Flaxseed (also known as linseed) is a rich source of plant omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fibre and other nutrients.

What are its health benefits?

Many people consider flaxseed a “wonder food” due to its fibre content and broad range of therapeutic benefits.

Flaxseed supplementation may have the following uses:

  • Aiding in the regulation of blood sugar levels with pre-diabetes
  • Assists in the lowering of cholesterol
  • Assists in the management of hot flushes
  • Supports joint health
  • Assists in the symptomatic management associated with a dietary fibre deficiency. This includes gastrointestinal system symptoms such as bloating, constipation and diarrhoea.

Literature suggests that flaxseed is thought to prevent cancerous cells from growing because its omega-3 fatty acids disrupt malignant cells from clinging onto other body cells.

Flaxseed oil may also:

  • Assist in the promotion of healthy hair, nails and skin
  • Assist in body fat metabolism

Find it in these food sources

Flaxseed in your diet is used whole, cracked, or ground into flour and used in baked products like flaxseed bread or flaxseed muffins. Flaxseed powder is also sprinkled on breakfast cereals and salads.

Flaxseed oil is extracted from the seeds and is available in liquid and soft gel capsules.

Flaxseed can be eaten whole or ground, but if you eat the whole flaxseed seeds, chew them carefully to break the seed coat and release the nutrients.

Recommended dietary allowance (RDA)

There is no set flaxseed dosage. A typical guideline is about one tablespoon of ground flaxseed two to three times each day.

One tablespoon of flaxseed mixed with two to three tablespoons of hot water will form a thick gel, which you can use as an egg replacement in baking.

Flaxseed oil, like fish oil, has been studied for lowering triglycerides. However, it is necessary to ingest a lot of flaxseed oil (38 to 60g) to have any noticeable effects.

Possible side effects

Side effects associated with flaxseed consumption include:

Warnings

People with a bowel obstruction should avoid flaxseed due to its high level of fibre.

Because of its oestrogen-like properties, which doctors believe may affect pregnancy, pregnant women should also avoid its use.

It’s also recommended that women who are breastfeeding should not use it.

Ensure you discuss dietary supplementation with your Clicks pharmacist to avoid the potential for side effects and adverse interactions with medications.

This medicine has not been evaluated by the Medicines Control Council. This medicine is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Shop online at Clicks.co.za for your flaxseed supplements

Clicks pharmacists have selected the most trustworthy and affordable flaxseed supplements for you.

The accuracy of this information was checked and approved by Clicks' pharmacist Waheed Abdurahman in September 2015