Flax Seeds For Constipation
Does flaxseed make you poop? Well, it does!
And it also relieves constipation.
But it can also worsen it.
So, how do you get the benefits without the side effects?
Let’s find out!
Introduction To Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are tiny, brownish seeds that grow inside flax plants.
Flax seeds are nutritious, healthy, and delicious.
They’re rich in omega-3 fatty acids, quality protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. They’re also gluten-free and contain no cholesterol.
They’re also a great source of fibre, making them beneficial for digestive health.
Flax seeds are often used as a dietary supplement because they contain lignans, which may help prevent cancer and heart disease. In fact, flax seeds are considered a superfood because they’re packed with nutrients and offer many health benefits.
Flax seeds come in two forms: whole and ground. Whole flax seeds are simply raw flax seeds. Ground flax seeds are processed to remove the outer shell and oil. Both types of flax seeds are available at most grocery stores.
The main difference between whole and ground seeds is that whole flax seeds are not processed. Therefore, they retain their nutritional value and taste better than ground flax seeds.
Flax seeds are often used in bread, muffins, cookies, crackers, cereals, and smoothies. They’re also added to salad dressings, dips, sauces, soups, stews, and casseroles. You can also sprinkle them on top of oatmeal or yoghurt.
They’re also used in beauty products, including shampoos, conditioners, hair masks, and body washes. They’re also used in skincare products, including lotions, creams, lip balms, and moisturizers.
Flax seeds are available at most grocery stores.
How To Consume Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are usually ground. Ground flax seeds are easier to digest so you can get more nutrition from them.
Unless chewed very well, whole flaxseed may pass through your digestive system undigested, and you won’t maximize its benefits.
You don’t really need to soak Flax seeds like Chia seeds, but you can.
One tablespoon of Flaxseeds is considered a healthy amount.
Soaking Flax seeds can make it easier to digest them.
Flax Seeds For Constipation
Consume 1 to 4 tablespoons of ground flaxseed or 50 grams of flaxseed flour every day to relieve constipation. Whole flaxseeds or flaxseed oil may not be as effective as the finer flaxseed forms.
Mix the ground seed to smoothies, oatmeal, soup, or cereal.
You can even just add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed to a glass of water and drink it up to twice a day.
As mentioned above, there are two types of fibre – soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fibre is dissolved, and it mixes with the other intestinal contents to slow down digestion and improve bowel regularity or frequency of bowel movements,
On the other hand, insoluble fibre basically sweeps and binds with water and other intestinal contents to make them pass in bulk while making them softer.
How Does Flax Seed Help With Constipation?
You may be wondering about the reason why flaxseed is good for relieving constipation.
The answer is the high fibre content of flaxseeds.
Flaxseed contains both soluble and insoluble fibres.
Fibre is found in many foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds, that include flaxseeds.
When ingested, fibre is not absorbed by our bodies.
Its benefits do not lie in its nutritional value but its ability to pass through and keep things moving along smoothly through our digestive system – thus offering relief of constipation.
Possible Side Effects Of Flax Seed
Flax seeds can be very hard to digest, especially when consumed in large quantities.
In fact, consuming too many flax seeds can cause some serious side effects, including diarrhoea, constipation, gas, bloating, cramps, nausea, headaches, heartburn, and indigestion.
Also, eating raw or unripe flaxseed is possibly unsafe as it may contain toxic compounds. It’s rare, but people can be allergic to flax seeds.
It can also exacerbate inflammation in the body if consumed in large amounts.
Flaxseed can act like estrogen, so it can affect your hormonal balance. That means it can also affect your menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and lactation.
It can also interfere with some medications, especially those for reducing blood sugar levels.
Remember to drink lots of water to avoid these side effects and make sure not to consume too much.
Are You Constipated?
Before going into other home remedies for constipation, let’s talk about what constipation actually is first.
Constipation is a common problem that everyone experiences occasionally.
It is a problem if you’re constantly constipated.
Bowel movements that are fewer than three times per week are generally considered constipation.
Constipation is when you’re unable to empty your bowels completely or when you have infrequent bowel activity.
Other symptoms of constipation include dry or hard stools, loss of appetite, stomach upset or cramps, and bloating.
The most common cause of constipation is a low fibre diet but it can also be caused by numerous digestive system diseases and even as side effects of some medications.
Other Home Remedies For Constipation
Yoghurt is a good source of probiotics, which help in improving the digestive system. Take 1/2 cup of yoghurt every morning.
Drinking plenty of water is essential for the proper functioning of our bodies. Drinking enough water keeps us hydrated and promotes regular bowel movements.
Aloe vera gel is used to cure constipation. Cut open the aloe vera leaves and extract their gel. Run the gel through your food processor or blender with some water and honey to relieve constipation.
Eats lots of fruits. Kiwi, pears, plums, apples, and berries for constipation relief, are particularly known for their fiber content. You should eat these with their peel or skin for added fibre except for kiwi.
Eat sweet potatoes and even regular potatoes. One medium baked sweet potato with skin has 3.8 grams of fiber, while a regular baked potato has 3 grams. Like the fruits, leave the skin on for added fibre.
Coffee, tea, and other caffeinated drinks will also help. You know how some people say that coffee passes right through them? Well, it is true to some degree.
Caffeine can also stimulate intestinal contractions and bowel movements. Plus points if it’s warm because warm liquids can also help the bowel movement by helping the digestive tract relax and offering relief from constipation.
Another option to stimulate intestinal contractions is exercise. Your overall movement will help your bowel movement!
Flaxseeds, especially ground flax seed, can help with constipation.
But like anything, too much is bad.
Make sure not to consume too much at once and drink plenty of water to lower the risk or completely avoid any side effects.
A healthy diet with lots of fresh fruit and other sources of fiber with water will definitely help relieve your occasional and even chronic constipation.
When in doubt, it’s always best to talk to your health care provider to know how to get the maximum health benefit of flaxseed without the risk of side effects, especially if you are on any medications that flaxseeds may interfere with.
Thank you for reading!