Chia seeds have more recently been recognized as a superfood as they contain high amounts of nutrients, fiber, and protein.
They can be a fun, easy way to spruce up a recipe and boost up the nutrient value in your diet.
In small quantities, Chia seeds are known to contain large quantities of nutritional value in small amounts, and fun fact, they can absorb up to 27 times their weight in water!
So can chia seeds be eaten raw?
No, it’s not recommended to eat Chia seeds raw.
Doing this can possibly cause swallowing and breathing issues as the chia seeds absorb water and grow in size in your body.
There are a lot of common things that people will add chia seeds to, such as yogurt, smoothies, and water just so they can get the awesome amount of nutrients this seed can give them.
They’re also flavorless, which can make adding Chia seeds to a lot of recipes fairly simple.
But just because there are people who commonly eat Chia seeds raw doesn’t mean that eating them raw is the most effective or healthy plan way to consume them.
Percentage of Nutritional Benefits in One Ounce of Chia Seeds
|11g||4g||9g (5g are Omega-3’s)||18% of the RDA||30% of the RDA||30% of the RDA||27% of the RDA|
Is it Bad to Eat Chia Seeds Dry?
Yes, eating Chia seeds dry can be bad for you.
Although there are some simple ways to add chia seeds to your recipes, there are reasons why it’s bad to eat chia seeds dry.
Chia seeds are known for being highly absorbent to water and other liquids and will soak up to about 27 times their weight in about 20 to 30 minutes.
If you were to consume Chia seeds dry, they’ll start to soak up whatever water molecules they can, and if the water they’re absorbing comes primarily from your body you could face some complications.
When Chia seeds are eaten dry, they can make you feel like you’ve got something clogged in your throat, and they wouldn’t be far off from causing various swallowing issues.
Once in your esophagus, dry Chia seeds will start to form a gel-like substance that basically can close up the tract that is supposed to send them to your belly.
Because of this, they can cause an obstruction, or a blockage, in your tract that can be pretty difficult to remove once they’re there.
Eating Chia seeds dry is also an issue that raises cause for concern in people with allergies or asthma.
If you already have trouble or problems with swallowing or keeping your tracts open, eating Chia seeds dry can lead to serious problems.
Breathing issues, coupled with the gel that dry Chia seeds will make in your tract, can lead you to a very serious emergency room visit.
If these issues pertain to you, use caution or stay clear of eating the seeds dry or weary of sprinkling them on top of your food or drink before you consume them.
Why Do Chia Seeds Need to be Soaked Before Eating?
Yes, soaking Chia seeds is recommended before eating.
Since eating Chia seeds dry isn’t the best option when it comes to consuming these seeds, soaking them before you eat them is highly recommended.
Chia seeds are known to absorb up to 27 times their weight in water, and soaking them beforehand allows them to expand to their full amount before you eat them.
Among the other reasons why Chia seeds need to be soaked before consumption, not soaking Chia seeds can also lead to dehydration or not give your body all the proper nutrients this seed has to give.
Soaking Chia seeds before you eat them not only allows them to properly expand but will give you proper nutrient uptake as well.
If you soak your Chia seeds in water for about 20 to 30 minutes before eating them, they’ll expand and hold that water until something draws the water out.
By eating fully absorbed Chia seeds, the water that they were holding can be more evenly distributed to your body.
This can be a great way to help you ward off dehydration because the seeds will keep you hydrated for hours even if you exercise.
Pre-soaking your Chia seeds correctly not only allows you to maximize the amount of hydration your body can get from them but the nutrient amount as well.
Different Ways To Eat Chia Seeds
When your Chia seeds have been properly soaked before you eat them, they release all their good components in your belly and disperse them in small amounts over short periods.
By holding water before you eat them, your body extracts these compounds in ways your body can utilize in the highest manner by breaking them down into smaller forms over time and allowing them to disperse their nutrients more evenly.
Because the body takes time to break things down, the nutrients from soaked Chia seeds will take longer to be processed in your body, meaning they’ll give your body more time to break everything down.
Another great reason you’ll want to soak your Chia seeds is to gain all the nutrients these little guys are jam-packed with.
Chia seeds are high in fiber, protein, and calories, and they retain those properties well when soaked in water.
When you soak them in water, you allow their mucilaginous properties, or gel-like properties, to come alive and the nutrients to be more evenly and highly dispersed.
There are even views out there that claim soaking Chia seeds in water overnight can maximize the number of nutrients you can get from them.
Since Chia seeds have these mucilage properties, there is a note of caution that needs to be mentioned before you decide to eat Chia seeds.
The mucilage components of Chia seeds are produced when they’re in plant form and this factor is needed to act as building blocks for germination, which when consumed can act as a catalyst for phytic acid and other anti-nutrients to emerge as this helps young plant seeds and nuts grow.
Having phytic acid in the body, however, can impair or halt certain amounts of absorption in things like iron, zinc, calcium, and other nutrients that can lead you to have deficiencies in those elements.
Why Chia Seeds Are Bad for You?
Yes, Chia seeds can be bad for you if you have renal problems.
Some people are able to consume Chia seeds and have no problems enjoying this nutritional gift from nature, but there are a lot of people that fit certain categories who should probably stay clear of them.
If you have certain pre-existing conditions or prepare Chia seeds incorrectly before you eat them, this can cause specific problems that will show you why Chia seeds are bad for you.
With those who have breathing or swallowing issues, Chia seeds could make having those issues worse.
Certain groups of people with asthma or seasonal allergies may find that Chia seeds don’t fully agree with them, and could upset some of the symptoms they regularly face more greatly.
When people with these issues eat Chia seeds dry, and in some cases even when they eat them when they’re fully soaked, the gel that Chia seeds create when they get wet can clog their esophagus and make breathing very difficult. In those who already suffer from complications in these areas, this can leave quite devastating effects.
These seeds can also get caught in the throat instead of making their way down to the belly, and so far, there aren’t many known things that can be done to help get them out except for extreme measures.
Once Chia seeds are in the throat but haven’t had time to properly absorb all the water they can beforehand, they can cause airway blockages and get stuck there.
There have been known cases of people who didn’t have issues with breathing beforehand and ended up having to go through some serious procedures at the doctor’s office because the Chia seeds wouldn’t come out of their throat using common extraction methods.
Outside of those with pre-existing complications with their health, Chia seeds also need to be moderately consumed by people who don’t have underlying complications.
Chia seeds are packed full of good components, like being high in Omega-3’s and protein, but they also contain high amounts of fiber.
They have both soluble and insoluble types of fiber, and if you aim to create a spike in your daily fiber value, adding Chia seeds to your diet can do the trick.
Chia Seeds Pros & Cons
These little seeds pack around 11 grams of fiber for every ounce consumed, and can make going overboard on your recommended daily fiber amounts fairly easy to accomplish.
Although eating Chia seeds may seem like a good method to enhance your fiber content quickly, going overboard and consuming too much can be easily done.
An excess in fiber, no matter how you get it, can potentially cause problems like diarrhea, constipation, and serious abdominal pain because your body’s trying to flush through everything you have in your system at once. If you want to maintain your daily amounts of fiber, adding small amounts of Chia seeds to your diet can be an effective approach.
However, considering you can easily consume too much fiber by eating a small amount of these seeds, you’ll want to monitor your intake.
With all the elements to look out for involving Chia seeds, if you decide you want to eat Chia seeds, the downsides shouldn’t deter you from wanting to eat them at all.
Chia seeds can add huge benefits and increase nutritional value to your diet, and come highly recommended to consume daily if you can consume them in moderate amounts.
To avoid getting Chia seeds clogged in your throat or having an upset stomach at the end of the day, moderate the amount of Chia seeds you eat to work for your body and don’t forget to soak them.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.