Golden flaxseeds (also known as linseeds) provide a powerhouse of nutrition. They have a subtle nutty, slightly earthy flavour and are a cheap superfood that everyone can include in their diet, sold in many supermarkets. Eaten whole to help with an impacted bowel or constipation, or ground to reap the benefits of the Omega 3’s and other essential fatty acids found in each seed.
Flaxseeds are one of the richest plant sources of omega 3 fats, which are essential for a healthy brain, heart, joints and immune system. Due to the high content of plant chemicals known as phytoestrogens, linseeds have been called nature’s answer to hormone replacement therapy (Guardian.co.uk).
Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring forms of the female hormone oestrogen and are found in certain foods. They help to either reduce high levels of oestrogens or to boost low levels. This can have a positive impact on the unpleasant effects of the menopause, such as flushing and night sweats.
There is ongoing research into the benefits of including phytoestrogens in diets aimed at preventing cancer, in particular, colon cancer due to the high-fibre content of flaxseeds.
Flaxseeds for constipation or an impacted bowel must be soaked in water first, overnight. Put 4 teaspoons of seeds into a glass, fill the glass 1/3 full and leave overnight in the fridge. This will make the water quite gloopy due to the release of oils from the seeds.
Add a teaspoon of the swollen seeds each morning to you water, fruit juice or a smoothie. Alternatively, add it to your cereal or yogurt, or drink it on its own. They are a very effective remedy for constipation, but avoid eating the seeds if you have inflammatory bowel problems, such as diverticulitis or Chrons.
In which case, you can simply add the gloop to your water or smoothies and will still gain the milder benefits of its actions, despite not eating the seeds.
Make the seeds in small quantities, regularly, to avoid the seeds going rancid. You will notice this is the case when the gloopy liquid around the seeds starts to become cloudy.