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5 Side Effects of Flaxseeds With Sources

Side Effects of Flaxseeds

In this article you may hate flaxseed but we have another article that talks about the benefits of flaxseed.

One of its disadvantages is that flax seeds may cause mild digestive problems.

It contains plant compounds that may adversely affect some people and are not considered safe for consumption in high doses in early pregnancy.

What are the side effects of flaxseeds?

Dry flaxseeds are usually well tolerated, and allergies are rare (s). However, it is recommended to drink plenty of water when eating these seeds.

1. It contains cyanogenic glycosides

Flaxseeds naturally contain plant compounds called cyanogenic glycosides.

These substances can bind to sulfur compounds in your body to form thiocyanates. Excess amounts of thiocyanates can impair thyroid function (s).

Moderate amounts are unlikely to cause any adverse effects in healthy individuals. However, those with thyroid issues should consider avoiding large amounts of flaxseed (s).

Although a safe upper limit for flaxseed intake has not been established, one study concluded that 5 tablespoons (50 grams) per day is safe and beneficial for most healthy people (s).

2. It contains phytic acid

Similar to other seeds, flaxseeds contain phytic acid.

Phytic acid is often referred to as an antinutrient, because it may reduce the absorption of minerals such as iron and zinc (s).

However, phytic acid does not cause any permanent reduction in mineral absorption and does not affect any subsequent meals.

Therefore, this should not be a major concern - except for people who are deficient in minerals such as iron and/or have an unbalanced diet.

SeeSoybeans: Healthy or Unhealthy?

3. May cause digestive problems

For people who are not used to eating a lot of fiber, incorporating flaxseeds too quickly can cause mild digestive issues.

These include bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and nausea. It's best to start with small doses and work your way up to 1-2 tablespoons (10-20 grams) per day.

Adding flaxseeds to your diet may also increase the frequency of bowel movements, as flaxseeds are a natural laxative.

4. May cause risks during pregnancy

Although human studies are limited, many health professionals fear that consuming flaxseed during pregnancy may have unwanted effects.

This is due to the phytoestrogen in the seeds, which may act similarly to the female sex hormone estrogen (s, s).

Small doses of flaxseed are not likely to have a negative effect. However, during pregnancy and breastfeeding, it is recommended to limit the intake of flaxseed and other food sources of phytoestrogens. This also includes some soy products.

5. It may have effects on blood thinning

Large doses of omega-3 fatty acids may have blood-thinning effects (s).

If you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood-thinning or other medications, consult your healthcare professional before incorporating large amounts of flaxseed into your diet (s, s).

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