"But flaxseed contains estrogen and if you want to remove man boobs, estrogen is the enemy!" I'm certain that you have heard that flaxseed is one of the best ways on how to remove gynecomastia naturally but you may be confused about using it because flaxseed contains estrogen albeit a plant source but it is still estrogen. So how can it be a way to treat gynecomastia naturally? We shall delve into this further below.
Health benefits of flaxseed
Before cotton became affordable, flax ( Linum usitatissimum) which is also known as linseed or linum, which has a fibrous stem was often woven into cloth and is still used even today in this manner despite the popularity of cotton clothing. But the oil which was produced from the seeds has been used medicinally for many thousands of years. It was not until about a thousand years ago that people actually started eating the seeds of this plant for health and well being. Flaxseed should be a part of a healthy lifestyle for many reasons which include but are not limited to;
- Cancer prevention (breast cancer in particular as well as prostate cancer)
- Diabetes management
- Lowering cholesterol levels naturally
- Lowering the risk of heart attack
- Lowering the risk of kidney disease
- Reducing hot flushes in menopaal women
- Aiding in weight management
As you can see, flaxseed is an important nutrient but since you are reading this article, you have also heard that flaxseed is one of the best ways on how to remove gynecomastia naturally.
Flaxseed and gynecomastia
The benefits of flaxseed for health and well-being is firstly tied to the lignans that they contain. Flaxseed are the richest source of lignans found in nature. Lignans are antioxidants which means that they help to prevent free radical damage to healthy cells which helps to reduce the risk of developing many of the chronic diseases previously discussed.
Another aspect of lignans is that in addition to antioxidant benefits, they also contain phyto (plant) estrogens, which mimic the action of the estrogen produced by the body but are less potent. Man boobs usually develop because you have excessive amounts of estrogen in your body. Estrogen which is the female hormone is normal to have in the male body but what is abnormal is when estrogen levels are higher than the normal levels.
This leads to the development of various female characteristics such as breasts in men. So if you are dealing with gynecomastia, more than likely you have excessive amounts of estrogen in your body. One way to fight this estrogen that is produced by the body is to fight it with the estrogen which is produced by certain plants such as flax. It sounds crazy but it makes sense once you think about it.
The estrogen produced by the body are powerful hormones whereas the estrogen produced by plants (phytoestrogen) are chemically weaker but are still able to bind to the estrogen receptors in the body and this helps to stop the effects on the body of the much stronger estrogen produced by the body which also allows excessive amounts of this much stronger estrogen to be eliminated from the body as the phytoestrogen replaces them. This is why flaxseed is commonly recommended as an effective method on how to remove gynecomatia naturally.
You have excessive amounts of estrogen in your body right now. But with the help of flaxseed, instead of having the chemically strong estrogen which is produced by the body wreaking havoc in your body, you replace the strong estrogen with the much weaker estrogen which can certainly help in your fight against gynecomastia.
How are excess amounts of estrogen removed from the body? Fiber is the most important way to remove waste, toxins as well as excess estrogen from the body. You know what is an amazing source of fiber? Flaxseed. This is also one of the reasons that it is recommended for diabetes and weight loss management.
Flaxseed is a very rich source of a type of soluble fiber that is very beneficial for the body which is known as mucilage . This mucilage is also tied to the cholesterol lowering properties of flaxseed. Mucilage helps to move things along in the body but it requires a great deal of water so if you increase your fiber intake, you also need to increase your water intake to prevent fiber from getting "stuck" in your body.
3. Fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have been noted to be very beneficial for men with gynecomastia because they aid in the production of testosterone. Many men with gynecomastia in addition to having excessive amounts of estrogen also have low levels of testosterone which is how these fatty acids can help. Plus, these essential fatty acids (EFAs) help reduce estrogen levels, which is one of the top reasons for the development of man boobs as mentioned earlier.
Guess what? The lignans contained in flaxseed are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which not only help fight gynecomastia but also reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and many other chronic diseases.
Using flaxseed for gynecomastia
1. Flaxseed oil
While flaxseed oil (which is easily perishable and needs to be refrigerated once opened) is very popular, you may want to go directly to the source (the seeds) because when you use flaxseed oil, you miss out on the all important fiber and the oil does not contain as much lignans, protein and minerals as you would find in the actual seeds.
2. Not whole seeds
Flaxseed is available in two varieties which are the brown flaxseed as well as golden flaxseed (which are also known as yellow flax) but these two varieties generally contain similar nutritional compositions.
While many people usually sprinkle whole flaxseed onto freshly baked bread or salads, it is impossible for the body to break down the whole seeds. If you eat whole flaxseed, the seeds will pass through your body undigested which will mean that you will miss out on the nutrient content of the seeds.
To get the full benefits of eating flaxseed, the seeds must be ground but do remember that ground (or milled) flaxseed turns rancid very quickly so do make sure to refrigerate any unused portion and throw away if any still remain uneaten after 30 days or so .
Because it goes rancid so fast, you may want to invest in a coffee grinder, spice grinder or other seed grinding tool so that you only grind the amount of seeds that you need for that particular day because whole seeds last a lot longer than milled flaxseed .
Ground flaxseed (flaxseed meal) will not last more than 30 days when stored in the refrigerator whereas whole flaxseed can last between 6 to 12 months or 1 to 2 years if you store it in the refrigerator.
Grind about two tablespoons of whole seeds daily and add it to hot or cold cereal, smoothies, oatmeal, salads, green juice, etc.
Flaxseed is generally safe which is why it is highly recommended for a healthy lifestyle but do note that it contains a tiny amount of cyanide. This tiny amount of cyanide is not enough to cause harm to an adult but it can potentially harm a fetus or infant so avoid eating flaxseed if you are pregnant or nursing and also avoid giving it to children under the age of two.
The minute amount of cyanide in flaxseed is not harmful to most people as long as you consume the daily recommended amount of about two to three tablespoons of ground flaxseed. If this is scaring you off flaxseed, you should note that human tissue usually contains very small amounts of cyanide anyway which are constantly being metabolized, so flaxseed containing cyanide should not really be a cause for concern unless you eat the entire bag of flaxseed in one sitting! Also various other plants that are commonly ate such as cruciferous vegetables also contain small amounts of this poison.
Also remember that a tablespoon of flaxseed contains between 5 to 6 milligrams of cyanide but in order for cyanide to be harmful to an adult, you would need to consume at least 1,000 milligrams of this poison.
Like everything else in life, flaxseed can cause an allergic reaction in some people. If this occurs, reduce the amount eaten or stop eating flaxseed altogether.
Lastly, in some people, flaxseed can cause bloating as well as flatulence when they first start eating flaxseed. If this occurs, start with a a tablespoon or one tablespoon and gradually build up as the body builds up its tolerance.