How to Use Flaxseed for Menopause: 5 Effective Tips

Last updated 03.28.2024 | by Sabrina Johnson | 5 Minutes Read

This article has been reviewed and fact checked by Dr. Karen Pike, a senior physician administrator and board-certified emergency room doctor actively working in northern California. Read more at our medical disclaimer page.


Many women have resorted to natural remedies, such as herbs, seeds, etc., to combat menopausal symptoms. When mentioning seeds, we cannot forget the importance of the seed cycle, which has become quite popular among menstruating, menopausal, and postmenopausal women.

Flaxseeds are one of the four seeds included in the seed cycle, alongside pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds. They are popular in the United States and have always been a favorite of mine. I love adding them to whatever I eat—breakfast cereals, sandwiches, and yogurt. Do you prefer flaxseeds? How do you add them to your diet? There have been many theories and contradictions regarding the effectiveness of flaxseeds in menopause.

I will discuss that in this article. We will discuss the importance of flaxseed in menopause, its probable side effects, and essential tips for using flaxseed during menopause. So, let’s get started.

How Effective Is Flaxseed For Menopause?

Flaxseed has umpteen benefits, like promoting heart and digestive health, controlling blood sugar, and lowering cancer risks. The role of flaxseed in managing menopausal symptoms has been researched and yielded diverse results.

Let’s look at the results of some studies. A 2022 study conducted on 25 postmenopausal women showed that 40 grams of flaxseeds were as effective as hormone therapy in managing mild menopausal symptoms and even helped lower insulin and glucose levels.

We will see the findings of another 2004 study, which mentioned that flax seeds were more effective than soy in raising estrogen levels. The study further said that flaxseed helped estrogen cling to the body better than soy.

A 2013 study further revealed the ability of flaxseeds to lessen the incidences and severity of hot flashes. However, this wasn’t a comprehensive and well-documented study. A bigger study contradicted this statement and mentioned that flaxseeds weren’t beneficial in lessening incidences of bone loss and hot flashes.

Another study showed that flaxseed oil capsules taken daily for twelve weeks increased EPA blood levels by around 60% in Afro-American populations with chronic illnesses.

I would like to highlight another vital aspect: the role of flaxseeds in lessening breast cancer risks in postmenopausal women. Let’s look at some studies in this regard. One finding mentioned that postmenopausal women with a new breast cancer diagnosis experienced reduced tumor growth upon consuming 25 grams of flaxseed muffins daily for about 40 days.

Flaxseeds contain lignans, a group of phytoestrogens known for weakening estrogen’s effect in postmenopausal women. Some animal studies have revealed lignan’s properties in lessening and suppressing the growth of breast tumors. The bottom line is that many studies have shown flaxseed’s ability to make postmenopausal women less susceptible to breast cancer. However, more research is needed to validate this.

5 Different Tips to Use and Consume Flaxseed In Menopause

5 Different Tips to Use and Consume Flaxseed In Menopause

If the proven benefits of flaxseed tempt you to use more of it during menopause, some precautionary measures should be taken to avoid any health hazards. Here are some valuable tips to help you with this.

  1. Avoid eating unripe or raw flaxseed, as they could interfere with smooth digestion and cause stomach upset. Moreover, unripe or raw seeds may contain toxins that can harm your body, mainly if consumed excessively.
  2. The lignans, the most effective flaxseed component, mainly remain in the seed’s outer shell. That is why it is always advisable to have ground flaxseed. If you have whole flaxseed, grind it to yield the maximum benefits.
  3. When eating ground flaxseeds, do not exceed two or three tablespoons daily. However, start with smaller amounts initially. Allow your body to adjust to the seed, then increase the quantity.
  4. If you are wondering how to eat the seeds or what to eat them with, here are some suggestions. You could add them to salads, porridge, yogurts, and smoothies. They may even be part of your breakfast cereals—hot or cold. When preparing sandwiches, you could mix flaxseed with mustard or mayonnaise. Another idea is to bake the ground flaxseeds and include them in muffins, cookies, breads, and cakes.
  5. To keep your flaxseeds fresh, use an airtight container to store them. A cool, dark pantry would suffice. Their shelf life increases when storing flaxseeds or flaxseed meal in the refrigerator.

FAQs

 What are the side effects of flaxseeds?

Flaxseeds are primarily safe; however, they could trigger side effects in some and may result in gastrointestinal disorders, especially if consumed in excessive amounts. These could lead to symptoms like stomach pain, bloating, flatulence, and diarrhea. Though rare, flaxseeds may cause intestinal blockage due to their laxative effect. That’s why you must have them with plenty of water.

Also, individuals who are pregnant, on diabetes or blood-thinning medications, should avoid flaxseeds in any form. They should consult with their healthcare provider if they wish to have them. Women on hormone therapy or birth control pills should also consult the doctor before having flaxseed, as the latter can alter hormone levels. Moreover, women diagnosed with endometrial, ovarian, or breast cancer must also seek a doctor’s advice before having flaxseed, as it functions like estrogen.

How long does it take for flaxseed to balance the hormone levels?

The role of flaxseeds in relieving some menopausal symptoms has been established through research but not completely validated. However, if you are using flaxseeds as part of the seed cycling process or individually to ease menopausal symptoms, it could take around three months for the effects to come to light.

Conclusion

Flaxseeds are a fabulous option to boost your overall health. However, when planning to have them during menopause to balance your hormone levels, seek advice from a medical expert to guide you through its pros and cons. Besides taking flaxseeds or choosing seed cycling as an option, you must also improve your lifestyle to manage the menopausal symptoms.

Author

  • Sabrina Johnson

    Meet Sabrina Johnson, a compassionate author and a seasoned expert in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a driving force behind Simply Menopause, where her extensive medical knowledge and empathetic nature come together to empower women in their menopausal journey. Sabrina offers culturally sensitive guidance and support through her approachable writing, making her a trusted friend on the path to menopause wellness.