There has been a lot of debate on various blogs and message boards lately about whether flaxseed (also known as linseed) is a low fodmap ingredient. Monash University in Australia are yet to conduct their fodmap research on this ingredient alone however they have analysed LSA which is a blend of linseed (flaxseed), sunflower seeds and almonds.
The Monash University Low Fodmap App cites that LSA is low in fodmaps in a 1 tablespoon serving or 12g (the Australian tablespoon is equivalent to 4 teaspoons). As LSA is made up of 50% linseeds (flaxseeds), then we know that at least 6g (or 2 teaspoons) of flaxseed meal is safe according to the Monash Uni analysis.
I have also conducted my own experimentation….
I am very intolerant to all of the fodmap’s (only moderately intolerant to lactose – have to be grateful for that!) and, having tested myself, I have found that flaxseed meal is low fodmap in small serves. As I am also carb-sensitive and gluten intolerant I am a big fan of flaxseed meal: I use it daily (1-2 tablespoons) in my baking (cheesy flaxseed scones and muggins) or in my pumpkin pancakes. Flaxseeds contain good oils including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega 3 fatty acid, which has many positive properties, loads of fibre and as such are filling and reasonably low in calories. If you are vegan, flaxseed meal can be a good replacement for eggs in many recipes.
I would recommend keeping your consumption of flaxseeds to a minimum in the initial elimination phase on the low fodmap diet but definitely try re-introducing it and watch for symptoms over 3 days. I also recommend that you get the support of a qualified dietitian or nutritionist as I am not a medical expert and you may have other health considerations.
If you do have any health issues be cautious as flaxseed does have some known side effects and complications which you can read about here from the Mayo Clinic.
Luckily for me I can tolerate it and given all the other restrictions on the diet and having balanced its benefits vs its potential side effects I find that it is still highly beneficial to me. Let me know what your experience has been.
All the best,