Too Much Flax?

Too much flaxseed? How do I know if I am eating too much flax?

Have I eaten too much flaxseed? What are the signs that my body will give if I am eating too much flax? Have I increased the amount of flax I am eating too fast?
Thanks!
-Anonymous
**********
This is a very important question and one that can cause a lot of discomfort.

In order to better answer this, it is important to remember what is going on in our body. Remember that most people are eating less then half the amount of fiber they should be!

Extra Fiber

This means that when you first start eating fiber, you have to allow your body to get used to extra fiber.

Fiber cleanses your intestinal system and colon. It takes time to cleanse the ~25 feet of small and large intestinal system.

Digestive Traffic Jams

If you are used to eating processed foods, white flours and sugars, things slow down in the intestinal tract –it causes ‘traffic jams’ and for food to be ‘stuck’ in the intestinal tract. This stoppage can lead to re-absorption of toxins, cholesterol and ‘rotting food/waste’ that can’t exit the body quickly enough.

This is why it is important to drink 8-10 cups of water or other fluids a day. Your body can’t move the waste out if there is nothing to push it through.

Cleaning out the Digestive System

Understanding what is happening in the body helps explain what they symptoms of eating too much flax too soon will cause. Here is more in depth information that helps explain what is happening and how food is digested.

It can be difficult to say that flax will or will not cause digestive problems. It could very well be other food you eat. However, it is possible that signs of eating too much flax may be (especially if you don’t drink enough water) gas pains, cramping, etc. The body is slowly trying to move out old waste and cleanse the intestinal system.

Check out the Bristol Stool chart to get an idea of if you are constipated. On this chart, Type 1+ 2 are definitely constipation. Type 3 is borderline. Flax usually will help your stools be approximately like Type 4, although this will also be affected by other foods you eat.

If you eat too much flax or advance too quickly, the intestinal system may be put into overdrive and be “hyperactive” –it may feel grumbly, gassy or you may have some cramps.

Get Rid of These Problems

Here are some ideas and ways to eliminate and minimize these symptoms:

*Eat yogurt, kefir or take live acidophilus and lactobacillus culture tablets (they should be refrigerated).

*Drink a lot of fluid after eating flax and throughout the day.

*Eliminate sugar, pop, juice, white flours, pastas, etc for a weeks and see if that helps (eating less gluten can also potentially help).

*When you feel that you need to have a bowel movement, try to not hold it, it is important that your body get rid of the waste. Holding a bowel movement for a long period of time can cause worse cramping and gas and may even cause constipation if held for a very long time period.

*Decrease the amount of flax you eat the rest of the day (don’t omit it, just slow back down for 1-2 days).

Do you have other tips that you have used?
Have you experienced similar things? Share your story below.

Here’s to your health!
~Ellie

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Too Much Flax?

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"Ellie, Thanks for your email. Just a short testament: Have been trying for years to get my cholesterol numbers to be on the healthy side. Got your flax at the farmers market this past summer and took your advice on consuming it. Had a blood test 2 weeks ago and my Cholesterol number is at 181, down from 262. Healthy eating and exercise: definitely the way to go. Thanks again."
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