Flaxseed is high in phytochemicals, including many antioxidants. It is perhaps our best source of lignans, which convert in our intestines to substances that tend to balance female hormones. However, according to the Mayo Clinic and The North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG), this powerful “grain” (not technically) provides no benefit in easing hot flashes among breast cancer patients and postmenopausal women.

Flaxseeds are slightly larger than sesame seeds and have a hard shell that is smooth and shiny. Their color ranges from deep amber to reddish brown depending upon whether the flax is of the golden or brown variety. While whole flaxseeds feature a soft crunch, the nutrients in ground seeds are more easily absorbed.

Flaxseed does contain ligans, and there is evidence that lignans may promote fertility, reduce peri-menopausal symptoms, and possibly help prevent breast cancer. However, this new study begs to differ …

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