whole. But it’s incredibly easy to add ground flaxseed to muffin, pancake, or waffle batter, as well as to bread dough. Blend ground flaxseed into smoothies and juices, or use it to top hot or cold cereal.

Are store-bought pre-ground flaxseeds as nutritionally effective as buying whole seeds and grinding yourself?

Pictured Recipe: Almond-Honey Power Bar

A: Probably not,” says Barry Swanson, Ph.D., a fellow at the Institute of Food Technologists and professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Washington State University. (We went straight to a food-tech pro for this answer.) While pre-ground flaxseeds offer similar amounts of protein, total fat, fiber, minerals and vitamins as those you buy whole and grind yourself, they likely contain lower levels of heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), says Swanson. Pre-ground flaxseed has been exposed to oxygen longer; oxygen causes polyunsaturated fats to break down. (So do heat and light.) Tell-tale sign that this has occurred: an off smell and/or flavor you might call “rancid.”

To retain the polyunsaturated fatty acids, store your flaxseed-whole or ground-in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. If you do buy pre-ground, be sure your storage container is dark-and not made of metal, which contains minerals that contribute to fat breakdown. Best bet: Buy whole. Grind only what you need. Relish the freshness. (Note: Whole flaxseeds are very hard and will pass through your body undigested if you don’t grind them before sprinkling them on your cereal or salad. A coffee grinder or small food processor does a fabulous job of “freeing” the nutrients of your flax so that you can absorb them.)

Related: Healthy Flax Seed Recipes

Flax: What You Need to Know

Flax is an extremely hot topic right now, as there is much research and media focused on this functional food. Flaxseed provides many essential nutrients; specifically, it is rich in fibre, omega 3-fatty acids, and lignans. Flaxseeds are the richest sources of lignans, a type of phytoestrogen which may protect against cancer, specifically breast and prostate, both of which are hormone sensitive cancers.

What Are the Benefits of Flax?

There are three main parts of the flaxseed that provide health benefits: fibre (both soluble fibre and insoluble fibre), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)/omega 3-fatty acid, and lignans.

Flaxseed has been shown to be beneficial for one’s health, for proper infant growth and development, constipation prevention, heart health, autoimmune disease, inflammation, and potentially for cancer risk reduction.

How Much Should I Consume?

The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) states the adequate intake for alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the omega 3-fatty acid found in flaxseeds, is 1.6 grams per day for men; and 1.1 grams per day for women. One tablespoon of flaxseed is generally enough to obtain these levels.

The Different Types of Flax

Many people question whether to buy organic or non-organic flaxseeds. According to the Flax Council of Canada, all flax that is clean and that comes from a reputable supplier is considered to be safe for consumption.

Whole flaxseeds – When the flaxseed is eaten whole, you will receive the benefits of the fibre and the lignans. In order to get the omega 3-fatty acid benefit of the flaxseeds, you must chew the seeds very well or grind them. In terms of storage, whole flax seeds can be kept at room temperature for up to 10 months.

Ground flaxseeds or flax meal – All nutritional benefits (omega 3-fatty acids, fibre, and lignans) of flaxseeds are obtained when eaten ground. Ground flaxseeds are best stored in the fridge or freezer for no longer than 3 months after opening. If grinding the seeds yourself, grind as needed to prevent spoilage. There are approximately 1.6 grams of omega 3-fatty acids in 1 tbsp of ground flaxseeds.

Flax oil – Flax oil is extracted from the whole flax seed. It is sold as oil or in gel supplements. It is best to keep flax oil in a cool, dark place – ideally in the refrigerator. It is an excellent source of omega 3-fatty acids, but it contains neither the lignans nor the fibre, as they are removed during the process of oil extraction. For storage length, look at the manufacturers’ best before date. There are approximately 7.2 grams of omega 3-fatty acids in 1 tbsp of flax oil.

To obtain the benefits of the entire flaxseed, the best form is the ground flaxseed/flax meal.

Experiment with Flax…How to incorporate it Into the Diet

  1. Add 1 tbsp of ground flax seed to your cereal, yogurt, applesauce, casseroles, pasta, or soup.
  2. Add ground flax seeds to home-baked goods, such as muffins, cakes, cookies, or breads.
  3. Replace other oils and margarine/butter with flax seed oil. Use for salad dressings, marinades, and on potatoes or vegetables.

Flax has been enjoyed for thousands of years throughout the world. The first record of people using flax dates back to 5000 BC where burial chambers of southern Mesopotamia displayed flax as an important part of ancient life. As flax spread throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, and eventually to North America, it grew in popularity. Today flax is used as an additive in a wide variety of products such as paint and biodegradable linoleum, or used on its own as a nutritional food item, or even processed into fabric. The diversity of the flax plant is unmistakable. Canada is currently one of the world leaders in flax production and trade.

First published in the Inside Tract® newsletter issue 151 – September/October 2005

There’s a reason you’ve seen an uptick in recipes that call for flax seeds recently. The tiny little seeds are nutritional powerhouses, and healthy eaters are starting to spread the gospel. But there’s an important step — it’s crucial, tbh — that you’ve got to take before adding flax seeds to anything you’re making. You’ve got to grind those suckers before you eat them.

Your body can’t naturally break down flax seeds and get to all the good stuff inside, so you’ve got to make sure they’re broken up a bit — chopped, ground, milled — first. Once that’s taken care of, you can add flax seed to nearly anything for a little superfood boost. Every tablespoon has 2 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and tons of healthy omega-3s.

BUY NOW Carrington Farms Organic Milled Flax Seeds, $8; amazon

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TGIF! Thank Goodness It’s Flax! Dig into some yogurt topped with our milled flax seeds, which contains essential fatty acids, Omega 3s, fiber, and lignans to improve your cellular health.

A post shared by Carrington Farms (@carringtonfarms) on Aug 25, 2017 at 7:19am PDT

There are a number of ways to grind flax seeds yourself — with a flax mill, a spice grinder, a coffee grinder, or a mortal and pestle — but the easiest option is to buy them pre-ground. Most brands sell them this way: Look out for “milled” or “ground” on the package. You can keep flax seeds on hand to add to smoothies, like Jennifer Garner and Beth Behrs both do. They’re the perfect addition to any type of batter or dough, too: banana bread, pancakes, muffins.

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Sarah Weinberg Deputy Editor Sarah Weinberg is the deputy editor at Delish and has covered food, travel, home, and lifestyle for a number of publications, including Food Network Magazine and Country Living.

Flax seed is an ancient fibre crop that originally originates in Egypt and China. Flax seed is also called linseed. It is rich in nutrients i.e. anti oxidants, Omega 3 fatty acids, and photo nutrients. Its health benefits are numerous. It is proved to protect from prostate cancer, breast cancer, Good for blood pressure and aids in digestion process. It is a brain food i.e. Presence of omega -3 fatty acids helps fights dementia, depression, and is needed for better brain development. Flax seeds are good for skin and immune system etc. Visit

Flax seeds are found in as a whole or crushed flax seeds. One can store flax seeds or flax oil in a refrigerator for not more than two weeks. If one grinds the seeds, then the nutrients don’t deplete. However it should be stored up till 7 days. There are six best options to grind flax seeds without losing its health properties. It’s important to grind flax seeds so that it can be easily absorbed by the body. If it is consumed as a whole, there are chances that it will pass through the body without breaking down. Let’s see the six methods to grind flax seeds:-

  • Flax seed Mill – It is a very quick way to grind seeds and use them. It effectively crushes and grinds the hard part of the flax seeds. It grinds gently to protect its natural oils.
  • Coffee grinder – It is very easy to grind coffee in coffee grinder. One can use it to make a powder out of flax seeds.
  • Pepper Mill – Pepper mill is available in almost all homes. Just add flax seeds inside and start rotating. The ground seeds will get sprinkled on the food.
  • Electric blender – cover the flask while using the blender so that the powder doesn’t gets spread. This process takes some time, but the seeds get grounded properly.
  • Food processor – This process is also quick and easy. One needs to fill the food processor to the brim so that it quickly grinds the seeds or else it will take a long time.
  • Mortar and pestle – It is the cheapest method than rest of the methods. Take a handful of seeds and grind it in a twisting motion. The only disadvantage of this method is that it takes a lot of time and energy. To choose the best mortar and pestle is also not a easy task. Granite Mortar and Pestle is the best option as it provides natural friction for swift grinding. All these appliances are available online as well in the stores. Different products have different price range. Visit

Flax seeds are recommended two tablespoons per day. It’s advisable to start with ½ tablespoon and then gradually increase the dose. Flax seeds are very good bowel agent to avoid constipation. And also helps in weight loss. And also controls blood sugar. Flax seeds are very good form of nuts. To get the maximum benefits eat it everyday.

It’s just a shiny little seed, so how can something so small be so nutritious? Once you learn all the amazing ways flaxseed benefits heart health, lowers cholesterol levels, and even plays a part in regulating blood sugar, you’ll be using it every chance you get.

Looks certainly be deceiving. This tiny little member of the seed family is actually a powerful superfood with enormous health benefits. As long as it’s ground-up before you eat it, flaxseed is incredibly easy to incorporate into your daily regimen.

I’ll show you some great tips for getting more of this beneficial food into your meals, and explain why everyone needs more flaxseed in their life.

What are flaxseeds?

Flax seeds, also known as linseeds, are the seeds of the flax plant. Every part of the flax plant has its use. Flax fibers are used to make linen and rope. Flax seeds are also used to make linseed oil, used in woodworking and carpentry.

As far back as 30,000 years ago, flax has been cultivated and grown as a steady crop in Egypt, Switzerland, Syria, and China. And as if that’s not enough, this wondrous little seed scores huge in the health department, too.

Taste profile

Like many seeds, flaxseeds have a slightly mild, nutty flavor so they’re ideal for adding to both sweet and savory foods. In case you’re wondering, children and picky eaters may not notice a little flaxseed meal when it’s added to their favorite foods in small amounts.

How it’s grown

Only the sturdiest and most tenacious plant could last thousands of years. Linum usitatissimum, Latin for “the most useful kind of flax,” is the variety of flax that’s cultivated for seeds. It grows in huge fields and it likes full-sun, cooler climates with well-drained soil.

When the seed pods swell and turn brown after blooming, the seeds are harvested. Canada supplies the majority of the brown flax seeds, while North America grows the golden variety.

Types of flaxseeds

There are two basic types of flax seeds, brown and golden, both found in health food and specialty stores. Most people find that the dark brown seeds have a somewhat stronger flavor than the golden seeds. Both are good sources of alpha-linolenic acid, although the dark seeds are slightly higher in ALA than the golden variety.

What is flaxseed oil?

For a more concentrated dose of all the benefits flaxseed has to offer, many people rely on flaxseed oil, which is extracted oil from the seed. Since it’s an oil, it’s richer than ground flaxseed, but it’s a wonderful supplement on its own.

One teaspoon of flaxseed oil contains 40 calories. Not only can flaxseed oil be consumed, but it can be used directly on the skin to balance out minor skin problems, as well.

How to use flaxseeds

Since whole flax seeds aren’t able to be fully digested by the body, they have to be ground up before you eat them. The best way to do this is in a small coffee grinder, spice mill, or even a mortar and pestle. Grind just what you need, though, because ground meal spoils quickly.

Buying and storing flaxseeds

Because flaxseed, flaxseed meal, and flaxseed oil are all light-sensitive and can degrade with prolonged exposure to light, make sure you look for opaque packaging in the products you buy and read the recommended “use by” dates on the labels carefully.

Thankfully, whole flax seeds can keep at room temperature for up to a year, but once they’re ground, the flaxseed meal should be used as soon as possible. Flaxseed oil can also go rancid if not used efficiently. Try to purchase smaller amounts of oil and pre-ground meal, and use what you grind in a short amount of time.

How to cook with It

  • Thickener in recipes: Using flax is a great way to naturally replace gluten-containing grains in recipes, especially baked ones; flax is usually easily metabolized.
  • Egg substitute: That’s right! You can replace eggs in a recipe using finely ground flax seed. Use one tablespoon of flax seeds and three tablespoons of water, combined, to replace one egg. The seeds have a gelatinous quality that emulsifies much the way an egg would.

Recipes ideas

  • Smoothies: For a morning jumpstart, add a tablespoon or two of ground flaxseed meal into a smoothie or shake. Your day just got a little healthier!
  • Baking: Ideal for cookies, muffins, pancakes, and quick breads: If you love to bake, coarsely ground flaxseeds can be added to any of these to boost texture and nutrition.
  • Salads: Drizzle some flaxseed oil over roasted vegetables, or add the chopped seeds as a last-minute topping. If you like, switch out olive oil and make a vinaigrette out of flaxseed oil.
  • Snacks: Flaxseed oil can be sprinkled on popcorn or the ground meal can be mixed with herbs and spices and used to make your own crackers or baked chips.
  • Oatmeal: With flaxseed meal, oats just got a lot smarter. Shake overcooked oatmeal or pudding made of soaked chia seeds with a little cinnamon and brown sugar.
  • Granola and breakfast bars: If you make your own energy bars or granola, add ground flax meal to the recipe.

Hint: because flaxseed oil has such a low smoking point, (225) avoid cooking with it. However, it does make a wonderful neutral oil for seasoning cast iron pans.


If you’re on a low carb, Whole30, or Paleo specific diet, incorporating the healthy fats that seeds offer into your diet is especially important. Flax seeds and flaxseed oil are highly recommended for their low carb properties and their high quantities of essential fatty acids, edging out even chia seeds, which have slightly lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids.

Furthermore, those following strict plant-based diets will benefit from flaxseed oil, as it favorably compares to fish oil in terms of omega-3s.

Nutritional profile per serving

Eating two tablespoons of ground flax seed a day will provide about 20 percent to 25 percent of your fiber needs. (Most adults should aim to consume between 25–40 grams of fiber a day.)

  • 3.6 g of plant-based omega-3s
  • 75 calories
  • 2.6 grams of protein
  • 4 grams of carbohydrates (mostly fiber)
  • 6 grams of fat

Health benefits of flaxseeds

  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids, known as the “good” fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Research indicates that flaxseed could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer, like prostate cancer and breast cancer. Besides that, essential fatty acids keep skin, nails, and hair shiny and healthy.
  • Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities, promoting hormonal balance. Flaxseed is the highest source of lignans in the plant world; it contains 75 to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods. The lignans in flaxseeds may help both menopausal and postmenopausal women alike.
  • Fiber. Flaxseed contains both the soluble fiber and insoluble fiber, which can help with regulating blood sugar, promoting weight loss and preventing constipation. Soluble fiber can also help reduce LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids such as alpha-linolenic acid. The alpha-linolenic acid and related chemicals in flaxseed oil seem to have anti-inflammatory properties. That is why flaxseed oil is considered useful for rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
  • Choline, which contributes to brain health and function.

How to make a flax egg

4.67 from 6 votes

Flax Egg Recipe

How to make flax eggs as a vegan substitute for eggs in baked goods. Prep Time5 mins Cook Time5 mins Total Time10 mins Course: Condiment Cuisine: American Servings: 1 egg Calories: 37kcal Author: Jessica Gavin


  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
  • 3 tablespoons water, (45ml)


  • Combine ground flaxseeds with water in a small bowl.
  • Allow the mixture to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before using. The consistency should be thick and viscous.
  • Use immediately in the recipe.

Nutrition Facts Flax Egg Recipe Amount Per Serving Calories 37 Calories from Fat 18 % Daily Value* Fat 2g3% Sodium 4mg0% Potassium 56mg2% Carbohydrates 2g1% Fiber 1g4% Protein 1g2% Calcium 18mg2% Iron 0.4mg2% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

There’s a reason that flax seeds have made it to the mainstream market. These tiny, flattened, bronze-colored seeds are brimming with nutritional goodness, and are more versatile then you may realize. Think outside the culinary box, and check out these 10 easy ways to incorporate more flax into your everyday recipes.

Why Eat Flax Seeds?

Flax is a great source of fiber, which is beneficial for digestive health and can also help lower cholesterol.

One tablespoon of whole seeds contains 55 calories, 3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, and about 2,300 milligrams of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fat. ALA has been shown to help decrease the risk of certain inflammatory diseases like diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease. Flax seeds are also an excellent source of magnesium, manganese, and thiamin and a good source of selenium. They also contain gamma-tocopheral, a form of the antioxidant vitamin E.

Flax contains powerful antioxidants called lignans, which are phytochemicals (or plant chemicals) that provide many health benefits. They are metabolized by friendly bacteria is your gut, then absorbed and circulated in the blood. This is where they help prevent plaque build-up in your arteries and help lower LDL (or bad) cholesterol. Studies have also found that lignans may also help improve blood sugar in those with diabetes.

This combination of lignans, fiber, and omega-3’s has gained nutritional notoriety. Studies have linked flax to cardiovascular protection and the reduced risk of prostate cancer.

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Purchasing and Storing

To get the nutritional and health benefits of flax seeds, aim for 1 to 2 tablespoons of flax daily. You can purchase flax seeds whole or ground. The ground flax seeds may be easier for some folks to digest over the whole variety. Store flax seeds in a sealed plastic container in a cool, dark place for up to 4 months. To maintain freshness longer, you can also store flax seeds in a sealed plastic container in the refrigerator or freezer.

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10 Creative Ways to Eat Flax

#1: Morning Cereal

Start your morning with a healthy dose of omega-3’s by sprinkling over cold cereal or stirring it into hot cereal like oatmeal.

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#2: Smoothies

Flax seeds add a slightly, but not overwhelming, nutty flavor. Add 1 tablespoon of whole flax seeds into your morning smoothie for an extra 2 grams of protein.

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#3: Parfait

Combine yogurt, fruit, and flax for a delicious morning parfait.

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#4: Green Salads

Use flax oil to make an omega-3-packed vinaigrette for any salad. You’ll get more fiber and a nice crunch, however, by topping the salad with the actual seeds (whole or ground).

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#5: Protein Salads

When preparing a tuna, chicken, or egg salad, mix ground flaxseeds into the dressing.

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#6: Breaded Recipes

Replace part or all of the flour in breaded recipes (like chicken tenders) with ground flax seeds. You can also combine ground flax seeds with crushed nuts like almonds or pecans for a delicious fish crust.

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#7: Soups

Garnish soups with a tablespoon of ground flax seed, for a slight nutty flavor and delicious crunch.

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#8: Casseroles, Chili, and Stews

Get a boost of fiber and omega-3 by stirring ground flax seeds into a hearty casserole, chili, or stew.

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#9: Ground Meat Dishes

Substitute ground flax for breadcrumbs in ground meat dishes like meatballs, tacos, and meatloaf.

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#10: Baked Goods

Add ground flax seeds to the batter of muffins, breads, cookies, and cakes.

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How to grind flax?

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