Chia Seeds During Pregnancy - Safe or Unsafe?

Consuming Chia Seeds in Pregnancy - Health Benefits, Nutritional Value, Side Effects And How to consume

Chia seeds are edible tiny black seeds of chia plants. Chia seeds are a superfood that is highly nutritious and provides key nutrients to the expectant mother and her growing baby. In this article, we'll talk about the benefits, side effects, and nutritional value of chia seeds. Read this article to know all about having chia seeds while pregnant.

Chia seeds during pregnancy

Are chia seeds safe to consume during pregnancy?

Chia seeds are safe to consume during pregnancy and they contain many nutrients that are vital for a healthy pregnancy. Chia seeds are a good source of minerals such as manganese, iron, copper, selenium, calcium, and magnesium. All of these minerals play a major role in the healthy growth and development of the growing baby in the womb.

Benefits of Chia Seeds during pregnancy

The benefits of consuming chia seeds during pregnancy are:

1. Promote Fetal Development

Chia seeds are a rich source of minerals such as magnesium, iron, calcium, selenium, phosphorus, and manganese. All of these minerals are essential to keep you healthy throughout your pregnancy. They also promote fetal development.

2. Healthy Heart

Chia seeds contain powerful antioxidants that reduce the risk of developing chronic illnesses such as heart-related disease or cancer.

3. Prevent Constipation

Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber that helps to keep you away from constipation, a common complication during pregnancy. The high fiber content of chia seeds aids regular bowel movements thereby keeps constipation and hemorrhoids at a bay. Hence, keeps your digestive tract healthy.

4. Prevent Anemia

Your body needs an adequate amount of iron to produce red blood cells that are required to carry oxygen and other nutrients to your baby in the womb. Iron deficiency can cause anemia. Chia seeds are a good source of iron and consuming them during pregnancy helps to reduce the risk of developing anemia.

5. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

Chia seeds help in maintaining your blood sugar levels under control. High blood sugar levels can lead to gestational diabetes and also increases the chances of birth defects, preeclampsia. So, it's essential to keep blood sugar levels under control throughout the pregnancy.

6. Alleviate Cramping

Chia seeds contain magnesium that is essential to alleviate cramps and tension in the muscles. The magnesium content also lowers the chances of early uterine contractions and premature labor.

7. Strengthen Teeth and bones

Calcium is required to strengthen teeth and bones. It's essential to consume calcium-rich foods during pregnancy. Chia seeds are a rich source of calcium. So, consuming them helps to strengthen your teeth and bones during pregnancy.

8. Boost Energy

The fat and protein content of chia seeds boost your energy levels and fight fatigue throughout the day during pregnancy.

9. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids

Chia seeds are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids that help to prevent heart diseases. These acids are well known to improve blood vessel functions. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the development of the fetal brain.

10. Good source of protein

Chia seeds are an excellent source of protein that is required for the development of your baby's organs and tissues. 

Side effects of Chia Seeds during pregnancy

Although chia seeds are highly nutritious and safe to consume during pregnancy. But there are some side effects of chia seeds too especially if you overeat them. Some of the side effects caused due to the consumption of chia seeds during pregnancy are:

  • Overconsumption of chia seeds during pregnancy can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, bloating, and diarrhea. 
  • They're blood thinners and can lower your blood pressure.
  • They may also trigger some allergic reactions such as rashes or hives.

You've to remember excess of anything is harmful. So, don't overeat anything. Chia seeds are extremely beneficial to consume while pregnant if taken in a moderate amount.

How to consume chia seeds during pregnancy?

You can consume chia seeds in various ways during pregnancy. Some of the ways by which you can include them in your pregnancy diet are:
  • You can eat raw chia seeds as a snack. These seeds are long-lasting and imperishable.
  • Soak chia seeds overnight in water and drink it the next day.
  • Add chia seeds to pudding or dessert.
  • You can add chia seeds to salads, smoothies, yogurt, cereal, snacks, or any other dishes that you make.

Nutritional Value of Chia seeds

According to the USDA, 100 g of chia seeds contain

Calories 486
Carbohydrates 42 g
Fats 30.7 g
Protein 17 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Dietary Fiber 34 g
Vitamin A 54 IU
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.62 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.17 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 9 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.329 mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 49 µg
Vitamin C 1.6 mg
Vitamin E 0.5 mg
Sodium 16 mg
Potassium 407 mg
Calcium 631 mg
Iron 7.72 mg
Magnesium 335 mg
Manganese 2.72 mg
Zinc 4.58 mg
Selenium 55.2 µg
Phosphorus 860 mg

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Are chia seeds safe during pregnancy?

Yes, chia seeds are nutritious and safe to consume during pregnancy. Eat them in a moderate amount as overeating can cause some side effects too.

2. How many chia seeds can I have while pregnant?

Chia seeds are packed with various key nutrients that are vital for a healthy pregnancy. 1 to 2 tablespoons of chia seeds daily are enough to consume during early pregnancy. Speak to your doctor to know the right and safe amount of chia seeds for you to consume during pregnancy.

3. Can I eat chia seeds during early pregnancy?

Yes, you can eat chia seeds throughout your pregnancy as they contain many key nutrients that are essential for a healthy pregnancy.

4. What are the side effects of eating chia seeds?

Although chia seeds are healthy and nutritious. Overconsumption of chia seeds can cause some side effects such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and intestinal gas.

5. Can I eat raw chia seeds during pregnancy?

Yes, raw chia seeds are safe to consume during pregnancy.

6. Is it bad to eat chia seeds every day?

You can eat chia seeds on a daily basis but you've to always remember that moderation is the key as overeating can cause side effects too.

7. Do chia seeds have folic acid?

Yes, chia seeds contain folic acid.

8. Is chia seed good for early pregnancy?

Chia seeds are packed with essential nutrients that are required for a healthy pregnancy. You can consume them anytime during pregnancy. They're also good to consume during early pregnancy.

9. Is chia seed ok during pregnancy?

Yes, chia seeds are healthy, nutritious, and safe to consume throughout your pregnancy.

10. Can I drink chia seeds with water while pregnant?

Yes, you can drink water with chia seeds during pregnancy.

Chia seeds are highly recommended due to the presence of powerful antioxidants, vital minerals, and high protein content but consult your doctor to find out whether they're interacting with your existing medications before adding them to your pregnancy diet. If your doctor approves you then consume these highly nutritious seeds while pregnant. Wishing you a very happy and safe pregnancy.

Also, read other pregnancy-related articles:

Disclaimer: This content is intended for general information only and should not be used as the basis of patient treatment. The given content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, treatment, or any diagnosis. Always consult a doctor for more information. Our website doesn't claim responsibility for this information.

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