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6 Things to Consider When Buying Flax Seeds

Audrey Hunt's passion for nutrition began the day she was diagnosed with diabetes. She's a vegetarian and advocate for healthy living.

things-to-consider-when-buying-flax-seeds

And The Reason You Are Buying Flax Seeds ?

So here you are, in the supermarket or health food store searching for Flaxseed. Doctor Oz has confirmed that taking this nutritious grain is good for your heart plus your neighbor takes it regularly to fight off free radicals. And you tell yourself " what the heck, if I don't like it I can always make myself a small flaxseed pillow infused with lavender essential oil."

So you scan the variety of packaged flaxseed arranged on the grocery shelf. You have a choice of dark brown, light brown, red, yellow and golden flaxseed to choose from. And should you buy flaxseed in a box, bag or scoop up a cup or two out of a bin? "

Then, as you are ready to continue with your wise decision an 'expert' dressed in a white tidy apron and huge smile announces that she is here to come to your rescue. "We have exactly what you want. I just need to ask you a couple of questions to give me an idea of which kind will be best for you. Now why are you buying flax seed and what will you be using the flaxseed for?"

The expert in the white apron suddenly becomes serious. The big smile is gone, the eyebrows now furrow, and her voice, once light and airy becomes dark and rehearsed. "If you are using flaxseed as a dye or to make hair gel, soap, fishing nets, medicines, linseed painting oil, and fabric, as well as feed for animals. you can use Dark Brown, Light Brown, Red, Yellow, and Golden Flax seed."

"I only want to take it to fight free radicals," you reply. The white-aproned expert continues, " what about your cholesterol and weight loss. Aren't you interested in that?" "No, my cholesterol is fine and so is my weight."

"Well, what about eggs?" she continues. You're beginning to get confused. "What about them?" She smiles with delight and says, "you can replace your eggs with flax seed." Now you're beginning to forget why you came to the store in the first place. "I like eggs," you reply. Now you're wishing she would just leave.

Sensing that you may be getting a little irritated, she displays her big smile, wishes you a great day and leaves. You wonder what has just happened and wish you had read up on flax seed.

Here are 6 things to consider and the reason for buying flax seeds:

Brown Flax Seeds

Brown Flax Seeds

Reason #1 Which Kind Of Flax Seed Should I Buy?

You have four different options of flax seed to choose from:

  • Ground
  • Capsules
  • Oil
  • Seeds
  1. Ground

If you're going to whip up some homemade muffins or cookies, why not add a tablespoon or 2 of ground flax seed and give your muffins an extra boost of nutrition, fiber and antioxidants.

You can also sprinkle a couple of tablespoons in your oatmeal or other breakfast cereal. I like to add some to my favorite smoothie. Flax seed has no taste so it's easy to disguise in most food including salads.

2. Capsules

This is a convenient way to make sure you get flax seed in your diet. Just grab a tall glass of water and wash down a flax seed capsule as indicated on the bottle. Suggested dosage is 2,000 mg twice a day. Plan to take your capsule with meals.

3. Oil

Consider applying flax seed oil to your skin especially if you tend to have dry skin. I've been experimenting with this for about 8 weeks and have seen quite an improvement in reducing the dryness of my skin.

When you're shopping for flax seed oil, only purchase oil that is bottled in an amber-brown colored container and the darker the better. This will protect the flaxseed from the light which is an enemy to flax seed and so is oxygen. Look for high quality oil, preferably organic.

4. Seeds

I have a motto that I use when buying all of my food. " Fresher is better." (Except when loaded with pesticides and chemicals.) This includes flaxseed. So I buy the seeds instead of the already ground and I grind them myself.

All you need is your coffee grinder, although flaxseed grinders are available. Just pour a few seeds into the grinder and there you have it. Nice and fresh and ready to use. And this brings up another consideration. Only Grind the seeds as you need them. This will give you a fresher taste.

I learned this after grinding my seeds in a large quantity and storing them until needed. Once the air hits the flax seed the nutritional value immediately begins to break down. Grind only the amount you'll be using.


Warning: Do not give flax seed to children age 12 and younger without first checking with the pediatrician. Although it is suggested that 1 teaspoon is safe , be sure to get an approval from the doctor.

Egypt - The Discovery of Flaxseed

Reason #2 What Flax Seed Can Do For Your Health

How long do you want to live and how's your heart? Flax seed is chocked full of our friendly buddies, antioxidants. And we need all the friendly nutrients we can find when it comes to protecting the heart.

You see, lurking around our cells are these guys called "free radicals" and they're up to no good. Their sole purpose in your life is to go around damaging the cells in your body. They can cause cancer, heart disease and a grocery list of other problems.

However, waiting in the wings and eager to protect our cells is a mighty and powerful army that goes by the name of omega-fatty acid ALA.

Got arthritis? What about other diseases such as plaque in the arteries, type 2 diabetes? Flax seed can help. And if you'd like extra protection against some cancers such as breast, prostrate and even colon - call out the troops found in flax seed.

And here's a bonus - flax seed is low in carbs and will keep you full. While these are all major benefits there are some precautions that you should be aware of.

Reason #4 Precautions - Possible Side Effects

I recommend checking with your doctor before supplementing your diet with flaxseed. Just because it hits a home run with some folks it doesn't mean that you will be spared some side affects.

There was a time when I was using flaxseed regularly and paying little attention to the dosage I was taking. I ended up with a bad case of "the runs". My Doctor suggested I stop using flaxseed to see if my problem would clear up. It did. Now I carefully measure the proper dosage and I'm fine.

I'd rather that you too would not have to learn about possible side affects the way I have. It's really not a fun experience.

And ladies, if you're pregnant or if you're breast feeding, please check with your obstetrician before taking flaxseed. Why? Flaxseed mimics estrogen.

Flaxseed is also high in fiber, which can be a good thing. However if you have certain medical conditions you will want to avoid it completely. So talk with your Internist first.

Reason #3. How To Store Flax Seed

I keep a small air-tight container (dark color) next to the grinder to store any access. I Simply fill the container with left-over ground seeds then pop the container into the refrigerator, where it's dark, to keep for the next time I need it.

Your Heart Loves Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are great for your heart.,

Flax seeds are great for your heart.,

Reason #5 Three Things To Remember When Taking Flax Seed

Like most of my learning experiences, I learned the hard way (experience) first and then did the research.

Be sure to remember these 3 things:

  • Flaxseed, must be take with plenty of water each time you take it.
  • Do not take it with other medicine. Take it at another time, alone by itself.
  • Always check with your doctor before starting on flax seed. I can't stress this enough.

Did You Know?

Ground or milled flax seed can be used as a fat substitute in most recipes. Generally, 3 tablespoons can replace 1 tablespoon of fat or oil.

And 1 tablespoon of flax seed plus 3 tablespoons of water can replace 1 egg.

So try experimenting and if first you don't succeed...

Reason #6 How Much Flax Seed Should I Take?

The recommended dose for adults is:

Ground -Take 1 tablespoonful 2 or 3 times daily.

Oil -Take 1 or 2 tablespoonfuls daily.

Capsules - Take 1 or 2 capsules daily.

... and don't forget the water.

A Bonus - Whole Wheat Flax'n Apple Muffin Recipe

Just in case you get hungry while reading about flax seed, here is one of my favorite recipes for a very healthy and delicious muffin.

Dark Brown Flaxseed and Apple Muffins

Dark Brown Flaxseed and Apple Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup flaxseed, ground
  • 3/4 cup Whole Wheat Graham Flour
  • 3/4 cup Naturally White Flour
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg, Beaten
  • 3 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 1/2 cups Apples, Finely cut
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Nuts, Chopped

Instructions

  1. Blend dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl combine eggs, oil and milk.
  3. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and stir until just blended.
  4. Fold in apples and nuts. Batter will be thick.
  5. Fill well-greased muffin cups, 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until top springs back when touched.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

12 min

18 min

30 min

Serves 12

Summary

Now that you have learned some important things to consider when buying flax seed, let's go over key points.

  • Flax seed is one of the best food sources for omega 3 and fiber.
  • It contains high amounts of antioxidants.
  • It may help those suffering from arthritis, diabetes, and other diseases.
  • Always drink plenty of water when taking flax seed.
  • Ground flax seed can be added to cereal, baked goods, salads, and a healthy smoothie.
  • To make sure you are getting the freshest kind, buy the seeds and grind them yourself.
  • it is best to discuss taking flax seed with your doctor.
  • Always purchase and store flax seed in an amber-brown bottle or container.
  • Light and oxygen breaks down nutrients.
  • Before giving to children, talk with your doctor. And if you are pregnant, nursing or have any health issues, always check with your doctor. Be careful when taking flax seed if you are taking medications of any kind.
  • And stay away from experts wearing white aprons approaching you as you shop.

Thank you for reading and may good health be yours.


Please rate my recipe

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2013 Audrey Hunt

Comments

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on February 02, 2015:

RTalloni

You should see the big smile on my face now. And it's all because you're linking and sharing my hub.

How generous of you! Thanks for your support and for your comments.

Happy thoughts,

Audrey

Jackie Lynnley

Thanks for sharing this tip Jackie. It's a good way to add flax seed to your diet.

Audrey

Easy Exercise

Thank you for sharing your story about Procaps omega. According to studies, the fatty acids found in fish oil can have an effect on the hair. It not only conditions and protects the hair but may also restore hair loss. The skin also benefits from fish oil. In my opinion, flax seed does help your hair.

Thanks again.

Audrey

peachpurple

I have ordered flax seed on line with good results. I've provided a link near the beginning of my hub for ordering on line from amazon. You may want to try it!

Thanks,

Audrey

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on February 02, 2015:

RTalloni

You should see the big smile on my face now. And it's all because you're linking and sharing my hub.

How generous of you! Thanks for your support and for your comments.

Happy thoughts,

Audrey

Jackie Lynnley

Thanks for sharing this tip Jackie. It's a good way to add flax seed to your diet.

Audrey

Easy Exercise

Thank you for sharing your story about Procaps omega. According to studies, the fatty acids found in fish oil can have an effect on the hair. It not only conditions and protects the hair but may also restore hair loss. The skin also benefits from fish oil. In my opinion, flax seed does help your hair.

Thanks again.

Audrey

peachpurple

I have ordered flax seed on line with good results. I've provided a link near the beginning of my hub for ordering on line from amazon. You may want to try it!

Thanks,

Audrey

peachy from Home Sweet Home on January 31, 2015:

It is hard for us to buy flax seed here, maybe order online

Kelly A Burnett from United States on January 31, 2015:

Vocal Coach,

Another fantastic article - thank you very much! Question for you - but I have a long backstory so you can fully understand the question at hand.

The omega capsules that actually work for me I noted have flax seed in them. I don't know why Procaps omega would work better than any other but I do from experience those tablets do the trick.

I read up on natural foods for fighting RA - my Mother was placed by it and as I age I fear her crippling RA. I came up with omega and I tried three different brands. The great thing about the Procaps omega is not just for my joints and fighting inflammation but my hair is different.

So my long story does have a question, perhaps it is the flaxseed in the omega capsules that is helping my hair?

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on January 30, 2015:

Now I use about a tsp added to my salads. Is an easy way for me to remember it.

RTalloni on January 30, 2015:

Excellent information and I appreciate learning even more about this little wonder. I've already linked it to my major hub on flaxseed and pinned it, and intend to link it to more of posts that highlight this healthy little friend. :)

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on January 24, 2015:

PegCole17

Thanks Peg for reading my hub about flax seeds. Glad you enjoyed my story about the store clerk.

You're the best!

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on January 19, 2015:

This is great information to know. I had heard about flax seeds but did not know all the wonderful properties they have to improve health. I'll be looking into these further. Thanks so much. Your story about the store clerk with the white apron was cute.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on November 13, 2014:

prabhakar k

Thank you for reading my article and confirming how flax seed has helped you. Come again.

prabhakar k on September 21, 2014:

I am using flaxseed Gluten-Free with excellent benefits

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on August 23, 2014:

Hi Audrey

So good to see you here. All is well. Thanks my friend.

Susan - Good girl! Adding flax to cookies for you dog is a great idea. Thanks!

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on August 23, 2014:

I use flaxseed in so many things. I even put it into my dogs cookies that I home bake them.

Audrey Howitt from California on August 23, 2014:

I have some in my cupboard now---hope you are well!!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on August 06, 2014:

rebeccamealy -

Remember that you can camouflage flax seed in your cereal as well as other foods. Adding it to a smoothie is another way. I'm glad you're willing to give it another try. Good girl!

Sunshine625 -

This is why you have such a great attitude and happy personality :) Thanks for mentioning the water 'cause I forgot about that.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on August 04, 2014:

I'm still a ground flax seed addict after 10 years. Twice a day. Just had some as a pizza topping tonight. Drinking water afterwards is a must to keep the flow going :)

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on August 04, 2014:

Okay. I am going to give flax seed another try after reading this. Thanks!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on August 04, 2014:

Dolores Monet

I'm so surprised to hear that your flax seeds grew into pretty blue flowers. Wonderful! I'm going to do this. So glad you've shared this with me. Thanks so much!

starstream

Thank you for reading my hub and for leaving your comments. Happy to hear you found it helpful. Stay healthy!

Dreamer at heart from Northern California on August 04, 2014:

Your article is very helpful for those of us who are new to flax seeds. I first experienced the breakfast packet size hot cereal,(oatmeal with flax seed added). It was great tasting. Now you have informed me. Certainly I don't want to buy it and misuse this awesome food.

Dolores Monet from East Coast, United States on August 04, 2014:

I had decided to include flax seed into our diets but the bag was kinda big. How much could I actually use? Well, it was Spring so I decided to toss some of the seeds into my flower garden and wound up with flax plants. The pretty blue flowers really added to the sort of wild/cottage garden look that I love.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 30, 2014:

Hi LadyGuinevere - Yes, roasted flax seed is completely glutton free. (Sent you more info on FB.) Thanks.

Debra Allen from West By God on April 30, 2014:

One question after reading all of that....is it glutton free?

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 28, 2014:

Dear pstraubie48 - Taking flaxseed in a capsule is a good way to ensure that you are getting your daily supply. Good luck on trying some of my suggestions.

Thank you, dear friend, for sending angels my way - Audrey

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on April 28, 2014:

Much good info on flaxseed. I prefer to take mine, it a rather large capsule that slips down easily .However I think I will try some of these suggestions.

Angels are on the way to you ps

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 27, 2014:

ologsinquito - Thank you so much! S nice to see you here.

ologsinquito from USA on March 30, 2014:

Flax is very versatile, as a dietary aid or as an egg replacement. This is a great article that points this out, with appropriate cautions, such as drinking a lot of water with your ground flax seed.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on March 14, 2014:

vespawoolf - Most of us don't realize how fast flax seed loses it's valuable properties. Correct storage is most important. Sure hope the muffin recipe works out for you. It's great that you are using flax seed! Thanks a lot.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on March 14, 2014:

I do use flax seed but this has motivated to add it more regularly to my diet. I didn't realize there were so many varieties! I do grind my own. I had no idea how quickly it loses its properties. Your muffin recipe looks healthy and delicious and I just happened to be looking for one

like it! Thanks so much.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on July 22, 2013:

just-about - It is wonderful to read about your story with flax seeds and how well this has worked for you. Appreciate your sharing this information as it will help so many others. Thank you!

just-about on July 18, 2013:

Despite being slim, non-smoking, fairly active and a vegetarian for 35 years I was diagnosed with hig cholesterol a few years back. Some sort of genetic disposition I was told. I wanted to avoid statins . . . and foudna great book about how to reduce cholesterol. Flax-seeds are integral to the process - freshly ground as needed - and it has worked. I'm so pleased to read about all the other benefits.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on July 06, 2013:

go-barbat a-go - I am so glad that I included information about storing flax seeds in this hub. I thank you kindly for sharing this with me. And thanks for the vote up! Enjoy your day ~ Audrey

Go-Barbara-Go from Philippines on July 02, 2013:

Very nice article. I always have a problem storing flax seed. I ordered three kilos from the US and I am the only one using it. Now, thanks to the amber-brown container suggestion....

Thank you. Voted up!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on June 16, 2013:

Dear brakel2 ~ It's such a joy to read your wonderful comments. And I, too, sprinkle flaxseed on my morning yogurt. I just found a new brand that's ground with bluberries :) Thank you my friend for being here and for the uplifting words.

You're a peach!

Audrey

Audrey Selig from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on June 15, 2013:

Hi Audrey - Great article on flaxseed. I eat it every morning on my yogurt and believe it is very healthy. You did your research and told me everything there is to know about this seed. The only somewhat negative comment I ever heard is that it digests slowly. That may be good for all I know. Anyway, thank you so much for the information and for writing about healthy foods. Your hubs make music just like you do. Thanks. Audrey

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 18, 2013:

Thanks Audrey. Flaxseed in good on salads and I love it in my morning greek oatmeal as well. Good health to you!

Audrey Howitt from California on April 17, 2013:

What a great hub! I like it on salads!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 13, 2013:

Vinaya - Wow - you grow flaxseed on your own farm? The reason it fetches a good price is because of the health and medicinal benefits. So, yes! Start using this marvelous seed. You are very lucky!

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on April 12, 2013:

We grow Flaxseed in our farm, but do not use it in our homes. We sell because it fetches good price. Perhaps, we should use because of its many health benefits.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on March 08, 2013:

pstraubie48 - I'm so very happy to see you here:)

Glad you learned a few things about flaxseed. There is much for us all to learn about keeping ourselves healthy. Thank you for sending the angels. I need them!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on March 08, 2013:

Thanks for sharing all of these info on flax seeds. I knew they were good for us but did not know all of the particulars. You filled in the gaps in my knowledge very well. I will be grinding mine now as you suggest. As you say anything that helps us to be healthy is something I am all for. Sending Angels your way today :) ps

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on March 01, 2013:

pagesvoice - Thank you for voting up,useful and interesting. And another thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment. Your feedback is important to me and confirms that I'm on the right track as a writer for hubpages. You've shared your personal experience and positive results of omega 3 - something we all need to hear.

I'm truly pleased to find you here and wonder if you realize how much your kind words mean to me?

As "chief cook and bottle washer" I do hope my soup recipe meets with your approval. Again, thank you kindly!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on March 01, 2013:

Faith Reaper - I hope flaxseed will turn out to be a healthy addition to your diet. I wish I had known about it years ago. Thank you dear lady for being here and sending blessings to you too!

Nell - Just like you, I too learn something new everyday here on hubpages. Isn't it just grand?

Thank you my friend and here's to your good health!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on February 27, 2013:

Sunshine - Too much flaxseed causes cancer? Whoa - good to know! I'm using your suggestion to store some in the freezer. Very handy. Thanks for sharing this. Take good care!

Jackie Linnley - I'm still laughing at your opening line:) I needed that! Glad you're gonna break out the flaxseed. Good for you!

Dennis L. Page from New York/Pennsylvania border on February 27, 2013:

Voted up, useful and interesting. Although I have read some of your other articles, this is the first I've commented on. It doesn't take the reader long to fully see and understand why you are a superstar here on HP. Your article is detailed, informative and covers a myriad of questions/concerns some may have about flax-seed. I religiously take 3000 mg. of Omega 3 fish oil every day and it has made a dramatic improvement in my overall blood work numbers.

The data you provided was superb...right down to the disclaimers. I'm moving on now to your soup recipe, considering I am the chief, cook and bottle washer in the house.

Nell Rose from England on February 22, 2013:

Hi, I had never really heard of flax seeds before, or seen them, so this was fascinating, thanks, I learn something new every day! lol!

Nell Rose from England on February 22, 2013:

Hi, I had never really heard of flax seeds before, or seen them, so this was fascinating, thanks, I learn something new every day! lol!

Faith Reaper from southern USA on February 22, 2013:

Excellent and informative hub as to the health benefits of flaxseed. I have never eaten it, but will add it to my diet now. Thanks so much for this great write here!

Voted up ++++ and sharing

God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on February 22, 2013:

So glad to come across this! I have flaxseed and all I do is look at it. Now I know how to eat it! I knew it would be good for me so now I will put it to work! Thank you.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on February 19, 2013:

sarahshuihan - I hope the flaxseed goes well for you. Be sure to look at Sunshine's comments below. Thanks so much and stay healthy!

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on February 19, 2013:

I also grind my seeds once a week and store it in the freezer so whenever I want my daily dose (or 2) it's available. I also read recently that since flax mimics estrogen consuming too much could actually cause cancer. Goes to show you that even something as healthy as flax could cause problems. The ground seeds also help prevent hot flashes! Woot! Great hub!

Sarah from USA on February 19, 2013:

Very well written and researched hub! I just started using flaxseed in my diet, I'll have to see how it goes~!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on February 19, 2013:

rajan - You will never know how much I appreciate your comments. (Some time I will tell you why.) I believe in the use of flaxseed so much. It required more time than any hub I've written in the last 3 years. So I thank you so much for your kind and supportive words. Peace and joy to you, my friend!

scryba - I'm very glad to see you here. Thank you for your encouraging words. Take care.

scryba on February 18, 2013:

Great hub.. Keep it up.. :-)

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 18, 2013:

Audrey, this is an awesome hub and very interestingly written with fantastic research. A lot of useful and practical information has been shared by you. Thanks.

Voted up, useful, interesting and shared.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on February 17, 2013:

billy - I feel the same way. I learn volumes from the hubs I read here on hubpages. A little flaxseed goes a long way and I use it daily. Thanks for being my first reader :) You're the best!

donnah75 - Yes, flaxseed is good stuff. New benefits seem to be showing up regularly, Now, if only it could smooth out the wrinkles on my face :) Thanks for the vote up.

Donna Hilbrandt from Upstate New York on February 11, 2013:

Great info here. I have heard only good things about flaxseed, but we all know that often too much of a good thing... Thanks for sharing the things we should be cautious about. I like to add flaxseed to smoothies, oatmeal, and I even tried flax eggs in cooking. It is good stuff. Voted up!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 11, 2013:

This is what I love about HubPages....well, one of the things. I always learn something each and every day, and this hub is a prime example. I knew nothing about flax seeds until this hub. I had no idea where they came from, what the flower looked like, or their benefits. Thank you for the education my friend.

hugs from Olympia,

bill

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