I’ve seen a lot of people advocating the use of Flax Seeds (including JB)as opposed to the oil. I just needed a little more information.
Are the seeds “better” (cost, overall nutrition, etc.) than the oil, and in what way?
My understanding is that they must me ground.
a)Do they grind up as a powder or more of the consistency of, say, grape-nuts or ground nuts?
b)What is a good “grinder” or source of a grinder?
- What have you found to be the best source of flax seeds? (Internet? Health food store? Costco/Sams? Other?
Thanks, guys. I hope that others may have the same questions.
Here’s some info from an old “Stuff We Like” column of mine:
Most all T-mag readers know about the importance of omega-3’s. These are the “good fats” which offer a wide variety of health benefits. Fish oil and flax seed oil are the usual choices, along with Udo’s Choice.
I admit though, I hate flax seed oil. To me, there’s nothing quite as nasty as a mouthful of oil, even if it is a healthy oil. Sure, I’ve put it in my protein shakes, but I can still taste it. Besides, I relish my chocolate Grow! shakes. It’s almost sacrilegious to screw up the flavor with yucky flax oil! I’d heard flax seeds themselves were pretty tasty so I decided to give them a shot.
Now, there are a couple of ways you can buy flax seeds. You can buy the whole seed, then grind it up with a coffee grinder, or you can buy them already milled and vacuum packed. Those who buy them whole tell me you have to have a special coffee grinder just for the flax seeds and if you don’t clean it out thoroughly, it can get really get stinky. Forget that! I bought the pre-milled stuff, choosing the GNC Natural Brand.
The GNC brand cold-milled flax seeds are certified organic, come in 15-ounce packages, (28 servings) and run about eight bucks. Each heaping tablespoon contains 3 grams of omega-3’s, 1 gram of omega-6, and 110mg of lignans (those cool little phytochemicals that combat estrogen). Each spoonful also has 5 grams of fiber. The outside of the seed is very similar to psyllium husks, which is the main ingredient in most natural fiber supplements.
How do you eat this stuff? You can put it in protein shakes, mix it into yogurt, or sprinkle it over salads and hot cereals. It doesn’t have much of a taste at all really, but if you use a lot it has a mild nutty taste. It does have a coarse, gritty texture however, and smells like flax seed oil, just not as strong.
Flax seed oil is more concentrated, of course, so you get more than double the omega-3’s from a tablespoon of flax oil compared to the milled seeds, but the oil gives you no fiber and you have to deal with that nasty flavor. (Granted, some people like the stuff, but I’m not one of them!) Milled flax seeds won’t take care of all your “good fat” needs, but they can make an impact, plus the fiber aspect is very healthy and beneficial. Just remember to refrigerate after opening.
Note: Since the above review was written, I’ve tried several brands and they’re all about the same. No difference in quality that I can see.