There are many laxatives available on the market to cure constipation. However, many people prefer to take some home remedies such as flaxseed, prune, and apple juice.
Some home remedies are great and others are not. I get lots of questions from people regarding this issue. So, I decided to answer all the questions in detail. I will explain the pros and cons of various home remedies in a series of posts.
This post is from the questions and answers series.
Question: Is flaxseed good for constipation? Will I get side effects from eating ground flax seed?
What is flaxseed
Flaxseed, also known as linseed come from a plant called flax (Linum usitatissimum). There are two types of flax seeds available on the market, brown and golden. The image shows brown flaxseeds.
They are high in dietary fibre, omega 3 fatty acids, and magnesium. They also have large amounts of vitamins, calcium, and iron.
There are many flax products available on the market such as seeds, oil, and meal. Flaxseed meals contain broken seeds that remain after the extraction of oil.
Can flaxseed help relieve constipation?
Flaxseed is an excellent source of fibre. So, it will help you relieve your constipation. One cup of flaxseeds contains 46 g of dietary fibre. That is a huge amount. You don’t need to eat that much. Two to three tablespoons are enough if you are having a good diet.
One tablespoon of whole flaxseed will give you 2.8 g of fibre. You can’t eat the whole seed. You need to finely grind it. Alternatively, you can buy ground seeds or flaxseed meal.
What about oil?
Flaxseed oil is available in liquid form or as capsules. They don’t have fibre, so they are not suitable for the treatment of constipation. The oil is mainly marketed as an omega 3 supplement.
I have IBS, can eating flaxseed help relieve my symptoms?
People with constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome can use flaxseed and other fibre rich foods. They will help regulate the bowel movements.
I have celiac disease. Can I eat flaxseed meal?
Flax doesn’t contain gluten. So, you can use it, there is no problem.
Other health benefits of flaxseed
- It is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids that help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
- It can help regulate blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
- It is a good source of B vitamins.
- It has good amounts of iron, calcium, and manganese.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties.
What are the side effects of flaxseeds
Ground flax seeds are usually well tolerated. Some people may get the following side effects.
- Bloating and excessive gas formation
- Abdominal pain
- Diarrhoea (if you eat too much)
- Constipation (if you eat too much and don’t drink enough water)
Flaxseed is a very good source of fibre that help regulate the bowel movements. If you are suffering from chronic simple constipation, eating flax products can help relieve your symptoms.