Has soft texture. Keeps you full for hours if mixed into shakes and smoothies. May lower cholesterol. Could help with digestion. Kids like the great taste. Good way to eat more omega-3 fatty acids. Cold-milled adds shelf-life. Long sifting process method keeps broken and whole seeds from occurring.
Doesn't dissolve in some liquids and seeds could be hard to eat. May not retain flavor.
Certified organic and offers earthy flavor. High in soluble fiber. Big seeds bursting with good oils. Golden color. A great addition to any healthy diet. Has long expiration date of two years if kept refrigerated.
Need grinder to grind into powder for edible consumption. Some packages had small rocks, soil, and grit. No salt added, so they have little to no flavor.
Rich amount of omega-3 fatty acids with no preservatives. USDA certified organic and non-GMO project verified. Comes in large plastic bag for maximum freshness. Great in smoothies, shakes, and just about anything else. Good amount of lignans to possibly help with hormonal balance.
Must be kept refrigerated to keep from going rancid. Has a gravel-like texture and some seeds appeared to not be ground. Seal on bag doesn't close properly.
Could be used as a substitute for eggs. Good for those keeping a vegan diet. Help to keep your system regular and may increase your daily water consumption. Milder than brown seeds. Blend well with most foods and drinks.
Need a grinder to grind into powder for use in most recipes, and foods. Has gritty, gravel-like texture. May need a sieve to remove small rocks, grit, and black stones.
Farmed naturally, with no pesticides used during production. Mild nutty flavor makes them great as an ice cream topping. Come in big container for easy storage. No refrigeration needed. True cold-milled process extends shelf life of product for 24 months. Won't lose taste or consistency due to the way they are processed.
Needs to be ground with grinder. May cause gas. Tastes like plastic in some cases.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Flaxseeds, also known as linseeds, are tiny-but-mighty golden or brown seeds that are one of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet. Doctors recommend consuming flaxseeds for a myriad of reasons, from lowering cholesterol to balancing hormones. They contain a high amount of fiber, plant-based protein, and antioxidants call lignans. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, flaxseeds are an essential alternative source of omega-3 fatty acids and can even be used as an egg substitute in recipes.
Health benefits aside, flaxseeds are as delicious as they are nutritious. They are commonly added to smoothies and sprinkled over cereal and salads, adding a rich, nutty flavor. As you can imagine, this popular superfood is offered by a multitude of brands.
Not all flaxseed is created equal, however, and we’re here to help you understand the difference between ground and whole seeds and other important considerations you’ll be faced with when buying a bag. Read on to find out all you need to know about these powerful little seeds.
Flaxseeds are a popular health food for their rich source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). These are different from the omega-3s found in fish oil that contain EPA or DHA. Flaxseeds are also the biggest source of lignans in the human diet.
Flaxseeds are also a great source of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, and they contain minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, manganese, and thiamine. Here’s how these properties may benefit your health.
ALA is considered a healthy fat. In studies, it has been proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and promote heart health in a myriad of ways. Like all omega-3s, the ALA contained in flaxseed is anti-inflammatory.
Two tablespoons of flaxseed per day can cover 25% of your daily recommended fiber intake. It’ll also help maintain regular bowel movements and support colon detoxification. The fiber content and low carb content of the seeds can also help you feel fuller, promoting weight loss.
The omega-3 ALA in flaxseed strengthens hair and make it shinier. Flaxseed also contains B vitamins, like B6, that can reduce dryness and flakiness for skin and nails as well. Taking two tablespoons of flaxseed a day may also relieve symptoms of acne, eczema, and rosacea.
One study has found that flaxseeds help lower cholesterol by increasing the amount of fat you excrete. The soluble fiber in the seeds may also trap cholesterol, as well as fat, so that they pass unabsorbed through the digestive tract.
For women, the lignans in flaxseed act as phytoestrogens, which have the ability to increase or decrease estrogen levels depending on what your body needs. Menopausal women especially can benefit from flaxseed.
A study shows that flaxseeds can help reduce blood pressure. The seeds must be ground and consumed for over 12 weeks for anti-hypertensive results.
Preliminary studies suggest that flaxseeds may help fight breast cancer as well as diabetes.
Flaxseeds also contain omega-6 (linoleic acid) but in a lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 than other seeds.
Flaxseeds are not a health food you need to choke down to reap the benefits to your body. They are actually a yummy addition to almost any meal. They are used as egg substitutes in vegan baking recipes but also are added to non-vegan baked goods for their nutty crunch — all while being a nut-free and gluten-free! These little seeds are amenable to paleo and keto diets, too.
Ground or whole flaxseeds can be added to smoothies to make them more filling. They can be sprinkled on top of cereal, oatmeal, and yogurt and mixed into granola. Try adding flaxseed to your salad for an added crunch, or use flaxseed oil in your salad dressing.
Brown flaxseeds are more commonly found on the shelves of grocery stores, but you can find golden flaxseeds in health food stores. While both color varieties are nutritious, brown flaxseeds have slightly more ALA than golden ones: 2.5 grams per tablespoon vs. 2.1 grams per tablespoon.
Flaxseeds come either whole or ground. Ground seeds are also called “flaxseed meal.” To optimize health benefits, most nutrition experts recommend ground seeds, as the grinding process unlocks some healthy components. However, whole flaxseeds can easily be ground at home with a coffee grinder.
Flaxseeds are available pre-ground, which is sometimes called flaxseed meal or milled flaxseed.
Flaxseeds typically come in plastic bags, though a few brands carry them in plastic containers. They may be available to buy in bulk at health food stores, which is the most cost-effective way to purchase them. Bags typically come in 12-ounce, 16-ounce, 24-ounce, and 30-ounce quantities, or in 1-lb, 2-lb, 4-lb, or 6-lb bags.
Some flaxseeds come in resealable bags, which makes it easier for you to store them and prevent over-exposure to the air, which can spoil them. Ground flaxseed will turn rancid faster than whole seeds.
“Milled” is a word you might find on some labels; the process of milling is claimed to unlock more nutrition. However, it is important to note that milled flaxseed is the same as ground flaxseed. “Cold-milled” just means that the seeds were ground at a cool temperature so as to keep omega-3s and nutrients stable.
Whether you’re a health nut or just becoming health conscious, you may wish to purchase flaxseed that is labeled as organic and non-GMO. This will help you avoid ingesting unnecessary pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and other potentially harmful chemicals.
Low-priced, non-organic flaxseed ranges from $0.14/ounce to $0.28/ounce. This includes whole seeds and ground flaxseed.
Mid-priced flaxseed ranges from $0.31/ounce to $0.48/ounce. This includes organic flaxseed, both whole and ground.
Top-quality flaxseed ranges from $0.50/ounce to $0.93/ounce. These seeds are almost always organic. Some include blends with other super seeds or are of a “sprouted” variety.
Grind your whole flaxseeds right before consumption for optimal access to phytonutrients like fiber.
If you grind whole flaxseeds at home, it’s best consume them right away to reduce their exposure to air.
When adding flaxseed to a smoothie, use more milk — cow, nut, or coconut — than you’re used to, as the seeds will absorb some of the liquid.
Always store ground seeds in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent them from oxidizing and turning rancid and from losing its ALA and omega-3 properties. Store the seeds in an opaque, lidded container or sealable bag.
Store whole flaxseeds in a cool, dry place in a closed container. Whole seeds can last up to a year longer than ground ones.
Drink more water or fluids when adding fiber sources, like flaxseed, to your diet.
If you’re looking for a low-cost organic flaxseed meal, check out Premium Gold Organic Ground Flaxseed. These golden seeds are cold-milled, optimizing their nutritional value with a barely there taste. Slip this nutrient-dense meal into recipes your kids will love. The resealable pouch is convenient and eliminates the mess and hassle of transfering the powder to another container. Golden organic flaxseeds are hard to come by, and at this price, they’re a no-brainer purchase.
GERBS Raw Brown Flaxseed is an ideal flaxseed product for those sensitive to allergens. These seeds are processed on equipment free from gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, dairy, soy, egg, and more! This non-GMO product comes in a well-packaged, resealable bag and in big quantities. For consumers who prefer to grind their own seeds, these whole seeds are top quality and come at a good price.
Q. How much flaxseed should I consume a day for its touted health benefits?
A. Most nutrition experts recommend one to three tablespoons per day. A tablespoon of flaxseed oil each day is sometimes recommended in addition or in lieu of this amount. Check with your healthcare professional when supplementing with flaxseed.
Q. Which are better for me: flaxseeds or chia seeds?
A. Chia seeds are another superfood that’s gained popularity in the health and wellness world. These tiny white or black seeds also contain a lot of fiber and ALA. However, flaxseeds contain more of this omega-3, whereas chia seeds contain more fiber. Flaxseeds stand alone in their high content of lignans. Chia seeds have similar mineral and vitamin content, but they contain more calcium than flaxseed.
Q. Are there any drawbacks or side effects to ingesting flaxseeds?
A. Because of their high fiber content, flaxseeds can loosen the bowels to an undesirable degree. You might temporarily experience symptoms related to adding fiber to your diet like gas, abdominal discomfort, bloating, and decreased appetite. You should avoid taking flaxseed if you’re on blood thinners. Because of their phytoestrogens, it’s recommended to limit flaxseed intake if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
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