Flax Answers - Flax Seed Frequently Asked Questions

Why Buy Nature's Gem Flax Seed?

North American Nutrition specializes in growing the highest quality Golden Flax Seed for delivery direct from the farm to you.

From planting to harvest, from storage to cleaning, from packaging to shipping...at every step, special care is given to ensure cleanliness, freshness and premium quality flaxseed - guaranteed!

For more information about this question, or any of the questions below, please do not hesitate to call us at 800.387.5516.

Popular Questions About Our Flaxseed

Q: Friends tell me that my habit of sprinkling whole flax seeds on cereal sent them thro' my system undigested, and useless to me. True or False? Do I definitely have to grind them to be able to digest them?

A: We do recommend grinding the seeds for the majority of the flaxseed you consume in order to receive maximum nutritional benefit. The reason for this is the seeds are very small and it is hard to thoroughly chew them all. Your body utilizes the mucilage from the outer coating of the unbroken seeds, which does have health benefits but will not take advantage of the Omega's within the seeds.

I eat whole seeds sometimes because I like them that way, but I also eat plenty of ground seed everyday. If whole seed meant the difference between eating flax seed and not eating it then I would say keep eating it whole as you are receiving some of the benefits. Otherwise I would agree with your friends and try to eat the major portion of your flax seeds pre-ground.

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Q: Golden flax seed vs. brown flax seed - what is the difference?

A: The nutritional value of golden flax seed vs. brown flax seed are very similar if the samples are of the same quality. I mention quality because it is very important in determining the omega 3 content and overall nutritional value. A high quality flaxseed whether golden or brown will accomplish the same, although we have found most people prefer the nutty-buttery flavor of our golden flax seed over the brown flax seed.

The variety we grow is called Omega and was developed by North Dakota State University in 1989 for human consumption. We specialize in flax seed. We strive to deliver the highest quality flaxseed with the most nutritional value. We are able to achieve this high quality by growing it farther north in Minnesota next to the Canadian border. The cooler climate and longer summertime daylight hours help to achieve a higher Omega 3 content in the flax seed.

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I saw on your website, the price of the 50 lb. bag of the premium whole gold flaxseed is a lot cheaper than the others. I would like to know if the quality of the 50 lb. bag is the same quality with the others? and if I want to buy the 50 lb. bag, please tell me how can I keep it fresh?

A: The 50lb bag is the same Premium quality as the smaller bags. Repackaging the 50 lb bag into Ziploc bags is a good way for longer-term storage. I recommend using the heaver freezer bags. The 1-gallon bags will hold about 4 lbs each so 12 - 15 bags should be enough.

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Q: Is your flax seed organic?

A: North American Nutrition Golden Flax Seed is 100% natural with nothing added and nothing taken away.

Our flaxseed is the Omega variety developed by North Dakota State University for human consumption. It is not GMO. It is not sprayed with fungicides or insecticides. A weed spray is used early in the growing stage before the seeds are formed on the plant, for this reason it is not considered organic. Laboratory testing has confirmed there is no carry over of the spray on the mature flax seeds.

Our flax seed is tested for food born bacteria and pathogens. The following are monitored in our microbial specifications:
Aerobic Plate Count
E. Coli
Staphlococcus Aureus
Yeast and Mold

Our high quality flaxseed delivers more nutrition to our customers because the plants have a chance to become deeply rooted, the seed plump with oil, and the weed volume kept low, providing each plant more moisture, sun, and a stronger growing environment.

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Q: I am having a hard time grinding flaxseeds for travel. I can't take the electric grinder if it's outside the U.S. and I tried a hand grinder but it's very slow to do one quarter cup of seeds. Can you suggest anything?

A: For traveling I use our pre-ground flax seed and simply carry it in a zip-lock bag. We guarantee the pre-ground seed to retain its full nutritional value and freshness for 9 months stored at room temperatures. Our pre-ground flaxseed is very stable and does not require vacuum sealing or refrigeration. I have been consuming our pre-ground flaxseed for ten years now and simply find it more convenient than when I ground my own.

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Q: I must admit I am very confused about the ground flax not going bad for months as everything I've read says the opposite. Can you explain this any more?

A: Poor quality flaxseeds if not separated and removed from the good quality seeds before grinding will cause the entire batch to become rancid fairly fast. Refrigeration will slow this process down but will not stop it. The process for grinding is also very important. It must be done in such a manner that it does not create heat and/or release flax oil from the flaxseed particles. If the oil is released then oxidation will take place more quickly in the ground flaxseed.

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Q: Whats in the flaxseed I'm eating thats supposed to keep it fresh for 9 months!

A: In our process of grinding flaxseed nothing is added and nothing is taken away. Our method of cold milling ensures the flax oil is not released from the flaxseed. If you were to test our ground flaxseed nine months after receiving it you would not be able to detect any difference from freshly ground flaxseed. Guaranteed!

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Q: What is the shelf life of flax seed?

A: Our premium whole seed has a guaranteed shelf life of 3 years.

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Q: Is flaxseed good for children?

A: Yes.

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Q: What is the difference between flax seed and flaxseed oil?

A: The advantage of eating flax seed over flax oil is that flaxseed is a complete food providing you with the benefits of Omega3, 6 & 9 EFA's, fiber, protein, plant lignans, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Flax oil, expelled from the flax seed, contains the EFA's but not the fiber, protein and plant lignans (an anti-cancer agent). Flaxseed contains approximately 40% oil.

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Q: How can I take flax seed with me when I travel?

A: A zip-lock bag works very well. North American Nutrition's new zip-lock 1 lb. ground pouches work excellent.

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Q: Are there any nutritional differences between milled and whole flax seed?

A: You will get maximum benefits from a seed that is Milled or ground before eating. Whole seeds that are not chewed will tend to pass through the body with less nutritional benefit, however, whole seeds are great in recipes, i.e. breads, cookies, salads, yogurts and cereals.

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Q: I have diabetes, can I add flaxseed to any of my meals?

A: You can add flax seed to any of your meals, just make sure that you account for the carbohydrates. Another advantage of flaxseed is that it will tend to even out the blood glucose response after a meal. Many of our type 2 diabetic customers have reported better blood sugar control when eating flaxseed.

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Q: How much flax seed should I take daily?

A: Most people eat 1/8 cup to 3/8 cup per day (20 to 70 grams) depending on age, weight and health objectives. We recommend using a stainless steel 1/8 cup measuring scoop and take 1 to 3 scoops per day.

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Q: Is flaxseed good for women during menopause? I am currently taking 1 T. of the flax oil, but was told it does not contain what we need, is this true?

A: Yes. Flax seeds contain lignans which are anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer. Only 2% of the lignans found in flaxseeds ends up in flax oil.
Flax seed contains phytoestrogens and lignans which are essential plant estrogens. Phytoestrogens are different than estrogens because phytoestrogens do not stimulate the growth of cancerous cells and they help prevent breast cancer. Phytoestrogens also relieve some of the minor symptoms such as hot flashes, anxiety and irritability. Best results at 40 grams per day. (4 heaping tablespoons ground)

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Q: Does flaxseed work for constipation?

A: Yes, flax seed works excellent for people suffering from constipation or diarrhea.
For people that suffer from constipation, flaxseed moves through the digestive tract quickly and results in softer stools. It is important to drink water directly after consuming flax seed since it absorbs 10 to 14 times its weight in liquid. Flaxseed will help cleanse the colon and continued usage can help avoid colon cancer.
For people with chronic diarrhea or IBS, flax seed will add substance to your stool.

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Q: Is flaxseed a food?

A: Yes, flax seed is a natural food containing Omega3, 6 & 9 EFA's, fiber, protein, plant lignans (an anti-cancer agent), vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

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NOTE: Information presented here does not replace seeking advice from your physician.