Chia seeds are super nutritious and fun to eat. They are used in a variety of recipes, including puddings, pancakes, and parfaits. What is not to love? Chia seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids that may lower cholesterol, improve heart health, and reduce inflammation. Plus, they are quite the powerhouse of nutrients: Chia seeds contain vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and D as well as excessive amounts of calcium, zinc, potassium, fiber, and protein.
Loaded with fiber, omega-3’s, antioxidants, and calcium, chia seeds are also one of the best plant foods for keeping you energized all day long. Rich in antioxidants like lutein, they can help protect eyesight and keep gums healthy. The tiny little seeds are great health boosters because they are rich in calcium, which promotes strong bones and teeth.
Chia seeds’ unique properties make them a nutritious addition to your diet. In addition to their gelling and thickening properties, chia seeds are well known for their impressive array of nutrients and potential health benefits. But while chia seeds can be a nutritious dietary addition for most, eating too much chia seed may cause some side effects.
Chia Seeds Benefits:
Chia seeds are a wonder food because of their ability to bind water. You can add them to a salad or use them as a whole-grain replacement in many recipes. Here are a handful of benefits that come from eating chia seeds. One ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds provides up to 42% of your daily recommended fiber, in addition to hearty doses of phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. And chia seeds are not only healthy; they taste good in hot chocolate, dressings, muffins, ice cream, or smoothies.
Chia seeds contain a balanced blend of carbohydrates, protein, and fat that gives them power. Whole chia seeds have also been known to bolster energy levels, improve mood and maintain weight loss. Chia seeds are also an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids which are packed with nutrients.
Seeded with chia, these tiny black seeds add great texture to salads, oatmeal, and stir-fries, and they add an extra dose of fiber and protein to everything from yogurt to smoothies. Chia seeds are also one of the best plant-based sources of omega 3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help increase good ‘HDL’ cholesterol, decrease bad ‘LDL’ cholesterol, and reduce blood triglycerides and inflammation. When eaten in moderation, chia seeds can help support a healthy metabolism.
Side effects of Chia Seeds:
Chia Seeds Can Cause Reaction to Your Digestion
Eating too many chia seeds can lead to several diseases, illnesses, and digestive issues. There are many factors that can affect your digestive system to work properly. Eating too many foods that are already difficult to break down, can make it tough for your body to absorb all the necessary nutrients. You should avoid eating too many chia seeds because this superfood contains a high amount of carbohydrates.
Chia seeds are a nutritious food known for promoting health and wellbeing. Since fiber is the fastest digesting of all plant foods, eating too many chia seeds can cause digestive upset or potentially be dangerous for those with inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
For this reason, you should avoid eating too many chia seeds. In addition, those with inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease may need to monitor their fiber intake and/or limit chia seeds during flare-ups or periods of remission, advises the American Gastroenterological Association. In rare instances, excessive consumption of chia seeds has been shown to cause a serious condition called Reye’s syndrome, a neurologic illness that can be difficult to diagnose because it appears like other conditions including viral infections, encephalitis, and bipolar disorder.
Serious Choking Can Be Caused From Chia Seeds
Chia seeds may cause an increased risk of choking, especially in people with swallowing difficulties. While these seeds are safe for most people, they may be harmful to people who have swallowing problems. If you consume chia seeds regularly, it is important to properly prepare them before adding them to foods. This means rinsing the seeds thoroughly before consuming them or adding them to beverages. If you have had problems with choking with chia seeds in the past, it is especially important to pay careful attention before adding them to your food.
Chia seeds are not poisonous, but they can be a choking risk. A report of this type of incident was recently reported by the American Association of Poison Control Centres. As the story relates, the patient choked on a piece of chia seed gel after he tried to eat some with breakfast. He had no history of swallowing foreign bodies or choking, but before this event he had taken chia gel capsules three times daily, leading to concerns that foreign body ingestion could have caused that incident. The case shows that chia seeds are not completely benign and should be handled with care.
Eating chia seeds can be a choking risk if you do not soak them for 5–10 minutes before you eat them. Those with difficulty swallowing may need to exercise extra caution when eating.
It Could Be Important to Your Health to Monitor Thyroid Status Prior to Starting ALA
Chia seeds are particularly rich in ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), an omega-3 fatty acid. All plant foods contain some amount of essential fatty acids, but ALA is not easily obtained from the typical diet. The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet is thought to be about 2 to 1. However, Western diets typically have 160-200 times more omega 6 than omega 3 fat. The recommended daily intake for people with heart disease is 6 g of omega-3 fatty acids. ALA fatty acids are especially important for those who do not eat fish, as they can be converted into docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in small amounts.
Chia seeds are a concentrated source of ALA in your diet, and they can help to bring in a wider variety of nutritional intake that is related to a healthier lifestyle. With a taste that is comparable to hemp, oats, or quinoa, these seeds complement most foods from breakfast to dinner by providing nutrients and fiber with fewer calories than many other foods.
A study published confirmed a link between ALA intake and increased risk of lung cancer with the results showing that men with the highest blood plasma levels of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) had a higher relative risk compared to those with lower concentrations. However, when looking at dietary ALA, which is an essential fatty acid, along with its precursor alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the relationship was found to be different.
One review of five studies found that people who ate at least 1.5 grams of ALA per day had a decreased risk of prostate cancer, compared to those who ate less than 1.5 grams per day. Furthermore, in the current study, both total and saturated fatty acids significantly reduced the prevalence of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Trans-palmitoleic acid (CLA), which is derived from natural sources such as chia seeds, nuts, beef, and dairy products has also been shown to decrease prostate cancer cell proliferation.
These studies suggest that ALA may be linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer. However, there is still much to learn about the relationship between ALA intake and prostate cancer.
Chia Seeds Can Be Allergic to Some People
Though chia seeds are not known to be dangerous, they may cause some people to experience gastrointestinal distress. To avoid these unpleasant symptoms, many people with food allergies choose to keep away from all forms of chia seeds, whether they come near the flowering plant or the product they make.
A 64-year-old woman had similar symptoms after eating chia seed—shortness of breath, hives, swelling on her hands and feet. Her doctor believes that she was severely allergic to accidentally ingest chia seeds.
Many people report that they experience symptoms such as rashes, hives, and swelling after eating chia seeds for the first time. If you try chia seeds and experience these symptoms, discontinue use immediately and consult your physician.
Eating Chia Seeds with Medications could be risker
Chia seeds are safe to eat, but you may want to moderate your intake if you take blood pressure or blood sugar medications. If you eat chia seeds with these medications (even in small amounts), this can increase the effects.
However, if you are taking certain medications to control or treat your blood sugar, eating chia seeds may cause significant interactions and the lowering of your blood sugar levels. The most common medications that can be affected by chia seeds if you have diabetes, means that they could experience a fluctuation in their blood sugar levels.
Chia packs a punch of nutrition that is easy to incorporate into recipes and is a unique alternative to cereal or other breakfast staples. However, it is important to remember that chia seeds are high in fiber, which slows the absorption of sugar in the blood and can decrease blood sugar levels. In most cases, eating moderate amounts of chia seeds can help people with diabetes keep their blood sugar levels in check.
Eating an excessive amount of chia seeds could cause blood sugar levels to decrease and may require adjustments in the dosage of your diabetes medicine.
Blood Pressure Medicines
If you are taking blood pressure medication, make sure to ask your doctor before eating chia seeds. This is because they may increase bleeding from platelets and interfere with blood pressure medications. In addition to lowering blood sugar, chia seeds are effective at reducing blood pressure.
Eating too many chia seeds may cause interactions with some medications. If you eat more than 3 tablespoons of chia seeds daily, talk with your doctor before taking aspirin or blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin.
People who have high blood pressure or other diseases that require taking medications should always discuss any dietary supplements with a doctor before taking them. Several factors may influence blood pressure, such as diet and exercise. The omega-3 fatty acids found in chia seeds might be beneficial for those with high blood pressure, but further studies are needed to clarify whether this is true for the general population.
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