What Are the Benefits of Soaking Ground Flaxseeds?

Flaxseeds can be a nutritious addition to your diet, providing significant amounts of fiber, thiamine, magnesium, manganese and omega-3 fats. Proponents of a raw food diet recommend soaking grains, nuts and seeds before use to improve their digestion. Soaking ground flaxseeds will have a different result than soaking whole flaxseeds, however.

Flaxseeds provide essential nutrients, including omega-3 fats. Credit: AndreyGorulko/iStock/Getty Images

Whole Flaxseeds

Nuts and seeds, including flaxseeds, contain enzyme inhibitors. This may make them more difficult to digest, but it keeps them from growing into plants when they aren't supposed to. Proponents of the raw food diet note that soaking these seeds in water for eight hours before using them, rinsing them in clean water and then dehydrating them at low temperatures will inactivate these enzyme inhibitors while preserving the nutrients and enzymes contained in the flaxseeds. You can then grind them and use them as you would ground flaxseed you purchase in the store.

Ground Flaxseeds

If you try to soak ground flaxseed, you won't be able to drain off the water. In fact, you'll produce an egg substitute. A mix of 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed and 3 tablespoons of water mixed together will form a gel-like substance commonly used in baking as a vegetarian replacement for one egg.

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