Flaxseeds are a superfood that everyone recommends these days, even those that haven’t tried it because hey, it’s popular.
But those diving into the flaxseed craze should be aware of how to eat flaxseeds the right way in order to gain all nutrient the seeds have to offer.
Kelly Hogan, a clinical nutrition and wellness manager at Mount Sinai’s Dubin Breast Cancer center, explains that you must grind flaxseeds to get their full nutritional value.
“Whole flaxseeds can typically pass through the intestines undigested because they cannot naturally break them down,” she said. “If you eat flaxseeds whole, you will likely pass them whole in your stool.”
To get all the goodness from omega-3 fatty acids and fiber packed into flaxseeds, Hogan suggests buying them pre-ground, chopping them up yourself, or running them through the coffee grinder. Buying them ground means you need to use them quickly, however, as it expedites their shelf life.
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“They can start to go rancid fairly quickly – as soon as a few weeks after they are ground,” she said. “This is when the fats start to oxidize, and here is when you can also lose the nutritional benefits of those fats. The taste is also off.”
She added, “Even better, though, is only grinding however much you need and storing the remainder of your flaxseeds whole in the refrigerator, which can last up to a year.”
Yes, grinding them yourself is an inconvenience, but the health benefits certainly outweigh that one negative.
We’ll leave you to an afternoon of flaxseed grinding now.
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