Flax Oil vs. Seed

If you're unclear on the benefits of flax seed oil vs. flaxseed, or how the use of flax seed oil differs from flax seed, let North American Nutrition help.

  • Flaxseed oil is lower in Omega 3s
  • Flaxseed oil contains little Fiber and lignans
  • Flaxseed oil costs more than Flax Seed
  • Nature's Gem Flax seed is Guaranteed Fresh

Flax seeds are a whole food while flaxseed oil is not. Therefore, flax seeds are of higher quality and have many more health benefits due to the larger variety of vitamins and natural nutrients than flax seed oil.

Flaxseeds and the oil made from them have gained great attention recently since they are a concentrated source of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the building block for all omega-3s. It is true that flax seed oil contains more ALA than flax seeds (one tablespoon of flax seeds contains nearly 2 grams while one tablespoon of flax seed oil contains 7.25 grams). This, of course, makes sense since the omega-3s are present in the oil component of the seeds.

Flaxseeds, however, are a whole food which means they contain a host of other nutrients that are not in its extracted oil. For example, they are also a rich source of dietary fiber due to their many minerals such as manganese, copper, and magnesium as well as their vitamins such as folate and vitamin B6. To add to their superiority to oil, seeds contain lignan phytonutrients, which have been found to have hormone-balancing and cardiovascular benefits. While some flax seed oils have lignans added back to them, the resulting product is no longer a natural oil and is still not to par with the seeds themselves.

Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil should not necessarily be viewed as an either or, but rather as two separate super foods . When it comes to a great food that can be incorporated into your everyday diet that provides an array of different nutritional benefits, think flax seeds. As for flax seed oil, view it more as a dietary supplement that can help people give their oemga-3 intake a large boost if they are unable to achieve their omega-3 goals through the foods that they eat. One thing to keep in mind is that in order to fully reap the benefits of flax seeds, the food must be ground up fully, chewing is the go to method for most but check out our many recipes to see how to utilize the seeds in other ways as well.