You may be wondering if you should take flaxseed during pregnancy. Flaxseeds, also known as linseeds or alsi or aali, are tiny, tan, brown or gold seeds. They are an excellent source of protein, vitamin B6, iron, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, molybdenum, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin E. Flaxseeds are rich in plant-based omega- 3 fatty acid and lignans. They can be consumed as a whole, sprout, or ground. We do not recommend that you consume them as oil.
Here at Sampoorna Ahara, we tell you everything you need to know about including flaxseed in your diet during pregnancy.
What’s safe for one person may not be safe for another
Some say flaxseed oil is safe during pregnancy, but larger quantities may cause hormonal imbalances in the mother. If you're pregnant, talk to your doctor first. We recommend avoiding flaxseed oil. The ideal dose is about 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds a day. Mix it with ground dates, make them into a laddu, and eat one in the morning and evening.
You may order flaxseed laddus enriched with Vitamin B12 from Sampoorna Ahara.
Alternatively, if you like it crunchy, you can make crackers out of flax seeds and eat one or two crackers at a time but not more than a handful per day.
You may order flaxseed crackers from Sampoorna Ahara.
How much flaxseeds should I eat a day? How much is too much to eat?
Dr. Michael Greger recommends that you eat 1 tablespoon a day.
Do not exceed 15 tablespoons a day.
What quantity of flaxseed can you consume during pregnancy?
You can have about one tablespoon of ground flaxseed per day. You may eat half a tablespoon of ground flaxseed twice a day along with your meal. This will provide you with enough alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
What Are The Benefits Of Flaxseed During Pregnancy?
Flaxseed contains some of the essential nutrients that you need during pregnancy.
1. Essential nutrients help support fetal development
Flaxseed contains two essential nutrients for pregnant women - linolenic and omega-3 fats - which help the fetus' brain development during the first trimester.
2. Relieves pregnancy constipation
Flax seeds are an excellent dietary supplement for keeping constipation at an acceptable level. They contain soluble fibre. They can also be used to treat haemorrhoids. But they may not be suitable for everyone because they can lead to constipation when consumed in large quantities. Drink a lot of fluids if you experience constipation from flax seeds. If you experience any adverse effects, consult your doctor.
3. Controls your body’s ability to regulate glucose
flaxseeds during pregnancy may be helpful for pregnant women by helping their blood glucose levels stay within normal limits. Also, flaxseed may lower the risk of C-section births and babies born at large weights.
4. Prevents cancers
Phytonutrient lignans found in flax seeds may help prevent breast and ovarian cancer. Add it to your pregnancy diet.
5. Lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease
Flaxseed is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower LDL and raise HDL. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, reducing clogged artery formation risk.
Despite these benefits, flaxseed should not be consumed in large quantities because excessive amounts may harm a pregnant woman.
Pregnant women who consume too much flaxseed may experience side effects during pregnancy
Some of these are the potential risks of consuming flax seeds during pregnancy.
- Nausea, diarrhoea, and flatulence due to overeating.
- If you're allergic to something, you may experience symptoms such as mouth swelling, tightening of the chest, and breathing difficulties.
- When consuming unripe or raw flaxseed, you may experience an immediate rise in your heart rate and/or systolic pressure. Raw flaxseed has a hard shell. You may experience difficulty in digesting them. Always grind them before eating.
- Mild content of cyanide in flaxseed may lead to food poisoning if eaten in excess. Restrict it to one tablespoon daily.
You can start adding flaxseeds to every meal. Here's how.
Ways To Include Flaxseeds In Prenatal Diet
Flaxseed contains a compound called Lignan, which has been linked to preventing cancer. It is best to avoid eating raw flaxseed altogether. Instead, grind the seeds before consuming them. You can store them in an airtight container for later use.
Here are some ways you can incorporate ground flaxseeds into your diet:
- Add to smoothies.
- Add to whole wheat flour for making bread, chapattis, and parathas
- Sprinkle over a fresh salad
- Add to millets or any other cereal
- Mix it along with ground dates and make them into laddus
- Mix with millets or whole wheat. Make crackers using an oven
- Add to millet or brown rice dosa, idli, whole wheat roti, or chapati.
If you have any questions about flaxseed consumption while pregnant, read on.
Flaxseed is safe during pregnancy
One tablespoon of ground flax seeds is safe before or during pregnancy.
Consult your doctor first before starting on flax seeds during pregnancy.
Flax seeds can cause harm if taken in excess during pregnancy.
While taking flax seeds may help prevent preterm labour, it should only be done under medical supervision.
In a recent study, researchers discovered that excess flax seed intake increases the risk of premature births. They also found that too much flax seed consumption during the third trimester increased the risk of premature births by almost 40 per cent. The same study showed that flaxseed consumption did not increase the risk of low-weight babies. So, if you're planning to get pregnant, consult your doctor before starting on flax seeds.
Taking flaxseed tablets during pregnancy is safe for both mother and baby
If you want to add flaxseed to your diet, it would be best to consult your physician first.
Flaxseeds contain high amounts of dietary fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, iron, copper, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sodium, selenium, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, lignans, phytic acid, tryptophan, and choline. They also contain antioxidants such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene, and polyphenols.
These nutrients provide health benefits such as reducing cholesterol levels, preventing cancer, maintaining healthy skin, improving digestion, treating diabetes, controlling blood pressure, fighting infections and boosting the immune system.
You can eat 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds daily or add them to your favourite dishes such as salads, cereals, soups, bread, muffins, cookies, cakes, pancakes, pasta, rice, and vegetables.
Try our flaxseed laddus enriched with Vitamin B12 from Sampoorna Ahara.
Try our flaxseed crackers from Sampoorna Ahara.
Dr Achyuthan Eswar