Flaxseed or flaxseed oil?

November 12, 2012

Flaxseed or flaxseed oil?

Flaxseed and flaxseed oil both contain an abundance of health benefits but which is actually best for you. There are arguments for both sides but ultimately it probably comes down to your individual needs.

Digestive System

Which one contains the most effective health benefits, flaxseed oil or ground flaxseed? You may not think that there is much of a difference but in fact the two different forms of the plant offer different benefits. The first is related to the digestive system. Flaxseeds contain an enzyme inhibitor that controls how long the plant will lie dormant and when the plant will start to sprout. The enzyme is essential for the proper growth of the plant and means that it will only grow in warm and moist environments. Unfortunately the interaction of this enzyme also has an effect on the human digestive system and if eaten excessively will cause you to feel gassy and bloated. Flaxseed oil contains a more concentrated amount of Vitamin A than the ground flaxseed form. Vitamin A is required to maintain a healthy immune system so in this category flaxseed oil is revealed as the more beneficial choice.

Herpes Virus

For individuals that suffer from viruses related to herpes such as cold sores, shingles or genital herpes, flaxseed oil can benefit them. This is because flaxseed oil contains high quantities of the amino acids, L-argenine and L-lysine, which are often prescribed in the form of supplement to prevent outbreaks of symptoms related to the herpes virus. There are some disadvantages to flaxseed oil however, such as the fact that it can go rancid very quickly and easily if it is not kept in the right environment. Flaxseed oil should be kept in the fridge at all times and must not come in to contact with light or heat. Additionally the oil should be consumed within 6 weeks. Flaxseed, when ground up is very easy to add to different meals such as sprinkled over salads or cereal. Flaxseed oil can also be used as a dressing for salads but the taste is stronger in this form and some people don’t find it pleasant.


Both flaxseed oil and flaxseed are good for constipation but the ground form comes off better. The fiber content in ground flaxseed is extremely high and is therefore a great choice for anyone who suffers from constipation.


The fiber found in flaxseed contains something known as lignans, which help to defend the body against cancer. As the fiber content is much lower in the oil, ground flaxseed provides the best health benefits in this area. However, flaxseed oil contains a large amount of omega-3 fatty acids and it would be hard to consume such great amount if only eating the flaxseed.

As you can see, both the oil and ground forms of flaxseed contain some great health benefits. It is really up to you and your needs as to which one you chose to supplement your diet with. Of course there is always the option to use some of both and this way your body benefits from everything that the flaxseed plant has to offer.


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