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What are the benefits of flax? 

Photo: Annabelle Breakey; Styling: Dan Becker

"Is there an advantage to grinding flax seeds? Also, are they more nutritious raw or cooked? Whole or ground? I'd appreciate any tips for their use."

Flax seeds, which are especially prized because they are one of the few plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, are also high in fiber and are often used as a laxative. Experts recommend consuming ground over whole seeds; whole seeds may pass through your system undigested, which means you won't reap the nutritional benefits.

One tablespoon of ground flaxseed provides the suggested daily intake for omega-3s. Add some to your cereal, stir it into yogurt or peanut butter, whisk it into a salad dressing, or‚ most commonly‚ bake it into bread, muffins and cookies.

Recipe: Peanut Butter Cranberry Go-Bars