They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber which are important for your digestion and cardiovascular health. However, a recent warning from Sweden’s NFA (National Food Agency) says a completely different story. According to Swedish experts, ground flaxseeds are not so healthy as they may seem, and might even be dangerous for our health!
Although some people dismiss the claim as it’s coming from a foreign country, the regulations of certain foods around the world definitely affects food safety. Flaxseed oil is considered a herbal supplement in the USA, but is not regulated by the FDA. However, Sweden’s NFA has put ground flaxseed on the toxic list and deems it unsafe for consumption. Still, ground flaxseed is sold in stores around the world, which is why the FDA released a warning. “Until we have more information, the public should refrain from eating ground flaxseed,” says Jan Sjögren, the chairman of the NFA.
Flaxseeds contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and a compound known as linamarin which is turned to hydrogen cyanide in the body, and even prussic acid on some occasions. Both compounds are highly dangerous and may even be fatal in bigger amounts. The NFA suggest avoiding ground flaxseed, but recommends whole flaxseed in amounts of 1-2 tablespoons per day.
At the moment, flaxseeds are sold around the world without any kind of warning. As it’s a natural product and is not regulated in the USA, it might be better to avoid it for the moment. If you love them in your meals and smoothies, at least use whole flaxseeds.