Ground Flaxseed Vs Flaxseed Oil — Which is Healthier?


Flax Oil or Ground FlaxBoth flaxseed oil and ground flaxseeds can have significant nutritional benefits but which one is better for your health?

Let’s have a look at the main benefits of each and how flax oil stacks up versus flaxseed meal for omega-3s, lignans, fiber, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

Omega-3 Content Comparison

The majority of people eating ground flax or taking the oil are doing so because of their incredibly high omega-3 fatty acid content.

Flaxseed oil is generally more than 50% omega-3 alpha linolenic acid (ALA), making it the highest commonly used, plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids.

The ground seeds, by comparison, are usually around 20% omega-3, which is still very high, though less than half of a good cold pressed oil like this one I take daily.

If you are considering either flax oil or the ground seeds primarily to increase your intake of omega-3 fats, then the oil would be the clear winner.

It is also likely that the alpha linolenic acid in the oil would be more easily assimilated than in the flaxseed powder with its high levels of fiber.

That said, flaxseed meal has other health benefits listed below that make it a more complete dietary supplement and a very nutritious food well worth adding to your diet.

Lignan Benefits of Flaxseed Meal Versus Flax Oil

Lignans are phytonutrients that can be beneficial for women in reducing the risk of hormonal cancers such as breast cancer and endometrial, ovarian and cervical cancer.

Ground flax meal, like this delicious and organic bestseller, is by far the highest source with around 80 grams of lignans in every ounce.

Flaxmeal powder

The oil by comparison is usually very low in lignans as the extraction process leaves them behind.

Some manufacturers however, like Barleans, have come up with high lignan flaxseed oil, where these phytonutrients are added back into the oil after extraction.

If you are looking for a good omega-3 supplement, but would still like the added benefit of dietary lignans, this popular Barleans oil with added lignans would be a great option.

Fiber Content

Flax meal is very high in fiber, with 1 tablespoon containing over 2 grams of dietary fiber. Around a quarter of this is the very valuable soluble fiber.

The healthy fiber in flax has even been shown in research studies like this to reduce blood cholesterol levels “beyond the effects of cholesterol-lowering medications”, potentially leading to a lower risk of heart disease.

Flax oil, being an oil, obviously does not contain any fiber so the ground seeds are a clear winner here.

Other Flax Nutrients

Ground flaxseed is usually a good source of the minerals manganese, magnesium and copper. It also contains B vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6 and folate and is rich in antioxidant vitamin E.

Flaxseed oil does not have the same variety of minerals and vitamins as they are mostly lost in extraction, with one notable exception.

The vitamin E content in the unrefined oil can be quite concentrated compared to the ground seeds, with around 2 mg of natural vitamin E in a tablespoon of the oil.

Which is Better ⁠— Flax Oil or Flaxseed Meal?

In summarizing flaxseed oil vs ground flaxseed, the oil is a far more concentrated form of omega-3 fats for weight loss and likely vitamin E as well. It’s also very good for better skin and acne.

The ground seeds, on the other hand, while not as high in omega-3s, do have the significant health benefits of lignans, soluble and insoluble fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals.

If you felt you were lacking in omega-3 fatty acids (and a great many of us are) then taking the oil daily would be a good way to improve your intake.

However, if you’re looking for a broader range of benefits, while still having a significant source of omega-3s, then fresh flaxseed meal could be an even more beneficial addition to your diet.

Some people, like myself, see good reasons to take both flax meal and flaxseed oil at different times of the day.

Flax oil has a more powerful effect initially, but there are potentially more long term benefits to using great tasting organic flax seed meal like this in muesli, smoothies, fruit salads and other meals regularly.



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Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 6 comments
Zia

Hi,

I have a problem regarding my hair fall. I am suffering from great hair fall from past 2 years that anyone can see my scalp cuz of hair falling and thinness. I have tried a lot of costly hair treatment and products but of no use. I am using castor oil with olive oil now. But cant see good result. Please suggest me what to do?

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Chris

Hello. I’ve been looking for this probably very simple answer to a question that I have not been able to find in black and white ANYWHERE. Does anyone know if you need the lignans to get the fiber? I cannot have lignans. And the answer containing “doctor” is a lot easier said than done. Thank you.

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Jim Dillan

Hi Chris,

Lignans are considered a component of insoluble dietary fiber so I would suspect that having ground flaxseed fiber includes them.

All the best,

Jim

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Siti Aishah

Do you need ti grind the flaxseed before making flaxseed tea?

Reply
Jim Dillan

Hi Siti,

Yes, it would be important to grind flaxseeds to get the most health benefits.

All the best,

Jim

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