Consumption of Chia Seeds During Pregnancy – Benefits & Side Effects
Every article that we publish, confirms to stringent guidelines & involves several levels of reviews, both from our Editorial team & Experts. We welcome your suggestions in making this platform more useful for all our users. Write in to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Are Chia Seeds Safe During Pregnancy?
- Nutritional Value of Chia Seeds
- Benefits of Eating Chia Seeds During Pregnancy
- Are There Any Side Effects of Eating Chia Seeds While Pregnant
- What Quantity of Chia Seeds You Can Consume During Pregnancy?
- How to Consume Chia Seeds?
- Chia Seeds Recipes for Pregnant Women
Chia seeds are healthy and are considered as a superfood. They are highly nutritious and are easily available in grocery stores. But can these tiny nutritious seeds be consumed during pregnancy? Pregnancy is a delicate time and naturally, a woman should eat everything nutritious foods that she can while she is pregnant. If you are also expecting a baby, no doubt, you will be curious to know whether or not you can consume chia seeds in pregnancy, especially if you love eating them. So read on before you garnish a healthy dish with a handful of chia seeds.
Are Chia Seeds Safe During Pregnancy?
Confused if you can have chia seeds while pregnant?
Chia seeds are safe to consume during pregnancy and can actually boost the chances of a healthy delivery. Around 100g of chia seeds provide 20g of protein approximately. Consuming one tablespoon of chia seeds can provide you with 3g of protein. Chia seeds also contain iron and calcium – both of these minerals are essential for a healthy pregnancy.
Nutritional Value of Chia Seeds
Here is a breakdown of the nutrients these seeds offer. Every 100 g of chia seeds has approximately the following quantities of each nutrient. Go through this 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|
|Thiamine (Vitamin B1)||0.62 mg|
|Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)||0.17 mg|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||0.5 mg|
Benefits of Eating Chia Seeds During Pregnancy
Chia seeds are undoubtedly healthy and make for a great addition in our daily diet. But what benefits do they offer to pregnant women? Find out! We are sure after reading the benefits of chia seeds, you will include them in your pregnancy diet more and often.
1. It can help prevent constipation.
Pregnancy can be a tough time for you as the hormonal changes that happen during this time can wreak havoc on your digestive system. As your pregnancy progresses, you will battle with constipation almost daily. However, by eating fibre-rich foods like chia seeds can help with this problem and keep your digestive system healthy and happy. Consuming chia seeds can aid regular bowel movements, thereby preventing constipation and haemorrhoids, which is also common during pregnancy.
2. It can help prevent anaemia.
Iron-deficiency anaemia is another common pregnancy-related complication. While pregnant, your body will need iron in adequate amounts for the production of red blood cells. Red blood cells are required for carrying oxygen around your body and to your baby. Hence, you must up your iron intake. Chia seeds are an excellent source of iron, and you should include them in your diet from the early stages of pregnancy itself.
3. It helps in building strong bones.
Your doctor must have suggested you include calcium-rich foods in your diet for obvious reasons. Calcium helps build and strengthen the bones and teeth of your little one. Now you must be thinking of drinking several glasses of milk to meet your calcium requirements, but you don’t have to do just that. You can consume chia seeds raw or include them in various dishes you make. If you love to drink milk, you can even add chia seeds to the milk and drink it. Calcium will ensure proper skeletal development of your baby and even help build his tooth buds. You can get calcium from fruits, veggies, dairy products, and chia seeds, of course!
4. It can help maintain blood sugar levels.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to an accumulation of glucose in your blood, which should be controlled in time otherwise it might lead to gestational diabetes. High blood sugar levels affect your health as well as your baby’s health (it increases the chances of birth defects). Furthermore, high blood sugar in the early stages of pregnancy can put you at a risk of miscarriage. By including chia seeds in your diet, you can control your blood sugar levels. The fibre in chia seeds can slow down the absorption of sugar in your blood and keep it stable, thereby lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
5. It can help promote foetal development.
Chia seeds are a healthy source of protein, which is an extremely important nutrient during pregnancy as it promotes the development of organs (including the brain) and cells of the foetus. So you cannot just compromise with your protein requirements. Additionally, protein can even help you keep satiated during pregnancy. While pregnant, you will constantly feel hungry but that doesn’t mean you overeat (it is unhealthy). You can eat protein-rich foods like tofu, nuts, meat, and chia seeds.
6. It helps you to stay full.
One won’t be able to understand pregnancy hunger until one experiences it. The constant hunger during pregnancy can turn you into a ravenous beast. But overeating is unhealthy. Therefore, you must add protein-rich food to your diet during this time. Adding a few sprinkles of chia seeds to your recipes can help you stay full for longer.
7. It prevents iron deficiency.
Iron deficiency is quite normal during pregnancy, which can increase the risk of premature birth, impaired cognitive development, and low birth weight for the infant. Chia seeds can help you overcome this deficiency as these seeds are rich in iron content.
These are some benefits that you will derive by including chia seeds in your diet. But they do not stop here. Eating chia seeds can provide you with the energy you need for the day and the presence of omega-3 fatty acids in them can also help in the brain development of the baby.
Are There Any Side Effects of Eating Chia Seeds While Pregnant
Although chia seeds are very nutritious, there are a few potential side effects you should be aware of. The rule of ‘moderation is the key’ is what you should follow.
Here are some side effects of consuming chia seeds in pregnancy.
- Consuming chia seeds in high amounts can lead to gastrointestinal problems. It can cause constipation, bloating, hard stools, and diarrhoea.
- Chia seeds are blood thinners and may lower your blood pressure and cause bleeding.
- Although chia seeds regulate blood sugar levels, they may interact with certain drugs and medication.
- Chia seeds may also trigger allergic reactions like rashes, hives, and watery eyes.
- Chia seeds can quickly expand and absorb up to 10 times their weight in water. So, if you drink water right after consuming chia seeds, they can expand in your oesophagus and cause suffocation.
What Quantity of Chia Seeds You Can Consume During Pregnancy?
Chia seeds are very nutritious and are quite safe to consume during pregnancy. So, when it comes to pregnancy and chia seeds, pregnant women should consume no more than 1 ounce of seeds per day. But you must talk to your doctor before including them in your diet.
How to Consume Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds can be used in a wide variety of dishes. If you are looking for ways to include them in your pregnancy diet, here’s how you can do that.
1. Chia Seeds With Water
Chia seeds can be put in a glass of water for consumption. You can soak chia seeds overnight in water and drink the water during the day. Alternatively, you can even drink the water with chia seeds in them.
2. Raw Chia Seeds
Chia seeds can even be consumed raw. Since these seeds last longer and aren’t perishable, they are great for snacking on the go.
3. Chia Seed as Toppings
Chia seeds can be sprinkled over foods to give them a crunch. You can add them to salads, puddings, etc.
Chia Seeds Recipes for Pregnant Women
If you’re in the mood to satisfy your cravings, here are some healthy chia seed recipes you can make at home. Let’s take a look at recipes made using chia seeds for pregnancy.
1. Chia Seeds Sandwich
- Chia seeds
How to Make
- Take two slices of bread and place four cucumber slices, some lettuce, two tomato slices, and other favourite toppings on the first slice of the bread.
- Sprinkle some chia seeds and cover with another bread slice, and you are good to go!
2. Chia Seeds Smoothie
- 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 of chia seeds
How to Make
- Take all the ingredients and put them in a blender.
- Blend well, then transfer it to an airtight container.
- Keep it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes and allow the mixture to chill down.
- You can also make a chia seed smoothie 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 to make a delicious smoothie!
Fruits or Salad Vegetables
- Chia seeds
- Chaat masala
How to Make
- Cut fruits or vegetables for your salad.
- Add chia seeds, chaat masala, and salt to it.
- Your salad is ready!
4. Chia Seed Pudding
- ½ cup chia seeds
- 1½ cup almond or coconut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp thinly sliced almonds
- ½ cup mixed berries
- 2 tbsp shredded coconut
- Maple syrup
How to Make
- Soak chia seeds with milk in a bowl overnight.
- Check it in the morning and mix if it’s too thick. Add milk if it’s thick and leave for two more hours.
- Add vanilla extract to it and mix gently.
- Add maple syrup and top it with berries, almonds, and coconut.
5. Coconut Chia Protein Pancakes
- ¼ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 2tbsp coconut flour
- 3 tbsp vanilla whey protein powder
- A pinch of sea salt
- 1tbsp coconut flakes
- 4tbsp almond milk
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp pancake batter
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
How to Make
- Add all the ingredients given above in a bowl, and mix well.
- Take about ¼ cup of the batter and pour it into a non-stick cooking pan.
- Let it cook for a few minutes, and flip it over.
- Transfer to a serving plate when it’s cooked from the other side.
- Top the pancake with fruit, chia seeds, maple syrup or honey.
6. Chia Fresca
- 2 cups water
- 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- Sugar or honey
How to Make
- Take 2 cups of water and squeeze one fresh lemon in it.
- Now add chia seeds and sugar/honey to it.
- Refrigerate it for at least two to three hours.
- After two to three hours, you will see that chia seeds have formed a gel-like substance around them, which you can readily drink.
1. Do Chia Seeds Help in Increasing Breast Milk?
Yes. Chia seeds help boost breast milk supply naturally and are a great source of calcium, fibre, fatty acids, and more.
2. Can Chia Seeds Help in the Brain Development of the Fetus?
Yes. When it comes to chia seeds and pregnancy, they fulfil the omega-3 requirement in your body, which also helps in the fetus’s brain development.
3. Can You Eat Chia Seeds in Pregnancy Everyday?
Yes. But do not eat more than one ounce of the seeds per day.
Chia seeds are a necessity for pregnant women due to their high protein content and excellent nutrition profile. We recommend that you speak to your doctor and find out whether they interfere with your existing medications before you begin incorporating them in 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!
1. Seeds, dried, chia seeds; nutritionvalue.org; https://www.nutritionvalue.org/Seeds%2C_dried%2C_chia_seeds_nutritional_value.html
2. Chia seeds pack nutritional punch; mayoclinichealthsystem.org; https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/chia-seeds-pack-nutritional-punch
3.Chia Seeds During Pregnancy: Should You Eat Them?; healwithfood.org; https://www.healwithfood.org/safe-to-eat/chia-seeds-during-pregnancy
4. What to eat before, during and after pregnancy; UNICEF; https://www.unicef.org/rosa/stories/what-eat-during-and-after-pregnancy
5. Can Drinking Chia Water Help You Lose Weight?; clevelandclinic.org; https://health.clevelandclinic.org/chia-seed-water/
Also Read: Consuming Ginger during Pregnancy