Nowadays, chia seeds are considered one of the popular reform foods. Chia, also known as Aztec sage, was already cultivated in pre-Columbian times, and was considered a plant equivalent to corn.
The health benefits of chia seeds are due to their high fiber and protein content and the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids they contain. However, the principle that every good thing should be enjoyed in moderation is valid for this food as well. In the following, we will list three reasons why you should consume this superfood with caution.
1. Abdominal cramps and depletion of important nutrients
The advantage of chia seeds, their extremely high fiber content, unfortunately may become a disadvantage: their excessive consumption can lead to digestive problems. A too high fiber intake puts a strain on the body, which may result to abdominal cramps as well as flatulence and diarrhea.
With large amounts of loose stools, important nutrients such as calcium or iron are also eliminated from the body. Excessive fiber intake can affect not only the absorption of minerals but also fats, so consuming more than 15 grams of chia seeds per day is not recommended.
Chia seeds can often cause cross-allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to sesame seeds or mustard. Cross-allergy is when the body identifies ingredients of different origins as being the same.
If someone is allergic to mustard or sesame seeds, the body recognizes chia seeds as the same allergen as these two foods, which results in the same complaints as those caused by the allergens already detected.
3. Risk of suffocation
In extreme cases, chia seeds may even cause suffocation. When mixed with a liquid, they become gel-like in a short time and can swell to twenty-seven times their total volume. This can cause a particularly dangerous condition for those who have some difficulty swallowing.
Therefore, it is strictly forbidden to just ingest a tablespoon of dry chia seeds, as in case of difficulty swallowing there is a good chance that the seeds will swell before they reach the stomach.