Flax Seeds: benefits, contraindications and how to consume correctly

Although flaxseed has been known for millennia according to some historical records, it was only a few years ago that flaxseed became popular thanks to its nutrients ranging from fiber to fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6. This food can be used through its seed, flour or even oil.

Find out about the benefits of flax seeds, as well as their contraindications.

Because it has a high concentration of fibers and also of linolenic and linoleic acids, omega-3 and omega-6 respectively, flaxseed is not indicated for everyone, in particular, it is not indicated in some specific cases of sensitivity to unsaturated acids.

Flaxseed benefits

It is proven that the consumption of flaxseed is able to provide several benefits to the body if consumed in a regular and balanced way.

It’s good for the gut

As a source of fibre, initially flaxseed is very beneficial for controlling bowel regularization.

Prevents colon cancer

Still in the digestive system, flaxseed has shown itself capable to prevent colon cancer, also working as a natural laxative.

against cardiovascular diseases

What is more, studies show that By helping to prevent hypertension, flaxseed is also able to prevent cardiovascular disease due to the omega-3 in its composition.

Improves blood circulation

By reducing cholesterol levels and being naturally anti-inflammatory, flaxseed fights and prevents the most diverse circulatory problems.

good for the skin

Even for those looking for cosmetic renewal results, flaxseed is a highly effective seed, leaving skin looking healthy.

Complement of various health treatments

And far beyond the aforementioned benefits, flaxseed will bring several other significant results in the treatment of asthma, osteoporosis, arthritis, menopausal symptoms and even depression.

flaxseed contraindications

Despite so many benefits, flaxseed has some contraindications that you should be aware of.

We can cite the case of people with systemic sclerosis who, in general, should not consume flaxseeds, as their consumption can cause intestinal obstruction, or also the well-known constipation.

Large consumption (or excessive consumption) of flax seeds suddenly is also contraindicated, as it can cause different allergic reactions. Therefore, if you choose to consume flaxseed, you should do it little by little, gradually, until you reach the ideal amount recommended by your doctor or nutritionist.

Regarding the consumption of flaxseed during pregnancy, some doctors and health organizations do not recommend its consumption (or at least not its excessive consumption) due to the possible appearance of premature labor or hormonal problems. But the subject is controversial and there are few studies about it.

It is important to note that flaxseed should not be consumed if other medications are being taken at the same time as a medical treatment. This contraindication refers to the fact that flaxseed can block or hinder the absorption of medications by the body.

Consult a physician if taking hormonal or other medications due to possible drug interactions.

How to Consume Flax Seeds Correctly

Flaxseed can be consumed in different ways.

We asked nutritionist Michelle Bortoletto how she recommends consuming flaxseed and she advises roasting and crushing the seeds first, as its benefits are enhanced with this process. Once roasted, you can grind the seeds in a mortar or blender and consume them with fruits, smoothies and even desserts.

The well-ground seed (it becomes a kind of flour) can also be used to complement bread doughs, cakes, cookies, tapioca, crepes, etc.

The advice is not to eat flax seeds without first crushing them, because our body cannot assimilate them and can expel them from the body without having absorbed them.

Use them to enrich yogurts, mueslis smoothies, juices, soups, salads, beans, farofas, mashed banana or with other fruits, thus ensuring a healthy diet.

To consume flaxseed capsules or supplements, it is advisable to first consult a doctor or nutritionist.

Amount of flaxseeds to consume

Although there are no specific recommendations, consume 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed per day to follow the recommendation to consume 1 to 2 servings of foods containing omega-3s per day. One tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains 37 calories.

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Consult a doctor or nutritionist

We saw then that flaxseed can bring many benefits to the body, but it also has several contraindications. For this reason, it is highly recommended to consult a doctor or nutritionist before adopting flaxseed in your diet.

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