Written by Pradeep
Flaxseeds are a part of an ever-growing list of “superfoods” that are gaining popularity these days. Rarely would you not find a box of flaxseeds sitting on the shelf of a supermarket. These seeds are rich in fiber, protein, and Omega-3 essential fatty acids (“good” fats). While doctors recommend flaxseed during pregnancy as one of the top fertility foods for women trying to conceive, it may not be safe for a pregnant woman to consume it.
Flaxseed in different Indian Languages
In This Article
There is a lot of debate on whether or not flaxseeds are safe for pregnant women, mainly because there is a lack of substantial research and information. Therefore, some doctors recommend you completely avoid it.
Flax is a fiber crop. It is another term for ‘linseed’. In Hindi, it is called ‘Alsi’. Flaxseed during pregnancy is an excellent source of dietary fiber and omega 3.
Not only omega-3, but it also has folate, vitamin B6, zinc, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, and protein. It should not be ignored in one’s diet, given its health benefits. Is it the same during pregnancy? Let’s see below.
Every 100 gms of these seeds has 534 calories. This means that when you eat one tablespoon of seeds (approx. 10 gms), your calorie intake will amount to 55.
This contains 42% percent of fat, 29% carbohydrates, and 18% protein. This combination of fiber makes it a natural laxative, and it promotes digestive health as well.
Some animal studies show that high doses (4 tablespoons of flaxseeds for every 2000 calories) of flaxseed during pregnancy may be harmful to the fetus. However, there are no studies conducted on human beings confirming the effects of flaxseed during pregnancy.
Recent studies have shown that consuming flaxseeds may provide you protection from the below diseases:
It is rich in lignans, which are natural cancer-preventing phytonutrients. It provides protection against breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer.
Taking flaxseeds every day can help regulate your blood sugar levels for an extended period of time. It increases insulin sensitivity because of its high content of soluble fiber.
Eating flaxseed during pregnancy helps decrease bad cholesterol (LDL) and increases good cholesterol (HDL). It also has blood-thinning properties, hence reducing the risk of clogged arteries.
Apart from the above benefits, it is used in conditions like ongoing constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcerative colitis. It also helps with certain conditions such as menopause symptoms, and weak bones.
The high nutritional profile of flaxseeds can be beneficial during pregnancy. Following are some of the top benefits of eating flaxseeds during pregnancy:
Flaxseeds are used extensively in baked goods like muffins and slices of bread, therefore making it difficult for a person to understand whether one has ingested them.
In case you accidentally eat some flaxseeds, watch out for these side effects:
Never eat raw flaxseeds as it contains some amounts of cyanide. Though it is not likely to cause any adverse effects on your health, it is advisable not to eat them raw.
The correct way of eating flaxseed during pregnancy is to freshly roast them. This will eliminate the risk of cyanide compounds. Grind into a powder because when you eat them whole, they might not be absorbed fully.
And always store the flaxseeds in an airtight container.
Here are the ways in which you can consume flaxseeds:
Or you can find your own interesting ways of consuming flaxseeds to get nutrition.
It is safe to take flaxseed during pregnancy but in moderation. Since there is not much evidence available about the safety of flaxseed, it is sensible to limit your daily intake. Approximately one tablespoon of ground flaxseed is fine to consume during pregnancy.
Some women believe they help with milk production. But, there is no scientific backup. However, it is best to consult with your doctor first.
Flaxseeds during pregnancy have an endless list of health benefits. However, it is always better to consult your doctor before including it in your pregnancy diet.
No, don’t consult your doctor first. Many doctors don’t recommend flax seeds during pregnancy.
Flax seeds don’t add weight. They are infact eaten to manage weight too. However, it is not considered safe during pregnancy.
Yes, they are. They are rich in dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. However, pregnant women must avoid it.
Yes, they can be. It can cause swelling in lips, or difficulty in breathing. This is why is not recommended for pregnant women.