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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Flax Seeds - Hot Flashes and Thyroid

For anyone who has experienced hot flashes due to menopause or from an over active thyroid - I stumbled across some information the other day that may be of interest...

According to a study done at the Mayo Clinic women suffering from hot flashes were asked to supplement their diet with 4 tablespoons of crushed flax a day. Each of the women studied were postmenopausal and each was experiencing at least 14 hot flashes a week (none were on hormone replacement therapy). According to the study "after just 6 weeks the severity and number of their hot flashes dropped by 50%" (Source: Prevention Guide 10/21/08).

Crushed Flax seeds are the richest plant based source of Omega 3 essential fatty acid (ALA). Flax contains molecules that block several estrogen receptors which reduce estrogenic stimulation of the body, especially in the mammary glands and prostate. Taking flax has been linked to slowing down the growth of tumors in breast and prostate cancers, and reduces cholesterol and the rise of blood-sugar levels.

Eat flax by crushing fresh seeds in a coffee grinder (better than taking the oil more nutrients!). Flax can go rancid quickly (will smell like paint thinner) so be sure to grind them fresh and keep the seeds in your fridge.

Caution: don't eat more than 3 or 4T of raw flax seeds a day - 1 or 2 might be enough for you (start slow so you don't upset your stomach). Flax contain cyanogen which is fine in small doses, but in large amounts can keep your thyroid from absorbing enough iodine. 

Flax seeds are great in raw crackers, smoothies, shaken up in your morning juice or sprinkled over cereal or fruit.


Sue said...

Interesting, I find that if I eliminate all fats and follow an 80/10/10 raw diet I don't have hot flashes.

Berry Blue Toes said...

Hi Sue - thanks for the tip about eliminating fats. I was having hot flashes from thyroid problems - they went away while I was juice fasting - I didn't consider the no fat angle as part of what may have helped. I've switched to flax and coconut oil and no problems since (and of course high raw:)- so many things to consider!

m-cat said...

super useful post! The mystery of funny smelling flax seeds has been solved!!