Chia seeds have been all the rage with the health-conscious for some time and it’s easy to see why. “Chia seeds are robustly nutritious seeds that originate from the plant Salvia Hispanic L,” Alicia Romano, a registered dietitian at Tufts Medical Center and media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics told Good Housekeeping. “The seed itself is a complete protein and one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids.” However, there is a right way and wrong way to eat chia seeds, and it turns out you should be adding them to your water.
When it comes to chia seeds, Laura Southern, nutritional therapist for London Gynaecology, believes you should always consume them with liquid. “The first thing to remember is that you must eat chia seeds with liquid,” Southern told Women’s Health. “They are tiny black seeds before soaking (a bit like poppy seeds) but when you put them with liquid they swell up and become more gelatinous — think frogspawn.” According to LiveStrong, it’s important to do this before consuming them as eating them raw could result in them absorbing water in your digestive tract, which could ultimately lead to a blockage.
You can eat your chia seeds with milk, too
However, Southern notes that the liquid you soak your chia seeds in doesn’t necessarily have to be water. “Add them to cereal, overnight oats, or porridge; the milk (or milk alternative) acts as the liquid,” she suggested. In terms of how much chia seeds you should be ingesting, Southern recommends 1/2 to 1 tablespoon in the morning, ideally with breakfast. “Start with the lower amount because too much can cause loose stools (hence why they’re good for constipation),” she added.
If you experience any abdominal discomfort, cut back on the number of chia seeds you’re consuming, and if symptoms persist, cut them out of your diet completely.
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