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Pregnancy is a delicate time when you need all the nutritional goodness you can get for a healthy delivery. Chia seeds and pregnancy go hand in hand, often being touted as a superfood that offers a powerhouse of essential nutrients for a healthy pregnancy. Whether you’re an expecting mother, planning to have a baby, or simply curious about Chia seeds for pregnancies, read on for all you need to know.
Are Chia Seeds Safe During Pregnancy?
Chia seeds are safe during pregnancy and actually boost the chances of a healthy delivery. 2 tablespoons of Chia seeds alone will meet your calorific and nutritional needs. Additionally, Chia seeds contain iron and calcium, both of which are essential minerals needed during pregnancies. Over 15% of your protein needs alone are met through a tablespoon of Chia seeds.
Nutritional Value Of Chia Seeds
Here’s a chart that illustrates the nutritional value of Chia seeds-
|Nutrient||Amount Per 100 Grams|
|Total Carbs||42 g|
|Total Fat||31 g|
|Vitamin C||1.6 mg|
|Vitamin A||54 IU|
Benefits of Eating Chia Seeds in Pregnancy
According to researchers from Mexico, here are the following benefits of eating Chia seeds during pregnancy –
- Pregnancy leads to depletion of essential vitamins and minerals. Chia seeds provide an energy boost and keep the body refuelled with vital nutrients needed for a healthy delivery.
- Prevents damage from free radicals and is rich in antioxidants.
- High protein content leads to feeling fuller for longer durations and aids in weight loss.
- Regulates blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.
- Is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids which is vital for the baby’s cognitive development.
- Promotes bone health and contains many bone nutrients like phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium.
- Is a rich source of iron which is needed during the early stages of pregnancy.
How to Consume Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds can be used in a wide variety of delicious recipes and are versatile in culinary uses. Here’s how you can consume Chia seeds-
- Chia Seeds With Water
Chia seeds can be put in a glass of water for consumption. You can soak Chia seeds overnight and drink the water during the day, or alternatively, drink the water with the Chia seeds too.
2. Raw Chia Seeds
Chia seeds can be eaten raw. Since these seeds last longer and aren’t perishable, they are great for snacking on the go.
If you’re in the mood for satisfying your cravings, here are healthy Chia seed recipes you can try at home-
a) Chia Seed Smoothie
Our most recommended recipe is the Coconut Yogurt Chia Seed Smoothie Bowl. Here’s how you do it-
What you need-
- 3 sliced bananas
- 4 pitted and halved dates
- 2 cups of coconut milk yoghurt
- 1/4 cup coconut water
- 1 small portion of blueberries
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- Sliced strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and hemp seeds for toppings.
Take the first six ingredients and put them in a blender. Blend till they get smooth and place them inside an airtight container in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Let the mixture chill and serve cold. Make sure to add your favourite toppings before serving, our most recommended ones being blueberries and hemp seeds.
Alternatively, you can make Chia seed smoothie by using coconut milk, cinnamon powder, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Blend all the ingredients in a blender and add your favourite fruit toppings or chocolate shavings for a delicious smoothie!
b) Chia Seed Sandwiches
Since Chia seeds have a neutral flavour, you can add them to a variety of sandwiches. Add cucumber slices, lettuce, tomato, and other favourite toppings in sandwiches along with Chia seeds and you’re good to go.
Chia Seeds can be added to a wide variety of salads. Whether it is fruit salads or your leafy greens, considering throwing in an ounce or two the next time you enjoy a healthy treat.
d) Coconut Chia Protein Pancakes
Coconut Chia Protein Pancakes are famous amongst expecting mothers. Here’s how you make it.
What you need-
- 1/4 gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 3 tbsp vanilla whey protein powder
- A pinch of sea salt
- 1 tbsp coconut flakes
- 1 egg
- 4 tbsp of almond milk
- 2 tbsp of pancake batter
- A tablespoon of Chia seeds
Put all these ingredients in a bowl and stir them with wet ingredients. Add 2 tbsp of pancake batter and cook for a few minutes. Once you notice any bubbling, flip over and work the other side. Voila! Your high-powered Chia Protein Pancakes are ready which make for a delicious breakfast.
Side-Effects of Chia Seeds
Although Chia seeds are high on the nutritional uptake, there are a few potential side-effects you should be aware of when consuming too much of them. As they say, moderation is key, and here are the different side-effects brought by Chia seeds –
- Gastrointestinal Issues – constipation, feeling bloated, hard stools, excessive diarrhoea, and intestinal gas
- Chia seeds are blood thinners and may cause low blood pressure and bleeding
- Although Chia seeds regulate blood sugar levels, they may interact with certain drugs and medications
- Allergy symptoms for Chia seeds range from rashes, hives, and watery eyes
Where calorie dense foods are concerned, Chia seeds top the charts so don’t let their size fool you.
Chia seeds are a necessity for pregnant mothers due to their high protein content and excellent nutrition profile. We recommend you speak to your doctor and find out whether they interact with your existing medications before you begin incorporating Chia seeds into your diet. As always, add one to two tablespoons of Chia seeds a day during pregnancy and you’ll be all set for your pregnancy!
Also Read: Consuming Ginger During Pregnancy