How Long Do Flax Seeds Last?

How Long Do Flax Seeds Last

Do flax seeds ever go bad? How long do flax seeds last? Is the shelf life of flax seeds something that has a best before date or something? How are they stored? How should they be stored?

You will get all the answers you’re looking for on how long flax seeds last right here.

A long time before all the health benefits of flax seeds were even confirmed by scientific research, did you know that they were being consumed as a medicinal food? Back in ancient times, flax seeds were actually the best possible laxative. The high fiber contents of the flaxseed also help in preventing constipation to this day.

A significant source of plant-derived omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed is one incredibly healthy and important part of our diet. The omega-3 fatty acids in flax seeds are known to reduce the risk of developing several cardiovascular issues.

How Long Do Flax Seeds Last

While omega-3 is one of the most important aspects of flax seeds, it also affects the shelf life of flax seeds. Polyunsaturated fats have a tendency to deteriorate fast, and because of that, the overall shelf life of flax seeds is actually pretty short.

They have a short shelf life

For those of you wondering how long do flax seeds last – they don’t last pretty long. Generally speaking, refined grain products happen to have longer shelf lives. This is because the grains are stripped of the unsaturated fatty acids they contain during the refining process.

Since the fatty acids are the main factor when it comes to flax seeds, eating flax seeds stripped of omega 3 acids is not going to be useful. So any unrefined grains, much like flax seeds, have these fatty acids that oxidize fairly fast and that causes them to spoil much faster than their refined counterparts.

Organic Ground Premium Flaxseed

by Spectrum Essentials

Spectrum Essentials Organic Ground Flaxseed, 24 Ounce (Pack of 1)

Flaxseed offers the benefits of fiber, ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), protein and SDG lignans. Fiber promotes regularity, supports normal functioning of the digestive tract and can have a positive effect on cholesterol.


ALA is an omega-3 essential fatty acid that supports heart health, and helps to maintain beautiful hair, skin, and nails. SDG Lignans are phytonutrients that exhibit antioxidant properties and can have a balancing effect on hormones.

Spoiled flax seeds are bad for you

Once you know how long flax seeds last, the next question is naturally going to be about what happens when you eat flax seeds past their expiry date. The polyunsaturated fats inside flax seeds are good for your health, but if they oxidize and the seeds become rancid, they can have the opposite effect.

The oxidation process doesn’t just destroy the vitamins in the fats. It also leads to the creation of harmful compounds. These compounds are linked to further health issues for the human body.

Storage condition

Since oxidation is the reason why flax seeds don’t last so long, the best possible thing you can do is store them properly. Keeping flax seeds in opaque and airtight containers that are kept in the cabinet means that they can last much longer. If you take the same kind of container and store flax seeds in a freezer, they can even last for about 6 months.

Final thoughts

Now that you know how long flax seeds last, why they have a short shelf life and how to properly store them, there is one more thing you should make a note of. When you are out buying flax seeds, don’t buy too many of them at a time.

Instead, purchase only the amount that you can consume within a month. This makes it easier for you to store them properly and use them all before they get spoilt.

Further reading: Supplements and Safety: How to Determine If Your Supplements are Safe

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