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 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 flaxseed 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. Flaxseed oil indeed contains more ALA than flax seeds (one tablespoon of flax seeds contains nearly 2 grams while one tablespoon of flaxseed oil contains 7.25 grams). This, of course, makes sense since the omega-3s are present in the seeds’ oil component.

Flaxseed, however, is 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, magnesium, and 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 flaxseed oils have lignans added back to them, the resulting product is no longer a natural oil and is still not par with the seeds themselves.

Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil should not necessarily be viewed as an either-or, but rather as two separate superfoods. When it comes to great food that can be incorporated into your everyday diet that provides an array of different nutritional benefits, think flax seeds. As for flaxseed oil, view it more as a dietary supplement that can help people give their omega-3 intake a large boost if they cannot achieve their omega-3 goals through the foods they eat. One thing to keep in mind is that to reap the benefits of flax seeds fully; 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.