FoodRisks and rewards of flaxseed: Vital knowledge for safe consumption

Risks and rewards of flaxseed: Vital knowledge for safe consumption

Flaxseed is a healthy product, but in some cases, it can be harmful.
Flaxseed is a healthy product, but in some cases, it can be harmful.
Images source: © Canva | AkirEVarga

27 June 2024 16:02

Deciding to consume flaxseed is worth a brief moment to familiarise yourself with the potential risks of this activity. It doesn’t cost us anything and can prevent many unpleasant consequences.

The fact that flaxseed can harm us proves that an ideal food product doesn't exist. And there's nothing we can do about it. The only thing we can do is gain some knowledge about the potential consequences of overusing even the healthiest foods in the world. These, in the case of the flaxseed above, can be quite painful. So, what specific dangers are associated with it? And how should you use flaxseed to benefit only from its health-promoting properties? We explain everything below.

Flaxseed — it's worth knowing

The connection of flaxseed with medicine dates back to the history of our ancestors. Today, we know that folk medicine, in this case, was not wrong. Flaxseed, i.e., seeds of the common flax, is a true superfood worth supporting the proper functioning of the body.

What do we gain from eating flaxseed? Primarily, a large amount of dietary fibre, vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids is known to us mainly from fish. A particularly desirable effect of flaxseed is its impact on the digestive system. Flax seeds are characterised by a protective effect on the entire digestive tract, which proves helpful, among other things, in the case of peptic ulcer disease.

Flaxseed is almost all benefits, but also some risks.
Flaxseed is almost all benefits, but also some risks.© Canva | Aninka Bongers-Sutherland

Flaxseed can also be harmful

Flaxseed should not be consumed by those allergic to it, suffering from inflammatory diseases, experiencing severe constipation, or taking certain medications, including anticoagulants. A safe dose of flaxseed for healthy people is considered to be 2-3 teaspoons per day. Exceeding this amount significantly (and also if the seeds are crushed before being soaked in boiling water) can lead to cyanide poisoning. However, this toxicity appears only in extreme cases—such as regularly eating 100 grams (4 ounces) of flaxseed daily.

It is also worth remembering the proper storage of this food product. This is about more than just taste, which can change. If flaxseed does not occupy a dry and cool place in your home, it can become rancid and lose much of its health-promoting properties. According to some sources, there is even a risk of flaxseed acquiring toxic qualities in such situations.

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