How Much Flaxseed Should You Eat a Day?

Medically Reviewed on 8/26/2021
flaxseed benefits

While no specific recommendations for flaxseed intake exist, experts agree that 1-2 tablespoons per day are a healthy amount.

Guidelines do not mention the daily recommended intake of flaxseed. However, most experts agree that one to two tablespoons of flaxseeds a day is good for health.

What are the health benefits of eating flaxseeds?

Flaxseeds are a good food source of vitamins and minerals. They are also a plant-based source of proteins, which is especially beneficial for vegans.

Table. Nutritional composition of two tablespoons of flaxseeds according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Nutritional component Quantity
Energy 130 calories
Carbohydrates 7 grams
Fiber 7 grams
Proteins 4 grams
Fat 10 grams

Two tablespoons of flaxseeds also provide eight percent of your daily value (DV) of iron and six percent DV of calcium.

Flaxseeds contain a good amount of healthy fats, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, as well as fibrous compounds called lignans. They can help keep your cholesterol levels and blood pressure under control.

What are the various ways in which you can eat flaxseeds?

Ideally, you should use the ground form of flaxseeds as a part of your daily diet. You can directly buy ground flaxseeds from the market. Alternatively, you can purchase whole flaxseeds, which are less expensive, and ground them in a coffee grinder or food processor.

You can also include flaxseeds in your diet by cooking with them or using them as toppings, such examples include:

  • Baking items: You can make muffins, cookies and bread using ground flaxseeds.
  • As add-ons to:
    • Cereals
    • Yogurt
    • Smoothies
    • Chili
    • Sauces
    • Gravies
    • Burritos
    • Lasagna

Are there any side effects of eating flaxseeds?

Because of the high fiber content, flaxseeds may result in increased bowel movements. They may also cause digestive issues, such as:

You can avoid these side effects by moderately consuming flaxseeds. It is most often an excessive intake that causes these digestive issues. Also, ensure that you drink plenty of water throughout the day when you have eaten flaxseeds. This will keep problems, such as constipation, away.

Raw and unripe flaxseeds may contain toxic compounds. Hence, avoid using them.

Pregnant women should avoid flaxseeds, even flaxseed oil or their supplements, due to the mild estrogenic (hormonal) effects.

It is rare for someone to develop allergic reactions to flaxseeds.

How do you store flaxseeds?

The freezer is the best place to store flaxseeds. If you bought ground flaxseeds in a plastic bag, you can keep them inside that bag to store them in the freezer. Likewise, store the whole flaxseeds that you ground in a sealed plastic bag inside the freezer. This helps preserve the nutritional content of the seeds for a long time.

The outside shell of whole flaxseeds appears to maintain the nutritional composition of the seeds. Store your whole flaxseeds in a dark, cool place until you grind them. If they are dry and of good quality, you can expect them to keep their nutritional value at room temperature for even up to a year.


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Medically Reviewed on 8/26/2021
American Heart Association. Know the Flax (and the Chia): A Little Seed May Be What Your Diet Needs.

Food Data Central. FLAX SEEDS.

Wergin A. Flaxseed Is Nutritionally Powerful. Mayo Clinic Health System.

Mayo Clinic. Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil.