Chia seeds side effects: 8 shocking side effects that you must know
Chia seed is a tiny black seed from the chia plant and is native to Mexico and Guatemala. They are packed with such high medical and nutritional value that most people don’t know. In recent modern days, people consider them as a superfood.
They are a good source of nutrition as fiber, protein, healthy fats, and micronutrients. Every 1 ounce 28 grams provides up to 42% of your daily recommended fiber, which is 11 grams. In addition, it also offers hearty doses of phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acid.
Elsewhere, the high amount of anti-oxidant also protects you from oxidative stress and reduces the risk of chronic diseases. Besides, chia seeds help to reduce harmful cholesterol levels in your body and increase the good HDL cholesterol level.
But do you know this fantastic food has some side effects too? Yes, you hear right. It also has some shocking side effects if you have it in a high amount. So, it is safe for you to consider the side effects before heavily relying on it. Let’s learn about chia seeds side effects with its harmful impact on women, how many you should take them, and how you should take them.
Side effects of chia seeds:
- Blotting issue:
Although fiber is beneficial for your health-promoting regularity and supporting the beneficial bacteria in your gut, too much can create a problem for some people. Excessive fiber can lead to abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and gas for some people.
Chia seeds are very high in fiber- containing 10 grams per 2-tablespoon serving. One serving gives you around over 60% of your average intake of fiber in one sitting, which can result in blotting for some people as the body works to pass the fiber through your digestive tract.
If you suffer from bowels like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, you should think twice before adding it to your diet, especially when you flare up.
“Studies indicate that a high fiber intake may help protect against inflammatory bowel diseases in the long term. That said, those who are experiencing flare-ups should limit their fiber intake for short periods to reduce symptoms (12Trusted Source).“
- Digestive issue:
Chia seeds also contain a high amount of lectins that can cause digestive distress. Elsewhere, a high amount of fiber also creates digestive issues, as mentioned earlier.
- Chocking issue:
Chia seeds can be dangerous while eating and can block your food pipe if you eat them dry. Dry chia seeds absorb water and expand in volume. So, if you eat it dry and then drink water, it may cause blockage inside your food pipe.
“According to a case study presented to the American College of Gastroenterology in 2014, a patient who first ate chia seeds and then drank some water experienced a blockage in the esophagus. This, as per the study was caused because the chia seeds absorbed the water and grew in size and expanded in the throat.” So, you should have it with water or cook it. (TIMESOFINDIA.COM, Created: Feb 4, 2021)
- Can be harmful to prostate cancer:
Plant-based food chia seed also contains a good amount of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Despite having benefits of this acid, some studies found a link between ALA intake and prostate cancer.
“In fact, a large observational study including 288,268 men showed that ALA intake was associated with an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer “(National Institutes of Health, PubMed Central)
According to several studies, even those with higher blood concentrations of omega 3 fatty acid are at higher risk of prostate cancer than those with lower blood concentrations. The chances for such cancer are after 40 and even more after 60 years of age.
- Allergic reaction:
Chia seed can also be alarming for some people who have allergic reactions, but it is rare. Those who face symptoms such as– vomiting, diarrhea, itching of the lips or tongue, dizziness, shortness of breath, rashes, watery eyes, hives, and swelling are in danger of allergic reaction food.
So, if you face such symptoms after having chia seeds for the first time, you should consult the doctor immediately.
- Can reduce blood pressure:
The high amount of omega 3 fatty acid in chia seed can thin out your blood pressure. But this is a positive sign for those who are taking medication for lowering blood pressure.
- Increase inflammatory markers:
Chia seeds can increase inflammatory markers because of poor conversion ability. Chia seed comes from vegetable sources and contains only Alpha lionic acid or (ALA), which is not so much active in your body. This acid needs to be converted to two other forms of omega 3 fatty acid.
Unfortunately, our body has limited ability to convert ALA. So, the omega from chia seeds is less beneficial than those omega 3 fatty acids found in fishes. But if you want the same benefits of fish oil, you will need a higher dosage of this acid.
- Side effects of chia seeds in female:
Although there has no prominent research on whether chia seed is harmful to women, pregnant women should think twice before taking chia seed. In general, most women face constipation during pregnancy, and they face some natural digestive system changes. So, chia seeds might create problems for your health by having excessive fiber. So, it is better to avoid it until your baby has arrived.
How many chia seeds per day:
Start with a limited number of it may be 1 ounce. Then increase the amount gradually when your body adapts to eating higher. Always make sure you soak chia seeds for at least 5–10 minutes before you eat them. Those with difficulty swallowing may need to exercise extra caution when eating them.
How to get rid of side effects of chia seeds:
- It is best to start with a limited amount of it as 1 ounce, similar to two tablespoons or a half-ounce per day.
- Think twice if you are not used to having extra fiber, and look out for side effects.
- Pay attention to how you look and feel.
- Those who are on medication to control blood sugar should consult the doctor first.
- Try to soak chia seeds at least 15 minutes before eating, which will expand in the bowl.
- Don’t exceed 2 tablespoons of chia seeds each day.
However, keeping aside the side effect of chia seeds, you can grab the benefits of this super nutritious food. Make sure to consult a nutritionist or a dietician before including it in your diet. Remember that everyone has different dietary needs, and each person has their own needs.