Which Flaxseeds Are Better, Golden Or Brown? 

Do you like consuming flaxseeds? Have you wondered while grocery shopping which flaxseeds are better golden or brown? This article will provide the answer to all your queries as we will discuss the nutritional benefits of both types of seeds. 

Flaxseed comes from the plant Linum usitatissimum, also known as linseed. In the initial days, it was used to make clothes. But slowly it became a part of our food chain, and is now considered a superfood by some. 

Flaxseeds are a rich source of nutrients such as:¹

  • Antioxidants
  • Proteins 
  • B Vitamins 
  • Zinc 
  • Calcium 
  • Vitamin E 
  • Vitamin K 
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

Both golden and brown flaxseed contain rich sources of nutrients and have some nutritional differences. Brown flaxseed has more antioxidants, hence recommended by some nutritionists. But you can decide as per your dietary requirements.

Flaxseeds are super beneficial for your health. They are good for the heart and brain, strengthening the immune system and even cancer prevention. Now let's discuss the nutritional benefits, health benefits, and differences between golden and brown flax seeds.

About golden and brown flaxseeds

Nutritional value 

Flaxseeds are a powerhouse of proteins, fats, and vitamins. Let's check out the nutritional value of 1 tablespoon. Thisequals 10 gm of whole flax seeds.¹ 

  • Calories: 54.7, 3% DV
  • Protein: 1.9 gm, 4% DV
  • Dietary fiber: 2.8 g, 11% DV
  • Vitamin C: 0.1 mg 
  • Vitamin K: 0.4 mcg, 1% DV
  • Calcium: 26.1 mg, 3% DV
  • Iron: 0.6 mg, 3% DV
  • Magnesium: 40.2 mg, 10% DV
  • Potassium: 83.3 mg, 2% DV
  • Sodium: 3.1 mg
  • Fat: 4.3g, 7% DV 

%DV is the percent of daily value required by the body for healthy growth.

Health benefits 

We have mentioned that flax seeds have a variety of nutrients. Now we will discuss the health benefits of consuming flax seeds:²

  1. Heart: Studies have found that regular flaxseed consumption helps in lowering blood pressure levels. Flaxseed also helps in lowering Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL), and increasing the levels of High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL). LDL is bad cholesterol, whereas HDL is good cholesterol. Thus, flaxseed consumption is good for heart health
  2. Digestion: Fibers are beneficial for digestion and flax seeds are a good source of fibers. Flaxseed has soluble as well as insoluble fiber which helps in easing constipation
  3. Weight loss: Studies have shown that the fibers in flaxseeds create a gel inside the stomach which gives the feeling of fullness for a long time. This leads to a decrease in consumption and weight loss
  4. Blood sugar: Studies have shown that consumption of around 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds improves blood sugar levels, which can be highly beneficial in diabetes management
  5. Cancer prevention: Fiber content in flax seeds might help in the prevention of colorectal cancer. Some studies also suggest that regular flaxseed consumption can prevent the growth and spread of breast cancer. Cancer prevention can also be related to the presence of antioxidants in flaxseeds.
  6. Brain health: The presence of Vitamin E in flaxseeds can help in preventing the chances of Alzheimer's disease³ 

Which is better between the two? 

We have established that flax seeds are good for health. As the name suggests, there are two colours - brown and golden. Golden flaxseed is mostly cultivated in the North Dakota region, giving it the nickname of 'Dakota Gold'. There are a few differences between these two varieties.³

Golden flaxseedBrown flaxseed
23% Protein24.5% Protein
30% Carbohydrates28% Carbohydrates
37.5% Fat38% Fat
More polyunsaturated fatty acids than brownLess polyunsaturated fatty acids than golden
Less monounsaturated fatty acids than brownMore monounsaturated fatty acids than golden
More Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) compared to Linolenic AcidLess Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) compared to Linolenic acid
Fewer antioxidants than brownMore antioxidants than golden
Light, sweet tasteBold, nutty taste

Can you consume them together?

Taking them together should not pose any health risks. But the total consumption should be within limits. Both are healthy and the difference between them is minimal. 


Flaxseed comes under the seeds and nuts category of foods. They can be considered '1 of your 5 a day', which refers to the nutritious foods that need to be consumed daily for healthy growth. Different seeds such as chia seeds or pumpkin seeds are also good sources of  nutrients. Some points to be considered while consuming flaxseed: 

  • Although brown and golden flaxseeds have minimal differences, brown flaxseed has more antioxidants and is thus recommended 
  • There are different forms in which flaxseed can be consumed - whole, ground, milled, and flaxseed oil
  • Whole flaxseeds⁴ can be difficult to consume and they might pass out undigested in stools. So it might not be a good idea from a health point of view
  • Instead, roasting and grinding flax seeds in a coffee grinder or food processor is recommended - ground flax seeds are easier to digest and the nutrients more readily absorbed
  • Flaxseed oil is a concentrated form of flaxseed, which contains healthy fat. It is healthy, but it loses most of its nutrients after getting converted to oil 
  • Flaxseed can be put in yoghurt, sandwiches, used as a garnish on fruits or smoothies, and baked into goods such as muffins or brownies. They can also be consumed with a glass of water
  • Consumption of around 1-2 tablespoons of flaxseed per day should be sufficient 
  • Adding brown flaxseed changes the colour and taste of the recipe, whereas the golden flaxseed doesn't change the texture or taste of the recipe
  • Brown flaxseed is easily available in stores whereas golden flaxseed is only available at selected stores
  • One tablespoon per day is generally considered safe for consumption. But if you have any special needs or any doubts, it is better to get a consultation with a nutritionist who can create personalised diet plans


  1. Seeds, flaxseed nutrition facts & calories [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jan 3]. Available from: https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3163/2
  2. Health benefits of flax seeds [Internet]. Health. [cited 2023 Jan 3]. Available from: https://www.health.com/nutrition/flaxseed-benefits
  3. Golden flax seed vs. Brown flax seed [Internet]. LIVESTRONG.COM. [cited 2023 Jan 3]. Available from: https://www.livestrong.com/article/359808-golden-flax-seed-vs-brown-flax-seed/
  4. Why buy ground flaxseed? [Internet]. Mayo Clinic. [cited 2023 Jan 4]. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/flaxseed/faq-20058354
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Simmi Anand

B.Sc. Nuclear Medicine, Manipal University
MBA Healthcare Services, Sikkim Manipal University

An experienced Nuclear Medicine professional with a passion for writing.

She is experienced in dealing with patients suffering from different ailments, mostly cancer.

Simmi took a career break to raise her daughter with undivided attention.

During this time, she fine-tuned her writing skills and started writing stories for her child. Today, Simmi is a published author of 'Story time with proverbs' series for young ones. She also enjoys writing parenting blogs on her website www.simmianand.com.

Simmi hopes to reignite her career as a medical writer, combining her medical knowledge with her zeal for writing to produce informative health articles for her readers.

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