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

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.)


should one roast flax seed before grinding or raw one without roasted better?
sanjay Bangalore,,


11/08/2015 - 7:47am

It is best to consume flaxseeds within a few minutes of grinding it. You will get the most nutrition that way. And if you use a coffee bean grinder for grinding them, it'll only take you about 10 seconds, so it's fast and easy!


09/02/2015 - 2:37pm

I wish answers were provided to the questions asked above. That would make this an actual exchange and much more beneficial:)



07/03/2015 - 8:43am

Try golden flaxseeds for more nutritional value compared to the dark ones!


06/21/2015 - 11:11pm

Everything I've read says flax seed should be cold-milled (meaning ground up with no heat production in the process) because heat destroys many, if not most of, the beneficial ingredients you want to ingest it FOR ... therefore it seems it would be safe to assume, grinding the seeds in your own grinder at home (which produces heat no matter which kind of grinder you use) would create the same issue of destroying many of the benefits in this product as soon as you ground it up! Any thoughts on that?


05/29/2015 - 11:17am

where do we get flax seeds in Bangalore


05/11/2015 - 11:03pm

What is the best brand of flaxseed to buy?


04/20/2015 - 6:40pm

I understand that buying whole flax seeds and grinding them myself is much better, nutritionally, than buying pre-ground flax seeds. And I am happy to do that.
However, if I grind them myself, is it still better to use them right away, after grinding, or can I store them in the refrigerator in a dark container for a month? Will the stored ground seeds be as nutritious as if I used them right after grinding? Or do the Omega 3s start breaking down quickly?
Thank you!


04/20/2015 - 8:57am

Just wondering if whole flaxseed can go stale after some period of time on the shelf?


04/16/2015 - 9:58am

I am thankful for the good advice of purchasing the flexseeds and grind it at home.I am trying these for the first time for my debities.Just pray it work


02/18/2015 - 4:40pm

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