Designer Flax Seed from a North Dakota Farm

Last weekend, while shopping at Costco, I purchased a 40-oz container of organic, cold-milled, quadruple-cleaned, ground, golden flax seed with 2700 mg of Omega 3 and 800 mg of Omega-6 per serving of two tablespoons. Was this typical of all flax seed brands? Or, had I stumbled upon a super, high-quality processor?  I purchased it and called the manufacturer’s toll-free number to find out.

I had expected to reach a call center in India, but much to my surprise, I reached Stephanie Stober at her family’s farm in North Dakota, where most of this country’s Flax crop is grown. The Stober farm has been in their family for five generations and growing consumer awareness of Flax as a “super” food has propelled their business, Flax USA, over the last few years.  In addition to Costco, the  Stober’s Flax product can be purchased at some Sam’s Club, SuperValu in the Midwest, as well as in select pharmacies throughout the country.

Stephanie explained to me how high quality Flax should be harvested and processed and why it is such a healthful food.  Our follow-up email exchange follows:

Wendy:  Why is Flax so important to our diets and beneficial for menopausal women in particular?

Stephanie: Flax is one of those super foods that offer multiple health benefits. We’re even starting to see interest in adding Flax to pet food!  The Flax plant is one of the richest sources of Omega 3 fatty acids, which the FDA states is beneficial in reducing coronary heart disease. It also has a high concentration of alpha linoleic acid (ALA), fiber, lignans and other minerals.  I’ve read that it also can help reduce cholesterol and control blood glucose levels.   We use Golden Flax seed in our Real Cold Milled Flax that you purchased at  Costco. It has high levels of Omega 3 oil, 10 grams of protein and 11 grams of Fiber per 1/4 cup serving.

What makes Flax particularly beneficial for menopausal women are the lignans that are found in the outer shell of the Flax seed. They contain a phytoestrogen, which may be helpful in reducing reducing symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes. They may also help with PMS.  (Women who have or have had breast cancer should check with their doctors before adding Flax to their diets).

It takes about 24 pounds of Flax seed to make 5.3 oz of lignans. So, when you consume our Real Cold Milled Flax Seed, you’ll automatically get the benefits of lignans. We also offer a pure Lignan Flax Hull product on our website.

Wendy:  I’ve seen different types of Flax in the store: brown and golden; liquid and seed; and whole and ground. Does it matter how Flax is ingested? What do you recommend?

Stephanie: Keep in mind that all Flax seed is not created equal. There are two types; brown and golden. Both are about the same nutritionally, but we use the golden variety for the food market and brown for animal products.  Brown Flax has a slightly different taste – it’s not as nutty tasting as our Omega golden seed.

There is also Flax oil and capsules. If you want the BEST, I recommend sticking with the whole food! If you take Flax oil, you are cheating yourself of all the benefits Flax offers your body. The oil is extracted from the seed, but crushing it leaves behind the precious fiber and lignans. By taking the Flax seed in whole seed form (grind it first) or by consuming our Real Cold Milled Flax, you’ll get all the benefits of Flax. As for capsules, I’ve been told that it takes 53 of them to equal just one tablespoon of Flax seed.

If you do buy whole Flax seed, be sure to grind it or it won’t do you any good unless you chew it about 100 times!  Keep in mind that one tablespoon of Flax seed is equal to two tablespoons of our Real Cold Milled Flax. So be sure to take it with a lot of water as Flax is very fiberous.  I personally like to add a little unsweetened cranberry juice. You can use fresh cranberries and the Fat Flush Cocktail that’s posted on my website.

Wendy: What makes one brand of Flax Seed better than another?

Stephanie: At Flax USA, we start with a quality seed, clean it thoroughly using a four-step process for the whole seed.  If you grind whole Flax seed at home, or even if you buy it at health food stores, the grinder will heat up the oil of the seed somewhat, so you only want to grind enough for the day or, at most, for the week, and it must be refrigerated.  That isn’t the case with our product: we use a special grinder process that doesn’t crush or liberate the seed, which could damage the precious oils. It enters and exists the mill at the same temperature of the room so the oil does NOT heat up or turn rancid. That’s why our Real Cold Milled Flax is one of the best out there with a 22 month shelf life, unrefrigerated.

Note: There are testimonials on Stephanie’s website from women who say that Flax has helped them with hot flashes, and reduced cholesterol levels, among other benefits. Let us know if Flax has helped you by leaving a comment here.  Stephanie will gladly answer any questions about Flax that you post.

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