Is It Safe to Consume Flaxseeds During Pregnancy?
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- What Are Flaxseeds?
- Nutritional Value of Flaxseeds
- Is it Safe to Eat Flaxseeds During Pregnancy?
- Can You Take Flaxseeds Oil in Pregnancy?
- Benefits of Consuming Flaxseeds for Pregnant Women
- Side Effects of Eating Flaxseeds
- Precautions While Consuming Flaxseeds in Pregnancy
- How to Include Flaxseeds in My Diet?
- How Many Flaxseeds Can I Consume While Pregnant?
- Is It Okay to Take Flaxseed Oil Tablets in Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a delicate phase, and one must make healthy choices. If you’re pregnant, you’ll have to eat nutritious foods for your baby’s proper growth and development. Some food items are very healthy but may not be safe during pregnancy. Flaxseeds, for instance, are very nutritious but may not be healthy during pregnancy. As consuming flaxseeds are still uncommon in India, not many people know whether they should be consumed during pregnancy. Find out if you can eat flaxseeds during pregnancy.
What Are Flaxseeds?
Flaxseeds are borne by the flax plant that grows in Europe, Asia, and the Mediterranean. Flaxseeds are an effective laxative known as ‘alsi’ in India. Flaxseeds are rich in magnesium, potassium, protein, zinc, Vitamins B6 and E. Flaxseeds contain an omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha-linolenic acid, which can help lower cholesterol levels and cure inflammation. Due to their high fibre content, flaxseeds even help in regulating blood glucose and cholesterol to a great extent.
Nutritional Value of Flaxseeds
Every 100 grams of flaxseeds contains 534 calories. This means that when you consume one tablespoon of whole seeds (approx. 10 grams), your calorie intake would amount to 55. Flaxseeds contain 42% per cent fat, 29% carbohydrates, and 18% protein. Almost ninety-five per cent of the carbohydrates in Flaxseeds is fibre, which is 20% to 40% of soluble fibre and 60% to 80% of insoluble fibre. This combination of fibre makes it a natural laxative and promotes digestive health.
Is it Safe to Eat Flaxseeds During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a delicate time; hence, you must be careful about your diet and eat only healthy foods to ensure your little one grows healthily. There are divided opinions in the medical community about the utility and safety of consuming flaxseeds during pregnancy. If you wonder whether you can eat flaxseeds during pregnancy, the answer is NO. Consumption of large quantities of flaxseeds can harm the foetus; hence they are best avoided.
Can You Take Flaxseeds Oil in Pregnancy?
Flaxseed oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for overall health, including the health of pregnant women and their developing babies. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor or a qualified healthcare professional before taking any supplements or making significant changes to your diet during pregnancy. While flaxseed oil is generally considered safe for consumption during pregnancy, some important factors should be considered. For example, consuming large amounts of flaxseed oil may cause diarrhoea, which can be especially uncomfortable during pregnancy. Additionally, flaxseed oil may interact with certain medications, so it’s important to let your doctor know if you’re taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications.
In general, it’s recommended that pregnant women get their omega-3 fatty acids from whole foods, such as fatty fish, walnuts, and chia seeds, rather than relying solely on supplements. However, if you’re interested in taking flaxseed oil during pregnancy, talk to your doctor first to ensure it’s safe for you and your baby.
Benefits of Consuming Flaxseeds for Pregnant Women
Flaxseeds contain linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid or Omega-3 polyunsaturated fat. These are essential during pregnancy since they aid in the foetus’s brain development, especially during the first few months of pregnancy. Being a good source of fibre, flaxseeds can help keep blood sugar levels in check, which can benefit women with gestational diabetes. Furthermore, consuming flaxseeds may also prevent constipation during pregnancy, a common problem pregnant women face. However, the side effects of flaxseeds outweigh their benefits; hence they are best avoided during pregnancy.
Side Effects of Eating Flaxseeds
As mentioned before, flaxseeds are not safe for consumption during pregnancy. If consumed in large quantities, they can cause potential damage to the health of the baby. Read on to learn about the side effects of eating flaxseeds during pregnancy.
- Consumption of raw flaxseeds could increase your blood pressure levels during pregnancy.
- Eating flaxseeds in excessive amounts may cause nausea and diarrhoea.
- Sometimes, eating flaxseeds may cause swelling of the lips.
- Raw flaxseeds contain tiny amounts of cyanide, which can result in poisoning.
- Consuming flaxseed oil, especially in the last two months of pregnancy, can increase the risk of premature birth.
Precautions While Consuming Flaxseeds in Pregnancy
Flaxseeds are a nutritious food and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, and other nutrients. However, pregnant women should take some precautions when consuming flaxseeds to ensure the safety and well-being of the mother and the developing baby. Here are five precautions to keep in mind:
- Talk to your doctor: Before consuming flaxseeds during pregnancy, it’s important to consult with your doctor or a qualified healthcare professional to make sure it’s safe for you and your baby.
- Limit intake: Flaxseeds are high in fibre, which can cause digestive discomfort, including bloating and constipation if consumed in excess. It’s recommended to limit intake to 1-2 tablespoons per day.
- Choose ground flaxseeds: Whole flaxseeds can be difficult to digest and may pass through the digestive tract undigested. Therefore, choosing ground flaxseeds or grinding them at home using a coffee or spice grinder is best.
- Ensure proper storage: Flaxseeds contain oils that can become rancid quickly when exposed to heat, light, or air. Therefore, storing flaxseeds in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, such as a pantry or refrigerator, is important.
- Be aware of potential interactions: Flaxseeds may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners and hormonal contraceptives. It’s important to inform your healthcare provider if you take any medications before consuming flaxseeds.
Doctors do not recommend the ingestion of flaxseeds in its raw form since it contains minor amounts of cyanide. The best way of including flaxseeds in your diet is to roast them as it destroys the cyanide compounds present in it. While it is best to not include flaxseeds in a pregnancy diet, if you still want to consume them in moderate amounts, here is what you can do.
You can grind the seeds to make powder. You can add this powder to smoothies or to yoghurt to avoid direct consumption. You can use the flaxseed powder to garnish your salad or your morning cereal. But do check with your nutritionist before adding them to your diet. And store flaxseeds in an airtight container to retain its freshness and keep it crisp.
How Many Flaxseeds Can I Consume While Pregnant?
Flaxseeds must be consumed moderately during pregnancy, considering that the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) requirement is about 1.4g/day. You should not consume more than one tablespoon of freshly ground flaxseeds. Flaxseeds are common ingredients in our daily diet, like bread and bakery items, but you must check with your doctor before making them a part of your diet.
Remember, flaxseeds are not safe for consumption during pregnancy. The side effects of flaxseeds outweigh their benefits, so it’s best you avoid them. Especially flax seeds in pregnancy first trimester. If you want to eat them, take them under medical supervision and in moderation. Eat healthily, go for the safest options, and welcome a new life into your world without fear!
Is It Okay to Take Flaxseed Oil Tablets in Pregnancy?
It is important to talk to your doctor or a qualified healthcare professional before taking any supplements or making significant changes to your diet during pregnancy. While flaxseed oil is generally considered safe for consumption during pregnancy, some important factors should be considered.
Flaxseed oil supplements may contain higher concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids. They may interact with certain medications, so it’s important to let your doctor know if you’re taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications. In addition, consuming large amounts of flaxseed oil may cause diarrhoea, which can be especially uncomfortable during pregnancy.
In general, it’s recommended that pregnant women get their omega-3 fatty acids from whole foods such as fatty fish, walnuts, and chia seeds rather than relying solely on supplements. However, if you’re interested in taking flaxseed oil supplements during pregnancy, talk to your doctor first to ensure it’s safe for you and your baby. Your doctor may be able to recommend a safe and appropriate dosage based on your individual needs and health status.
1. Does Flaxseed Cause Miscarriage?
There are a lot of myths regarding flaxseed and pregnancy. There is no evidence to suggest that consuming flaxseeds in moderation causes miscarriage. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor or a qualified healthcare professional before consuming flaxseeds or any other supplements during pregnancy.
2. Does Flaxseed Make You Put on Weight in Pregnancy?
Flaxseeds are a good source of fibre, protein, and healthy fats, which can be a part of a healthy diet during pregnancy. However, consuming excess calories from any source, including flaxseeds, can lead to weight gain. It’s important to consume flaxseeds in moderation and in the context of an overall healthy diet and lifestyle.
3. Can Flaxseed Help for PCOS And Pregnancy?
Flaxseeds may benefit women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and during pregnancy. Flaxseeds contain lignans, which have estrogen-like effects and may help regulate menstrual cycles and improve fertility in women with PCOS. Additionally, the omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseeds may help reduce inflammation and improve overall health during pregnancy. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor or a qualified healthcare professional before consuming flaxseeds or any other supplements during pregnancy or if you have PCOS.
4. Can Flaxseeds Help With Constipation In Pregnancy?
Flax seeds while pregnant may be helpful in relieving constipation during pregnancy due to their high fibre content. However, consuming flaxseeds in moderation is important and drinking plenty of water prevents digestive discomfort. It’s also important to talk to your doctor or a qualified healthcare professional before consuming flaxseeds or any other supplements during pregnancy, especially if you are experiencing constipation.