There is quite a bit of debate as to whether flaxseed is better for you than flaxseed oil. That maybe true but how do you eat flaxseed if not either by taking a capsule, or by taking it in an oil format? You may have noticed already on this website that there are certainly some great benefits for both men and women who take some form of flaxseed.
However, just to keep this all in perspective, this is neither a magic cure for all ailments, nor should it be classed as a super food. It is none of these but there is clear evidence that it can create essential fatty acids, and overall improve your health.
Seed or Oil
So which is best, taking the natural seed, or taking the oil version? It is indeed a very good question and yet again, great division is what you will find when you do your research.
Some experts say that by taking the oil, you lose out on some of the other vitamins contained in the seed. Other experts say, that the oil works quicker and what you miss out on the body naturally produces anyway.
According to the Flax Council of Canada, the correct amount of flaxseed to take is 1-2 tablespoons per day. From all the evidence I have read, when doing my own research, there is certainly mutual agreement on that fact.
I could find little to almost no evidence, that taking any larger amount, held any great benefits. So if that is what is recommended, then what is the best way to make sure you get your daily dose.
Types of Flaxseed
Let's clear up the terminology on the types of flaxseed, because yet again, some of this can get confusing. This happens because manufacturers try to come up with product selling names that catch our eyes as consumers. Sadly that leads to some confusion for us as well.
You may see terms like whole flaxseed which is the seed that you can buy in its natural format. Then you will also see milled and ground flaxseed and they are one and the same thing.
Brown vs Golden
You will also see brown and golden flaxseed and these are also the same product. The only difference is the colour, and people seem to prefer the golden colour as it is a lot easier and appealing on the eye. However, please note that they are almost exactly the same in every other way.
Some people say that the golden seeds are much easier to grind, but in my opinion, they really are pretty similar. What we do know is that if you buy this type of flax whole, and take the time to grind it yourself, then that will be about as fresh as you will ever get it.
How Should You Eat This Flaxseed?
The simplest way is to add the seeds to your normal everyday food. Many bakers use some ground flaxseed in their breads, pancakes, waffles etc and substitute those for a little flour in their mixtures. That is now gaining great popularity with bread makers. You can also add it into dishes such as stews, casseroles, meat loaf and even meat balls.
You can also find it in many of the breakfast cereals so check the pack ingredients. Likewise it is present in energy bars, some snacks, pasta and some crackers.
When shopping and you want something with the flaxseeds already included, then you will have to read the ingredients to make sure that they are using some form of ground or milled flax.
We want to avoid whole flax and this simply goes through the body quite quickly and we miss out on many of the healthy properties, as the body has not had time to digest the seeds in their whole form.
If you want to buy it whole, then it is a good idea to grind it yourself using a coffee grinder.
You can also sprinkle it on cereals. The picture above shows a typical flaxseed and they also include a few recipes on the packaging. That particular one is described as a whole flax, and would therefore need to be ground before eating. This works well and one of my favorite things to do with this is to add it to any rice dish. Many people also use this in their yogurt and protein shakes.
One final note is that you can also buy organic flaxseed, but you will find that it is more expensive. That simply comes down to your own decision as to whether you like products that have been organically grown or not.