Flaxseeds – Are Ground or Whole Best?
You may hear people talking about the great health benefits of including flaxseed (otherwise known as linseeds) into your diet but you may be wondering, what is the best way to eat it, whole or ground?
Well, most nutritional experts recommend ground over whole. Grinding breaks the seeds up, making them easier to digest when eaten. Whole flaxseed may pass through your intestine undigested, which means you’ll miss out on all the health benefits.
Flaxseed’s health benefits come from the fact that it’s high in fibre and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as phytochemicals called lignans. One tablespoon (7 grams) of ground flaxseed contains 2 grams of polyunsaturated fatty acids (includes the omega 3s), 2 grams of dietary fibre and 37 calories.
Other health benefits of linseeds may also improve digestion, give you clearer skin, lower cholesterol, reduce sugar cravings, balance hormones, fight cancer and promote weight loss… so why wouldn’t you?
Where do you buy them?
You can buy whole flaxseed and packaged ground flaxseed at most health food stores or your local bulk food store. Increasingly, supermarkets also are selling flaxseed in their bulk food sections.
What is the best way to store them?
Due to their natural hard hull, whole flaxseeds can be stored in a clean, dry place at room temperature for up to a year.
However, ground flaxseed (like all foods that are high in vegetable fat) requires a little more care in handling and storing. It’s best to grind whole flaxseeds as you need them to ensure freshness, which is easily done with a coffee grinder or nut grinder. However, if you buy them already ground, you should refrigerate or freeze the ground flaxseed in an airtight, opaque container. Handled this way, it will keep for up to 90 days.
What is the best way to add them to your diet?
- Make some LSA-P (ground linseed, sunflower seeds, almonds and pumpkin seeds) Click here for the recipe
- Sprinkle a tablespoon in your smoothie
- Add to your homemade bread and muffin mixture
- Sprinkle on your breakfast cereal
- Mix in with some natural yoghurt for dessert
- Add to your favourite homemade museli
So with amazing health qualities, this is an ingredient that you’ll definitely be wanting to track down!
I’d love to know what is your favourite way of including it into your diet?