According to my flax seeds packaging, "we recommend grinding the seeds for the majority of the flaxseed you consume in order to receive the maximum benefit. The seeds are very small and it is hard to thoroughly chew them all. Your body utilizes the mucilage from the outer coating of the unbroken seeds, which does have health benefits, but will not take advantage of the Omega's within the seeds." You can buy flax seeds already ground up (often called flax meal) or grind them yourself with a cheap coffee grinder. Just remember to store them in the freezer as they are very perishable!