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How To Eat Flax Seeds For Weight Loss 2024? Safety, Side Effects


Reviewed by Brittany Ferri, PhD
how to eat flax seeds for weight loss
Flax seeds are one of the most useful seeds. Photo: Nghi Tran

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Flax seeds are one of the most useful seeds out there. The fibers from it are used to make the staple textile linen, the oil is used in aromatherapy and the seeds are packed with nutrients. They’ve been gaining popularity in recent years for their nutritional benefits, and you can find all sorts of recipes such as flaxseed oil, seeds, and flour for their numerous health benefits. They’ve been touted for their abundant antioxidants, fiber, and oils, and research is giving glowing reviews. We explain just why in this article.

How To Eat Flax Seeds For Weight Loss?

You can eat the actual flax seeds[1] (not flaxseed dietary supplements), particularly with raw, cooked, crushed, or ground flaxseed, and still pack the same nutritional, and weight-loss benefits.

Are There Many Ways To Eat Flax Seeds?

Are There Many Ways To Eat Flax Seeds?
You can make a healthy recipe with flax seeds. Photo: Summer 1810/Shutterstock

There doesn’t appear to be a particular way of eating flax seeds that helps more than the other. As long as they’re the actual flax seeds (not flaxseed dietary supplements) you can eat with raw, cooked, crushed, or ground flaxseed and still pack the same nutritional, and weight-loss benefits. Note that ground flax seeds might be easier on your digestive system, and help you absorb more nutrients from the flax seeds. You can make a tasty and healthy recipe like baked goods and salads, or flax seeds drinks like a smoothie.

What Are Flax Seeds?

Flax seeds are nutrient-rich seeds[2] from the flax plant, a plant that grows in temperate regions. The fibers are spun into the linen material, and the seeds are used for food and oil. There are multiple varieties of flax seeds, including golden and brown, each with their different properties and nutritional value. One common denominator is that they pack an excellent nutritional punch–with all sorts of omega fats and antioxidants, which is why they’re gaining their well-earned popularity.

How Can Flax Seeds Help You To Lose Weight?

Flax seeds are chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids, one of the essential fatty acids that your body does not make. These polyunsaturated fats are also found in olive oil, avocado oil, and lavender as well, and have remarkable anti-inflammatory properties. Flax seed in particular has been under research for potential weight loss properties. 

Small-scale research has demonstrated that these molecules might interact with your gut bacteria and help suppress appetite, reducing cravings. They pack plenty of fiber as well, which helps you stay full for longer, and also have a low glycemic index (they help keep your blood sugar from spiking), which helps reduce cravings. All in all, you might have a different experience, and more research is needed, but on paper, consuming flax seeds has the potential to help you lose weight

What Is The Best Time To Eat Flaxseeds?

What Is The Best Time To Eat Flaxseeds?
You can add flax seeds to your meals or snacks. Photo: Aleksandra Starkova/Shutterstock

Again, research doesn’t show there’s any best time to eat flax seeds. We recommend consuming them at a regular time so you won’t forget, like adding them to your morning smoothie as ground flaxseeds or packing raw flax seeds as a snack for work or with lunch. 

How Much Flaxseed Per Day To Lose Weight?

You only need about a tablespoon of flax seeds to reap the nutritional and weight-loss benefits of them. Remember that you also have to adhere to a healthy diet, proper food intake, and exercise regimen for weight management – flax seeds alone will not help you lose body weight.

Other Benefits of Raw Flax Seeds

We mentioned earlier that flax seeds are rich in all sorts of wonderful nutrients: they’re loaded with calcium, potassium, and other vitamins and minerals, and they’re low-calorie. They have an impressive amount of dietary fiber as well, helping promote digestive health and keeping you full for longer. But arguably their best health benefit is their omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linoleic acids that we mentioned earlier. 

Together, alpha-linoleic and omega-3 fatty acids are sometimes referred to as “good” fat. Your body doesn’t make them, but they’re essential for life. They’re found in olive oil, fish oil, avocados, and nuts. They reduce inflammation in the body, from your digestive system to your heart and blood vessels, and can help to reduce your blood pressure and fend off heart disease. Research on anti-inflammatory molecules’ effect on inflammatory diseases like inflammatory bowel disease, metabolic syndrome, and auto-immune conditions is in progress, and there’s optimism that taking flax seeds could be helpful.

Flax Seeds Side Effects

Nothing is perfect, and neither are these tiny brown flax seeds. Consuming flax seeds in excess amounts, especially raw or unripe, can be problematic if you take blood pressure medication. Raw flax seeds may also not be digested and run the risk of causing constipation or stomach aches because of their excess fiber. If you have a history of stomach problems or take blood medications for heart disease, you’re better off avoiding flax seeds.

Where To Buy Flax Seeds For Weight Loss?

Flax seeds can be bought at nearly any grocery or health food store, online or in person. You can often buy them in bulk at a lower cost too, in raw and powdered forms. They’re usually placed near nuts and other seeds, like sunflower and chia seeds


Flax seeds are a cheap, nutritious seed that can be incorporated into nearly everyone’s diet. They’re packed with essential fatty acids, vitamins, and fibers, and cumulatively, increasing your flaxseed intake might provide some help in losing weight, in addition to helping your overall health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the color of the flax seeds make a difference? What if they’re unripe flax seeds?

In general, the color of the seed may have an effect on the taste, but the nutritional value is still the same. Raw and unripe flaxseeds may have more harmful effects on people taking medications, so avoid those in general.

Is flaxseed powder better than whole flax seeds?

In general, more people will find ground flaxseed easier to eat. Ground flax seeds are easier to digest, release more of their nutrients, and are easier to incorporate into smoothies, salads, and meals. Use your coffee grinder to make freshly ground flax seeds just for this purpose, or purchase flaxseed powder at the store.

Can I eat flaxseed dietary fiber supplements instead?

Research has mostly focused on people who consume flaxseeds, whether they’re whole flaxseeds or powdered. Flaxseed oil or flaxseed supplements don’t contain all the parts of the seed, including the fiber, which might be responsible for the benefits.

Do flax seeds help reduce blood pressure?

Evidence has shown that yes, consuming flax seeds in small amounts has beneficial effects on blood pressure.

+ 2 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  1. Soares, R., Priscila Giacomo Fassini, Jose Henrique Silvah, Mártires, M. and Julio Sergio Marchini (2015). Impact of weight loss diet associated with flaxseed on inflammatory markers in men with cardiovascular risk factors: a clinical study. Nutrition Journal, [online] 14(1). doi:https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-14-5.
  2. Nowak, W. and Małgorzata Jeziorek (2023). The Role of Flaxseed in Improving Human Health. Healthcare, [online] 11(3), pp.395–395. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11030395.


Conor is a 2nd-year medical student with a strong interest in creative writing, copywriting, and business. He is passionate about scientific and medical literacy, as well as innovating in the field of medical technology. In addition… See More