Chia seeds do have some side effects that you should be aware of. These seeds are a dietary supplement and a lot of supplements generally come with side effects. The side effects of chia seeds are not necessarily that negative or even deadly, but you should nonetheless be well-informed about them so you can make an educated decision on their use. After all, it can be quite an ordeal to start to take a dietary supplement, begin to notice certain side effects in your body…and then not understand the connection between their onset and the dietary supplement you have been taking!
The good news about the side effects is that they are minor in nature and are simple to treat and manage. Since knowledge is power, it is in your best interest to be on the lookout for these side effects if you are taking chia seeds. It should give you peace of mind that the history of chia seeds goes back thousands of years to the earliest documented history of mankind. In short, chia seeds are relatively safe because people have been using them without ill effect for a long time. In fact, the earliest known utilization of this dietary supplement was to boost endurance in early humans! Despite the relative safety of consuming these chia seeds, it is always a good idea—and this applies to any other supplements you may consider taking—to first consult your doctor prior to actually using them.
In terms of side effects, the use of chia seeds can generally be grouped into good side effects (as in the ones you want that are the reason you are taking chia seeds in the first place) and negative side effects, which are minor, but still not desirable. First are the good side effects.
People have been using chia seeds for generations and generations due to the fact that they are an amazing source of protein, antioxidants, boron, calcium, iron and even essential fatty acids (these are the so-called good fats). It is interesting to note that chia seeds feature double the quantity of protein in many other seeds and grains, and the antioxidant levels in chia seeds are also notably high, three times the quantity found in blueberries (a traditionally highly rated source of antioxidants). In addition, the amount of calcium in chia seeds is double that in a banana, and the amount of iron is also triple that in spinach.
As you can see, it is with good reason that chia seeds have been used by people for thousands of years: There are magnificent health benefits. However, this is just one side of the coin, as chia seeds also have negative side effects. They are not serious, but are undesirable. At this time, no scientific research links any major side effects with the consumption of chia seeds, which is a good thing!
Side Effects of Chia Seeds
For starters, increased gas (flatulence) is one of the most widely reported side effects of consuming chia seeds. While this is obviously embarrassing and will probably put a slight dent into your social life, it is not harmful in any way, shape or form. Furthermore, this increased tendency for a person to break wind while taking chia seeds usually only occurs when the individual takes the seeds in large quantities. In other words, if you are moderate in your chia seeds consumption, you should have nothing to worry about in the way of passing gas! One theory states that it is the considerable content of fiber in the seeds that creates this unwanted side effect of flatulence.
If you have an allergy to mustard seeds, you might want to think twice before you start to consume chia seeds. According to the research, people who have preexisting allergies to mustard seeds have also been observed to have unfavorable responses to these chia seeds. Anyway, it is definitely something that you can think about.
People who are taking certain medications might also benefit from thinking twice about consuming chia seeds. If you are taking medications such as blood thinners and aspirin, you might have an adverse reaction because of the relatively high content of Omega 3 in chia seeds. Omega 3 has been associated with potentially blood-thinning effects, which is why you should steer clear of chia seeds if you have been on aspirin or on blood thinners. Similarly, if you are a hemophiliac, you should also abstain from consuming these chia seeds, as should those people who are scheduled to go in for any type of surgical procedure.
Some of the chia seeds side effects you could encounter seem to also be triggered by the quantity in which they are consumed or taken. For instance, larger quantities seem to produce a greater share of these side effects of chia seeds than smaller or more moderate quantities of chia seeds. In addition to the socially embarrassing problem with flatulence mentioned above, taking larger quantities of chia seeds could potentially produce an addiction in the individual. You could always argue that being “addicted” to a natural seed is not a big problem, but everything in moderation is certainly a healthier approach.
Finally, if you are a pregnant woman, you might also want to think twice about taking chia seeds. You might want to do more than just limit your consumption of these seeds; you might want not to continue taking them altogether. It should be pointed out that tests on pregnant women have actually not been carried out with regard to the safety of chia seeds and pregnant women. However, the working theory at present is that any of the aforementioned side effects of these seeds can occur in either the pregnant woman or even the child when it is born. The point is that pregnant women should play it safe rather than sorry, especially if an unborn child is involved in the situation.
As with any supplement, it is wise to consider all the side effects of chia seeds, both good and bad, before taking them. Being informed lets you deal appropriately with any side effects that may occur. Chia is a whole food, so the dangers of chia seeds are not great, but if you have health issues, it’s still wise to learn about any possible issues before adding any new food or supplement to your diet.