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How can I get the benefits of flaxseed oil?

You can get the benefits of flaxseed oil either by eating flaxseeds (which can be purchased whole, crushed, or ground and consumed in drinks, sprinkled on salads and cereal, or baked into bread and desserts) or by taking a flaxseed oil supplement in liquid or capsule form. Be sure to follow all instructions and warnings on the flaxseed product you purchase. Drink 8 ounces of water for every tablespoon of flaxseed to avoid blockage of your esophagus or intestines. Other medications should be taken at least one hour before or two hours after taking flaxseed oil. If taking flaxseed oil as a laxative, do not take for longer than one week. You may continue this supplement on a daily basis for treatment of high cholesterol, but taking flaxseed oil for longer than three months may increase your risk of side effects due to low potassium levels.
Amaris Noguera
Nutrition & Dietetics

Since flaxseed contains very vulnerable nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids, it's best to purchase whole flaxseed and grind yourself in batches to avoid your flaxseed from becoming rancid before you consume it. Whole flaxseed can be ground easily in a home coffee bean grinder and added to your everyday meals such as yogurt, cold or hot cereal, homemade bread, smoothies, juices, etc. Be sure to store ground flaxseed in the refrigerator to preserve freshness. For flaxseed oil, again look for flaxseed oil in the refrigerated section versus the shelf-stable varieties which will have lost valuable nutrients. Opt for oil stored in opaque bottles, and store in the refrigerator once home.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.