Flaxseed, also known as linseed or alsi may be termed as a superfood in terms of the nutrients it provides. But it is also super controversial to be consumed during pregnancy. While it is a storehouse of omega-3 fatty acids, lignan, dietary fiber, proteins, vitamins B6 and E and minerals like magnesium, potassium and zinc and has a world of benefits to offer – the side effects during pregnancy far outweigh the benefits. Therefore, it is best to avoid it during pregnancy.
The medical community is divided into two when it comes to consuming flaxseed during pregnancy. The one’s in favour of it say that it is a wonder seed that aids in a foetus’s brain development, regulates the expecting mother’s blood sugar and cholesterol levels, lowers risk of cardiovascular diseases and prevents cancer. The naysayers point out that it can put the foetus at a higher risk of breast cancer later in life, cause constipation, nausea, diarrhoea and gas in the pregnant woman when consumed in excess, trigger allergic reactions like swelling of lips, feeling of tightness in chest and/or difficulty breathing. There is also the danger of poisoning due to the cyanide present in raw flaxseed. Also flaxseed oil has been known to significantly increase the risk of preterm birth in pregnant women.
If you still wish to consume it, take no more than one tablespoon of flaxseed a day after consulting your doctor about its safety and interaction with other medicines you might be taking.