Flaxseed, also known as linseed, is a small, hard seed that is typically brown in color. When consumed whole, flaxseeds are primarily a source of indigestible fiber. In order to reap the nutritional benefits, flaxseeds must be ground so that they can be digested. A small coffee grinder can be used to grind flaxseed.
Ground flaxseeds are an excellent additional to baked goods and also become a nutritious topping for yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, waffles, salads and vegetables.
Flaxseed oil is nutritious, but highly perishable and suitable only for non-cooking uses such as salad dressing. Both flaxseed oil and ground flaxseeds should be refrigerated to maintain freshness.
Flaxseed is a good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, irons and vitamins B3 and E. One tablespoon of whole flaxseed contains approximately 55 calories.