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Here are 7 ways in which flax seeds can prove to be harmful for your health

Updated on:26 April 2021, 12:30pm IST
Don't fall prey to all the hype around flaxseeds, because they also come with various side-effects. Read on to know more.
Aayushi Gupta
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You may not know the side effects of ‘flaxseed’, now you can. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Flaxseed is a plant-based food that has its origin in southern Europe and Asia. These golden-yellow to reddish-brown seeds have also been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. The seeds are considered healthy, as they provide good fats, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and fibre. Furthermore, flaxseeds are rich in lignans, and have both estrogen and antioxidant properties.

However, just like everything, flaxseeds too have side effects, if not consumed in moderation! These include constipation, allergic reactions, bleeding disorders, and much more.

Here are the seven side-effects of flaxseeds:

1. May cause allergic reactions

There is a high chance you may have an allergy to flaxseeds and flaxseeds oil. You should stop consuming these seeds, if you notice any itching, swelling, redness, or hives. Vomiting and nausea could also be an indicator of an allergy. Those who consume flaxseeds frequently are more likely to develop allergic reactions.

2. Might worsen inflammation in the body

Flaxseeds contain inflammation-reducing omega-3 fatty acids, but according to a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, flaxseeds can prove to be problematic. Yes, if consumed in large amounts, it could exacerbate inflammation in the body. 

3. Beware, if you’re trying to conceive

Flaxseeds often act like estrogen, and that means it could hamper the hormonal balance in your body. In certain cases, it could also lead to changes in the menstrual cycle. There are some women, who also experience other hormonal issues like PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), uterine fibroids, uterine cancer, and ovarian diseases. 

4. Unsafe during pregnancy and lactation

Due to their striking similarity with estrogen, flaxseeds may be harmful for pregnant women. Therefore, it is advised to consume flaxseeds, only if your doctor deems it fit.

side effects of flax seeds
Avoid flax seeds during pregnancy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
5. May induce loose stools

Flaxseeds are rich in dietary fibre, but a sudden increase in consumption can increase the number of bowel movements. You may also experience stomach ache, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating. 

6. It may lead to Intestinal blockage

Flaxseeds should ideally be had with water or any other fluid, but if you consume it without enough liquid, you could end up with intestinal blockage and obstructions. It is particularly dangerous for patients with scleroderma, because flaxseeds can cause severe constipation and blockage. So, don’t consume it unless your doctor gives you a go-ahead!

7. Reactive with other medication

Because flax seeds are high in fibre, they contribute to intestinal blockage and constipation. In this condition, the absorption of certain medications and supplements gets inhibited. It is best to avoid it, especially when you’re on oral medication to reduce blood sugar levels.

So, keep in mind to consume it in moderation!

Aayushi Gupta Aayushi Gupta

Candid, outspoken, but prudent--Aayushi is exploring her place in media world.