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Ground Flax Seeds: Some Questions

Hey, gang!

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.

  1. Are the seeds “better” (cost, overall nutrition, etc.) than the oil, and in what way?

  2. 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?

  1. 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.

Mufasa

[quote]Mufasa wrote:
Hey, gang!

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.

  1. Are the seeds “better” (cost, overall nutrition, etc.) than the oil, and in what way?

  2. 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?

  1. 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.

Mufasa[/quote]

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.

Thanks, Chris!

  1. Are Health Food stores usually the best source?

  2. Are there other brands that you guys like?

Mufasa

I just got some generic stuff at my local supermarket, in the newfangled health section. Just don’t forget to refridgerate them after opening, it’s something I didn’t realize at first.

[quote]Mufasa wrote:

  1. Are Health Food stores usually the best source?

  2. Are there other brands that you guys like?
    Mufasa[/quote]

I got mine from ‘Vitamin World’. 35 servings (5g fat/serving) of cold-milled flax seeds for $7.50.

I get mine from the grocery store, 1lb for $3.39. I use a cheap coffee grinder. It’s small and easy to clean, just pass a wet paper towel through it. They grind up sorta like if you ground nuts in it or (surprise!) the consistency of coffee grinds…

I use flax meal. Should I switch to milled flax seeds? Is there a difference? Thanks.

johnny:

IN GENERAL, the more processed a seed is, the more it loses it’s original nutritional value.

Meal has greater nutritional value than flour, but not as much as the milled seed.

Mufasa

Meh, I just get organic flax seeds in bulk at a local “health-food” store for very cheap. I just keep them in a bucket with a lid in the cupboard… When I need some, I just throw 'em in the blender, and let it rip. It works quite well this way, especially if you just continue to make a shake in said blender. I find they add a nice texture, but if you let the shake sit for quite a while, the seeds tend to soak up the contents and become kind of jellied. I’m not a fan of this, so I make sure to either drink it right away or just add the milled seeds in at the time of consumption.

Using a blender this way, I only tend to mill enough seeds that are required at that time. Freshness is guaranteed.

-FC

Thanks, Mufasa. I’ll finish off this bag and then switch over.

I’ve used this will some success…not too into grinding flax seeds: http://www.barleans.com/nutrition/lromegatwin.html

Barlean’s Omega Twin contains Omega 3, 6 & 9 EFAs. I just squirt a couple of teaspoons into the blender with the Low-Carb Grow! & ice water.

MicroSlash