Chia seeds are a good source of fiber, providing 11 grams of fiber in each 1-ounce (28-gram) serving.
Fiber is essential for your health, promoting regularity and supporting the beneficial bacteria in your gut
among other important roles. However, too much fiber can cause issues for some people.
... Excessive fiber intake can cause problems like abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, bloating and gas.
This can also occur when a high fiber intake is paired with inadequate hydration, since water is essential
to helping fiber pass through the digestive system. Furthermore, those with inflammatory bowel diseases like
ulcerative colitis or Crohn's diseasemay need to monitor their fiber intake and limit chia seeds during flare-ups.
These chronic diseases cause inflammation and a narrowing of the gastrointestinal tract, which can lead to symptoms
like abdominal pain, bleeding, diarrhea and weight loss. Studies indicate that a high fiber intake may help
protect against inflammatory bowel diseases in the long term. That said, those who are experiencing flare-ups
should limit their fiber intake for short periods to reduce symptoms.
However, for most people, negative symptoms from high fiber intake can be prevented by increasing fiber
intake slowly and drinking plenty of water to help it pass through the body.
Though they're safe for most people, chia seeds may cause an increased risk of choking. So make sure you
consume them carefully, especially if you have difficulty swallowing. This increased risk is because dry chia
seeds swell up and absorb about 10-12 times their weight in liquid when they are exposed to water.
These gelling properties can be useful when it comes to cooking or baking, but they have the potential to be
unsafe, as chia seeds can easily swell up and become lodged in the throat. One case study discussed a
39-year-old man who had a dangerous incident with chia seeds when he ate a tablespoon of dry seeds and
then drank a glass of water. The seeds expanded in his esophagus and caused a blockage, and he had to
visit the emergency room to have it remove. Always make sure you soak chia seeds for at least 5-10 minutes
before you eat them.Those with difficulty swallowing may need to exercise extra caution when eating them.
Some people may experience an allergic reaction after eating chia seeds, though this is uncommon.
Food allergy symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea and itching of the lips or tongue.
In severe cases, food allergies can even lead to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition that
causes difficulty breathing and tightness in the throat and chest.Chia seed allergies are rare but
have been documented.
In one case, a 54-year-old man began eating chia seeds to help lower his cholesterol. However, just
a few days later, he began experiencing dizziness, shortness of breath, hives and swelling.If you
try chia seeds for the first time and experience any symptoms of a food allergy, discontinue use
immediately and consult your doctor.