17 Uses and Benefits of Chia Seeds

Uses and Benefits of Chia Seeds

I’ve been using chia seeds in drinks and as an egg substitute in recipes for years. In fact, we just had homemade chia seed pudding with lunch today. While chia seeds can be an incredibly useful ingredient, especially for egg free or gluten free families, there is also a lot of conflicting information about these little seeds.

What are Chia Seeds?

Salvia hispanica, or the chia plant, is a species in the mint family that is native to Central America. The seeds of this herb are known as “chia seeds” and they have gained quite a bit of popularity in recent years.

Not only are they gluten/grain free naturally, but a single serving is reported to have:

  • as much calcium as a glass of milk
  • more Omega-3s than a serving of walnuts
  • as many antioxidants as blueberries.

They give you tons of energy but also won’t keep you awake at night and are supposed to be great for weight loss. Because they can absorb many times their size/weight in liquid, they are great for avoiding dehydration during exercise or exposure to heat.

Are Chia Seeds the Original Superfood?

Chia seeds have a fascinating and long history of use by several cultures. I’m hesitant to use the word “superfood” because the word is so over-used in modern times and also because there are some confounding factors that may inhibit nutrient use.

Supposedly, the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incans used chia as a staple of their diet and as an energy food. Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language, and they were known as the “Indian Running Food” because runners and warriors would use them for sustenance while running long distances or during battle.

Though these ancient cultures may not have completely understood the nutritional breakdown of these power-packed seeds, they noticed the benefits, and we now know that chia seeds are a good source of:

  • Essential Fatty Acids
  • Protein
  • Vitamins A, B, E and D
  • Minerals like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, manganese, niacin, thiamine, and others
  • Antioxidants

Chia Seed Benefits

Chia Seeds Benefits

Small but mighty, chia seeds have a variety of benefits (and a few cautions!) and are considered by many to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet.

1. They Are A Great Source of Protein

The chia seed is a great plant source of protein, containing 4.7 grams of protein per ounce. They contain all eight essential amino acids, a rarity for a non-animal based food and are much higher in protein than many other plants. They still don’t compare to animal-based proteins, but especially considering the other beneficial properties of chia seeds, they are worth consuming regularly.

2. Packed with Other Nutrients

Don’t let their tiny size fool you… chia seeds are a big source of many nutrients!

Just two tablespoons (about an ounce) contains 10 times the Omega-3s of an equal serving of walnuts, more iron than a cup of spinach and a host of other nutrients in smaller amounts. They are also a great source of beneficial fats, fiber and about as many antioxidants per serving as blueberries.

In fact, chia seeds contain the highest level of Omega-3s of any known plant. It is important to note that they contain Alpha Linoleic Acid (ALA) form found in plant foods but not docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the form found in fatty fish.

The body can convert some ALA to DHA, but it is relatively inefficient at this process, so ideally, we should consume both ALA and DHA from food sources.

3. Support Digestion

There are several unique properties of chia seeds that make them beneficial for digestion. They are an excellent source of fiber at 11 grams per ounce. In fact, of the 12 grams of “carbohydrates” found in chia seeds, 11 are from fiber, which is indigestible to the body and which does not raise blood sugar or affect insulin levels like other forms of carbohydrates.

Essentially, the net carbohydrate in the chia seed is only 1 gram per ounce, making them a naturally low-carb and high-fiber food, with one serving providing the recommended daily amount of fiber. This fiber works as a pre-biotic in the digestive system, so while it isn’t digested and used directly, it feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gut and may help improve gut health.

Chia seeds also have a unique ability to “gel” due to the soluble fiber content and the fact that the outer shell is hydrophilic and has the ability to absorb over 10x their weight in liquid. This makes them filling and satisfying. Researchers think that this gel action also occurs in the stomach, creating a barrier between carbohydrates and enzymes in the stomach which slows the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. This may account for some of the reported endurance benefits of chia seeds.

I’ve listed a few of my favorite recipes below that show how our family uses chia seeds, especially for breakfast.

4. Natural Appetite Suppressant

Chia Seeds are often recommended for those who are trying to lose weight Their ability to expand and slow digestibility helps keep a person feeling fuller longer. (source)

Additionally, as a good source of both protein and antioxidants, they may nutritionally support the body in other ways that promote weight loss. Due to their hydrophilic properties, chia seeds also promote hydration, which is important for maintaining a healthy weight.

Though the research is mixed on chia’s ability to directly promote weight loss, experts seem to agree that they are a great addition to a healthy diet and for those of us with kids who are hungry all the time, they are an easy (and filling) addition to many common foods. I love to serve some form of chia seed pudding for breakfast since it helps keep my kids full until lunch.

5. Promote Energy and Endurance

The Mayans and Aztecs originally used chia seeds for their energy and endurance benefits. They were known as “Indian Running Food” and warriors and athletes often consumed a chia seed gel prior to their events to maintain energy and stamina.

It turns out that these same benefits are just as applicable in modern times! In fact one study, found that a chia gel was as effective as energy drinks for maintaining athletic performance. In the study, participants were split into two groups. One group was given an energy drink, and another an energy drink/chia seed gel. Participants completed various running and endurance activities and their results were compared. The study found no difference in performance between the two groups and concluded that chia seeds were as effective as energy drinks in promoting athletic performance.

If you really want to optimize performance, try making this natural homemade energy drink and adding chia seeds for some added benefits!

6. Versatile and Easy to Use

Chia seeds can be easily added to many foods and drinks. They can be used whole or ground and can even serve as an egg substitute in recipes. Unlike some “superfoods” like spirulina, chia seeds don’t have a strong flavor and can be easily used in recipes and added to smoothies without affecting flavor.

I always keep a big bag of chia seeds on hand for use in recipes and to add to foods.

One Caution: Phytic Acid

Like all grains and seeds, chia seeds contain compounds called phytates that block the absorption of certain nutrients. These anti-nutrients are the reason that many ancient cultures soaked and fermented grains and seeds prior to eating them. This is also the reason that some people prefer to avoid them (and most other grains and seeds as well).

Chia seeds are naturally gluten free and are a good source of many nutrients, as I explained above. Though they do contain anti-nutrients, they do not contain as high of levels as many other nuts and seeds. There is also some evidence that soaking and rinsing the seeds may help reduce the levels of these compounds.

Since I typically use chia seeds as a thickener or added in moderation to recipes and not as the core part of a meal, I don’t worry too much about their phytate content. Some people experience gastrointestinal distress from consuming chia seeds in large amounts, so of course, don’t eat them if this happens to you.

How to Use Chia Seeds

Chia seeds can be used in various recipes and added to favorite foods. Depending on the texture you want to accomplish, there are several ways to use them:

Soaked

Most sources recommend soaking chia seeds for the most benefit. Since they are hydrophilic, they will attract water in the body if not soaked or added to liquid, so if you choose not to soak them, it is best to drink a lot of liquids after consuming them. Additionally, at least one person has gotten chia seeds lodged in his throat after attempting to consume them dry, so it is not recommended to consume them un-soaked (they are difficult to chew).

Ground Up/Powdered

Another way to use them in recipes is to grind them up into a fine powder. This is especially helpful when you are using them as a thickener or want to get the benefits without changing the texture of a food. There is also some evidence that it may be easier for the body to absorb chia seeds when they are powdered before eating. See below for ways to incorporate ground chia seeds as an egg substitute or thickener.

Whole

If adding directly to foods or recipes that contain liquid, it isn’t necessary to soak or grind chia seeds first. They can be added directly to smoothies, soups, drinks, or even meat dishes to thicken without needing to soak first.

Uses for Chia Seeds

My Favorite Uses for Chia Seeds

I always keep chia seeds on hand in my kitchen for these various uses:

1. As a Safe Egg Substitute

I recommend a lot of egg consumption and many of my recipes contain eggs. I occasionally get questions from readers who need to adapt a recipe to avoid eggs, and from my research/testing, chia is one of the best options for this.

To substitute for an egg: Use 1 tablespoon finely ground chia seeds (grind them dry in a blender, food processor, or coffee grinder) and 3 tablespoons of water per egg in a baked recipe (does not work in place of eggs for omelets though…)

2. To Make Healthy Pudding

My kids favorite use of chia seeds is to make a homemade pudding with them. It’s easy to make and actually really healthy. Our go-to recipe is:

  • 2 cups of coconut milk or other milk
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder (or to taste)(optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (or to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon or more sweetener of choice (optional)- We use honey or a few drops of stevia tincture

Put in a blender and blend until smooth. Will thicken in about 10 minutes in the fridge.

There are endless flavor variations. You can omit the cocoa powder and vanilla and add a cup of strawberries for a strawberry version, or add cinnamon and nutmeg for a Chai Chia Pudding.

View the printable recipe here.

3. To Thicken Soup or Gravies

If you don’t use cornstarch or thickening agents, it can sometimes be a challenge to thicken different culinary creations. Just add a couple tablespoons of chia seeds (powdered or not) at a time to reach the desired thickness.

4. To Make Grain Free Crackers

I’ve made several variations of these, including just mixing them with equal parts coconut milk to thicken, adding some garlic powder and sea salt, and baking at a low temp for a couple hours. I haven’t measured out my recipe yet to post here, but here’s another one that looks great.

5. To Thicken Meatballs Instead of Breadcrumbs

I married an Italian, so meatballs get made pretty often around here. His grandmother’s recipe calls for breadcrumbs, which I don’t use, so I just throw in a couple tablespoons of ground chia seeds (per pound of meat) in place of bread crumbs. Also works to thicken meat-loafs, batters, etc.

6. Sprouted for Salads

Ever had little sprouts on a salad at a restaurant? You can make them yourself. Just put some chia seeds in water, drain the water off and leave in a jar for a couple days. Every 12 hours or so, rinse with water and pour the water off. In a day or two, you’ll have little chia sprouts, which leads to the next use of chia seeds:

7. Homemade Chia Pet

These are the same seeds used to make the chia pets you can buy for ($20) in the store. Save about ($20) and make your own. Just fill a (porcupine) shaped pot with dirt, sprinkle some chia seeds on top of the dirt and water. Viola! Chia Pet. I also discovered when my kids spilled their chia seeds that they were eating for a snack that they grow in areas that don’t get much sun and that are often trampled (under the treehouse) and prevent mud. Now, the kids get to eat chia seeds under their treehouse often, and the ones that spill prevent mud. A win-win!

8. To Make Homemade Energy Gel

Seen the commercial for those new (corn syrup filled) Gatorade Gels and Chews? Here’s a healthier variation that kids will love: Add a couple tablespoons of chia seeds to a cup of coconut water. Let sit for about ten minutes and you’ll have an incredible energy gel! Beats the socks off of Gatorade for hydration and energy and you get to avoid the fake colors, fake flavors and GMO corn 🙂 Also works for grown ups for endurance activities like running a 5K without training at all (ask me how I know that….)

9. As a “Breading” for Baking Fish and Chicken

Mixed with some almond flour and garlic powder, or even by itself, Chia Seeds make an excellent “Breading” for fish or chicken. It toasts up well and provides a nutty, crunchy flavor without the grains (another win-win!).

10. Plain Ol’ Chia Seeds

Even by themselves, chia seeds are a great source of nutrients and also leave you feeling full for a long time. I sometimes chew a couple tablespoons for a quick breakfast on the go, and they leave you feeling surprisingly full! They do stick to your teeth, but wash them down with some coffee and you’ll have energy for hours!

Where to Get Chia Seeds?

Thanks to their recent surge in popularity, you can find these chia seeds at many regular grocery stores and most health food stores as well. I often also buy them in bulk online (from here) and keep them on hand for recipes.

Ever tried chia seeds? Sound too weird? What is your favorite use? Share below!

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  1. Thank you for posting this! I’ve been wanting to try chia seeds for a while, but just hadn’t gotten around to looking up recipes. I’ll definitely give these suggestions a try! 

    • Wellness mama my name is jessica I am new to this can you help me I just had a baby and I need to lose weight tell and teach me please how to do it correctly

    • Is it safe to drink chia seeds in a glass of water right away? I didn’t let them soak and I didn’t chew. Kinda freaking out because I heard of a guy who had to go to the hospital after eating them dry!

      • I suggest letting them soak for a few minutes…they are much more tolerable because a gelatinous capsule forms around the seed it goes down alot smoother (also else grit in your teeth). Just make sure to drink plenty of water…PLENTY of water with them. I usually drink a whole other bottle of regular water after drinking my chia water. Hope this helps.

      • He must have eaten a LOT to get sent to the ER. Chia seeds are not going to make you sick but that being said, I wouldnt eat 5oz at one setting. Anything can make you sick if you eat to much of it. Even water.

      • You can take one spoon of Chia, put it in a glass, then take 8 spoons of water, The Chia will soak all the water up. If you eat Chia dry, it will soak all the water up, in your system. And Dehydrate you. Chia will expand 8 times it size with water.I put a couple of scoops in my smoothie in the mornings. It keeps me going, till dinner. After you drink it, it will expand in the belly make you more full. Been drinking it for several years.

  2. I love chia seeds! I add them to my smoothies all the time! I will be making meatloaf with them next week! 

  3. Do you typically powder them, or use them whole? For some of these recipes, it seems like whole seeds would be unpleasant.

  4. As a vegan, I use chia seeds a lot! I use them as an evg substitute and also in my smoothies i also use flaxseed and nutritional yeast. I like your energy drink recipe! I will give it a try!

  5. Just made the pudding, not quite a success.  Not due to the taste but to the texture of the pudding of the chia seeds.  The children found it too weird.  So I thought I might ground them down next time to a powder and see if that makes a difference.  If that goes how I think it might the mousse would be absolutely gorgeous….  I will let you know.  Philxxx

    •  Phil, try it with bananas and honey. That is by far my favorite way to eat it.
      Good luck with the kids!

      • Bananas and honey sounds good! How do you incorporate them in the pudding? do you mash the bananas? i have a picky 4-year old!

    • try grinding the chia before and another suggestion to get a really creamy and rich texture is to add an avocado or even half of one to the mix.

  6. I’ve been wondering about chia seeds … I will definitely be trying these! Thanks for the post!

  7. Is it better to soak them in water and then take a tablespoon of them in the morning or just dry???

      • better to soak. contributes to their low glycemic index (when they become gelatinous) according to the NYT.
        soak overnight….
        per hubpages…
        “Basic Chia Gel
        To make a basic Chia Gel used for baking and other recipes, all you need is water.
        Start by mixing ¼ cup chia seeds and 1 cup of water, stir after 15 minutes or so, cover the container and place in the refrigerator. That’s it.
        The seeds will turn into a gel that is the consistency of pudding or custard.
        Let it soak overnight and it is ready to use. It doesn’t get any easier than that.”

    • Be careful when eating them dry. Don’t ingest too many dry seeds at once. Take a little…down with water…and so on. There was a man who needed medical attention because the chia seeds gelled up in a wade in his throat. Stupid man.

      I finally got my husband to take chia in stirred in water. We are exercising and trying to lose weight. Chia helps. I thank all the commenters for giving me new ideas.

      What I won’t do is take chia seeds at the same time as taking our vitamin/mineral supplements. I don’t know if the chia would carry out (to the toilet) those spendy supplements. I’m researching that now. That’s how I ended up on this site.

  8. We sprinkle the seeds on all sorts of things to up their nutritional value 🙂     When I’m dragging in the afternoon, if I remember to, I’ll just take a spoonful & swallow it down with water; not real crazy about chewing it plain 😉  We aren’t fans of the pudding yet, but maybe someday??   I get mine from Amazon as a subscribe and save item and they are about $7 a pound with free shipping 🙂

    •  Today I made “pudding” for the first time and it was excellent. I just put 2 tablespoons of seeds in a cup, added about 1.5 cups of Vanilla Flavored Almond Milk (unsweetened), stirred in 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, and stuck it in the fridge. Was a thick pudding later in the day, and to me, it was exactly like tapioca pudding.  If my eyes were closed, I’d think it was tapioca.  Delicious!

      • Thanks for the suggestion! I actually added just a tsp of coconut flavor liquid to this mixture. If you like coconut, you’ll love this! It gives it an extra yummy flavor!

      • Yummo! I do the exact same thing but without the sweetener (dietary restrictions) and it’s still really good.

  9. My favorite (and only-till now) use of chia is using them in iced tea. Fresh all natural iced tea, I don’t even need the sweetener any more but if I do I put in stevia, and a teaspoon or 2 of chia seeds… They are fun! And so healthy.

    • Agree +1. Chia is a “sometimes” treat, not the wonder food it’s been made out to be. The phytic acid actually strips many of the minerals that you think you’re taking in, and the excess of insoluble fiber does the same. Have some as a snack every now and then, but don’t eat it every day and definitely don’t feed it to your kids on a daily basis.

      • Be careful when eating them dry. Don’t ingest too many dry seeds at once. Take a little…down with water…and so on. There was a man who needed medical attention because the chia seeds gelled up in a wade in his throat. Stupid man.

        I finally got my husband to take chia in stirred in water. We are exercising and trying to lose weight. Chia helps. I thank all the commenters for giving me new ideas.

        What I won’t do is take chia seeds at the same time as taking our vitamin/mineral supplements. I don’t know if the chia would carry out (to the toilet) those spendy supplements. I’m researching that now. That’s how I ended up on this site.

        • I’m not sure if it fully reduces phytic acid content, but I soak them overnight (in the fridge) in raw milk with a few tablespoons of kefir. We then add raw honey, a little vanilla, and sometimes berries. By morning it has gelled into a nice pudding that is delightfully cold and refreshing, and is hopefully lower in phytic acid. Katie, any thoughts on this?

  10. I make dairy kefir and add chia seeds and some stevia to sweeten – 1 qt kefir, 1/4C chia seeds, packet of stevia – stir occasionally so the seeds don’t settle to the bottom and they start gelling which then they remain thruout the kefir. I eat this with fruit every morning. My husband started using it as a salad dressing and now I do too! We’ve added cocoa powder to it like your pudding. Some people we’ve served it to don’t like the texture, as some of your commenters said.

  11. I use ground chia seeds in place of flaxseed meal for muffins, and I have used it a lot as an egg substitute just because I didn’t have any eggs.  They work great!  

  12. I’ve been using them in “Refrigerator Oats.”  1/4 c old fashioned oats, 1/4 c plain greek yogurt, 1/3 c milk, 1.5t chia seeds is the base recipe, then add sweetener/fruit as you prefer.  I like 2t maple syrup and 1/4c fresh blueberries.  Mix it all up and let it sit in the fridge overnight.  Breakfast will be waiting for you the next morning!

    • I have done a version of this for months now and have never looked so forward to breakfast. Delicious.

    • Sounds great! Do you happen to have the calorie/nutritional info for this preparation. I am using “myfitnesspal” and logging in my meals. This would help. Thanks!

    • The Refrigerator Oatmeal and also the Healthy Pudding (both with cocoa and with strawberries) Sounds great! Do you happen to have the calorie/nutritional info for this preparation. I am using “myfitnesspal” and logging in my meals. This would help alot. Thanks!

  13. Love this article!  I just read something yesterday about blending gelled chia with fruit for a sugar-free jam replacement, too.  A recent convert to chia, we eat them every morning gelled with almond milk and berries, and I’ve noticed they help my gluten free baked goods (especially bread) stay moist a lot longer.

  14. Question:  for the pudding, do you grind the chia seeds first?  If so, measured ½ cup before or after grinding?  THANKS!

  15. Chia seeds sound like they pack a pretty big nutritional punch! However, you mentioned that they contain linoleic acid, which is the same acid known for increasing risk of skin cancer (as noted in another blog post of yours). So, what about that?

  16. Made the pudding…. reaction from the kids not so great.  It was very thick, and I guess we were all expecting a more pudding-like consistency.  I like it, though!  Mixed with some cut up fresh peaches and it was really yummy!

    If I use less chia seeds, will it come out a little less thick and chunky?

  17. I already eat chia in my morning smoothie and as a gel drink with juice!  Your comments about them being used to sustain warriors and runners, and during “endurance activities like running a 5K without training at all” got me thinking:  does anyone use chia gel during labor?
    I’m preggo now, so its on my mind…anyone use chia gel during labor or immediately before?  Might be good especially if I end up in a place (hospital) where they don’t let you eat or drink during…

  18. Hi from England, I’m an old-timer who looks after himself, can’t remember how I got here, but you made me go and buy chai seeds, I’ve chucked some in a cup of cocoa, cool.

  19. I add 1/4 cup of chia seeds to every 2 lb loaf of bread I make. No taste difference, adds the benefits and looks pretty too. I don’t soak or grind, just dump the seeds in the bread machine along with 1/4 cup flaxseed. Up here in Washington, we have Winco, a grocery store that carries a LOT of bulk foods, and chia seeds run about $8.50 per pound.

  20. I’ve been using Chia seeds for a week now and I love it!  I’m a convert!  I put in straight water and love it!  My husband thinks I’m crazy but he hasn’t tried it – too scared.  I put it in muffins, cereals, smoothies, it’s tasteless and for all these benefits, I’m forever hooked now!

  21. Does anybody know if you can pre-make/store the chia gel? Im a distance runner training for a marathon and I’d like to pre-make some gels to store and take on my long runs. Hoping I can make one big batch to divide and store away for the weeks to come.

    • I don’t think I’d make it that far in advance, but you could easily just toss the chia seeds into a bottle of water and shake. It would be ready in 5-10 minutes…

      • This works very well, been doing this every day for about 8 months now. Pretty tasteless. One tbsp to a 24-30 oz water bottle.

  22. How many carbs do they have in them? I am new to this blog and starting to follow the nutritional plan but also have been trying to stay under 80 carbs per day to lose weight.

    • They are relatively low. If you incorporate a tablespoon or so of chia seeds for energy during the day it shouldn’t have any effect on your carb count but should give you an energy boost…

      • Hi Felicia, I shop at Costco. Can you tell me what section of the store I can find the Chia Seeds? It may be that all Costco stores do not carry them. Thanks in advance.

    • If you don’t have a Costco near you, Walmart sales 4 16oz. packages for $32.74. I just bought some. Trying anything so I don’t have to have bariatric surgery. Hope this works.

    • I live in Memphis, TN and I see two people purchase the Chia Seeds from Costco. I searched online and could not find them. Did you actually purchase them in the store? Which section of the store can I find it.

  23. I use 15ml plastic centrifuge tubes to carry chia seeds on the go. They perfectly hold he amount of 1 tablespoon. I bought a pack of 10 on Amazon for $2.50.

  24. I’ve been using chia seeds in my smoothies for years. Back when I had a regular Oster blender, I had to use a coffee grinder to get them broken up. Now I have a blendtec (but a vitamix does the same) and I can just throw them in. For anyone new to them, remember that you need to add 10x water to chia seeds if you want the consistency of your beverage, etc. to stay the same. So if I add 1 tbsp of chia to my smoothie I add 10 tbsp of extra water or it will get THICK. There are also white seeds and black seeds. If you want to hide them from picky eaters, get the white ones for your lighter colored foods and dark for the dark. Even ground up the black ones look like pepper. Which is not appetizing in something sweet. I’ve only used them in raw foods bc I assumed that baking them would destroy nutritional value. Is that true? I also was told you get way more out of them if they are ground up instead of whole. True?

  25. I followed the link to the grain free crackers and tried the recipe. I didn’t have enough sunflower seeds so I topped it up with flax seeds. They are delicious and a really nice snack when you want something savory or salty. The thinner you can make them the better.

  26. Perhaps this was already mentioned, but I normally throw a tablespoon of seeds into my morning breakfast drink (Carnation Breakfast Essentials, powdered mix) mixed with skim or 1% milk. Tastes great! But make sure to shake it up before every sip cuz most of the seeds will rise to the top.

  27. I rented a place that had a Buddha statue out back. I think the statue was made out of concrete, and it was about 18″ tall. It was spring in western Oregon, which means it sprinkles almost every day. Anyway, I put a chia seed mix on his head, and he grew bright green hair.

    • Hahaha That is good! Thanks for the chuckle:) Thanks for your great advice and when to use and not, I agree with moderation and concerns:) The Wellness Mama does an excellent job on bringing us the information and then we decide:)

  28. Thank YOU! I have one more for you .. use it in the body if you wish. A friend told me to cover chia seeds in almond milk and add walnuts, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg and stevia. Place in the the refrigerator overnight. In the morning you will have a breakfast that tastes like egg custard. I LOVE it!

  29. I love chia seeds and have been using them for a while. One tip though. I take medication every morning for the ptsd I suffer from. When I started using chia seeds I took it in the morning also, but the chia seeds prevented my body from absorbing my medication and sent me into withdrawals. That was not pleasant! Now I take my medication in the morning and the chia seeds at lunch time and all is fine. Just something to be aware of 🙂

    • I take medication in the morning too, so the chia seeds may prevent my medication to be absorbed? I have to watch that, I have severe rheumatoid arthritis

      • I’m a pharmacist, and I’ve looked into this issue before. Not surprisingly, there is almost no information in drug or natural product databases on the effect of chia on medication absorption. There is some information, however, on the possibility that it could cause drug interactions based on the way many meds are metabolized in the liver (the CYP450 enzyme system).

        Bottom line is that if you can separate administration, I’d do that. Some meds are more finicky than others about being absorbed, so probably a lot of that possible effect will depend on the specific drugs you are taking.

        • To the pharmacist. I’m taking Synthroid , Metoprolol . Synthroid first thing in the morning on empty stomach. A hr later take the BP meds, Potassium. This is like 6-7 am staring medication. Is after 12 noon okay to put a tablespoon in my tea or juice lemonaide? Thanks if you can answer…

        • I don’t do well with dairy products. Terrible constipation. Cheese is my very favorite food. Now I can eat cheese again if I take the chia seeds with it. Chia is wonderful for the bowels.

  30. Could I be preparing these wrong? I got mine from the loose spice bins at the grocery store. They look like the ones in your pictures. Only when I put them in water they don’t do ANYTHING, not even when left overnight. I tried just putting them straight into some juice yo drink and they were SPICY!! I’m breastfeeding so I know my taste buds are very sensitive but there’s no way I could eat these alone! I also got a headache after drinking them. I tthought maybe I didn’t drink enough with them but I drink upwards of 150oz daily.
    Thoughts?

    • I doubt that chia comes in bulk. Chis is not spicey. And they always swell up in the first few minutes. Maybe you bought poppy seeds? Chia seeds and poppy seeds are about the same size, but chia is more grey in color, and a different shape, not round like poppy seeds.

      How was the bin labeled?

      • I get my chia seeds in bulk at my local co-op. Sounds like she may have confused them with something else.

          • A word to Chia lovers: just like birdseed, chia seed can come with Indian Meal Moth eggs (or perhaps other types) that will hatch and infest your cupboards, costing you everything – ridding them permanently is not easy!

            Advice online: place in freezer for a week before storage in a bugproof container (good advice for all seeds/flours etc) or store them long term in the fridge. No one wants the gory details of how I learned this painful lesson!

  31. If I could chia seed in my oatmeal before I cook it do I still get all the benefits as I would if I added the chia in after I cooked the oatmeal?

  32. Your site is great.. I am from the U.K. and live in Cyprus in Europe.. They do not have many stores for health food and the ones that do over charge. I found the jam recipe on http://www.chiativity.org I shall give it a try as soon as the strawberries are out. My daughter makes all of your recipes…

  33. Great info and tips!
    I have been making coconut flour pancakes and topping with a vanilla coconut milk chia pudding and warm strawberries. It is fantastic and super healthy. Reminds me of the Belgian waffles with whipped cream and sugar strawberries but a lot less calories and a lot more nutrients.

    I have bought the white chia seeds. I pretty much will sprinkle chia on anything. Pasta, stir fry, stew. Great in smoothies. I even sprinkle them on my omelets.

    I did read to be careful if you take blood pressure medicine because chia has been known to lower blood presure. Also if you eat the seeds dry always follow with plenty of water/ liquid. They will expand in your body.

  34. I added them to lemon soaked grain muffins when I realized I didn’t have any poppy seeds! They worked great! Tasted and felt like poppy seeds! 🙂

      • You should research what caffeine is unhealthy & harmful on many levels. First, it is addictive and causes withdrawal systems such as headaches. Excessive amounts of caffeine can cause severe brain problems, including seizures, for starters. (Neil Nedley, M.D., Proof Positive) It also increases risk of low birth weight in infants born to caffeine-consuming mothers, elevates blood pressure by 3-5mm Hg., stimulates excess stomach acid production & reflux causing severe heartburn. There is also evidence, research, that caffeine impairs the frontal lobe. There is more and more I could tell you about the dangers of caffeine consumption but since it is America’s drug of choice, most do not listen. Are there benefits to drinking caffeine? Maybe, but the dangers far outweigh any benefits.

        • Depends on the coffee as well. Not all coffes are created equal just like any other type of food. One espresso a day is actually recommended by a lot of cardiologists. I have really low blood preassure, no matter what I do/eat. The so called Turkish coffe is also a good option. Instant and decaff are bad, tho. Choosing a quality blend and moderation is the key.

    • If you either eat fat…or put fat in your coffee…it mitigates the negative effects of coffee. I use coconut oil in my coffee.

      There are both good and bad things about coffee. Fat takes away the bad. We should all eat good organic fats with every meal, such as coconut oil, organic butter, organic animal fats, and unheated olive oil. Certain vitamins are not absorbed well without fats. There are membranes on each cell that need fats/oils in order to pass through.

  35. After reading the comments, I noticed that no one mentioned using Organic Chia Seeds. I was told not to buy regular Chia seeds as there could be pecticides in them. I am losing two pounds a week and am having fun trying out new Chia recipes found on the internet!!

    • All chia is grown organically. Bugs are actually not attracted to the plant so pesticides are not needed in the growing process.

      • Lack of pesticides is not the only difference between organic and conventional growing. Whether or not synthetic fertilizer is used, and what the toxicity load of the soil is (like if chia is rotated with a crop that does have pesticides applied) can have a big impact on the healthfulness of a food, whether pesticides are applied directly during the growing season or not.

  36. I put them in my yogurt! But I am going to try some of your ideas, especially the meatballs and breading meat!! 🙂

  37. I found a recipe for chia seed jam. It’s amazing! and healthy! Just blueberries (or any fruit) chia seeds, and a little bit of organic maple syrup.

  38. I use chia seeds in my green smoothies, but never just as a drink or pick-me-up. I have RA and it may help with being tired a lot

  39. can I use regular juice and chia seeds? I have some apple and some cranberry juice that I would have to use up. So if I use one cup of juice I would have to add a tbsp of chia seeds.

  40. I was wondering if you would be willing to make this list printable? I never knew all the wonderful uses. Thank you so much for this!

  41. I was looking at something called Hungry for a change, and it talked about Chia Seeds, and like someone else said, I got here. I have read the post, and just laughed. I would love to talk to you Mama I really want to take the full advantage of the Chia Seed,, going to the health food store now to get some.

    • Well I went and purchased my Chia Seeds. I put 2 teaspoons in my mouth, and swallowed with water. OH my goodness. I think you should take the Chia Seeds before eating. LOL I am stuffed and full. Yes they get in the teeth, in the holes of your mouth, and gel up. LOL Not bad really. I am so shocked of the fullness I feel. Yes I see how you can loose a lot of weight.

  42. So do you need to drink extra water when consuming these? Won’t they absorb water once you eat them, leading to a dehydrating effect? I suppose if you soak them first in something, you don’t have to worry about this?

  43. I drink chia water every day. I make a gel out of it, take tablespoon of it and put it in water, and drink! It’s so good for your heart, your brain, and your skin and hair. it lowers your cholesterol.

  44. Every time I look up something healthy, nutritious and interesting, the best results come up on your blog without fail!

  45. I love your recipes, I have learn a lot here I didn’t know that the whole family could eat chia seeds. I thought it was only for weight loss purposes. Definitely going to try your recipes for the kids. I need to keep them full in the summer lol they want to eat at all times. Thanks!

  46. I soak a tablespoon of chia seed in a bottle of water and drink it over the day. Lots of great ideas for their in this article. Thanks.

  47. We actually use it to make jam. puree any fruit (berries and peaches work best) add some chia seeds about 3 tbsp. for 2 cups of fruit and put in fridge for 1 hr. Should be eaten within 1 week.

    • In making this jam, can you please tell me if you grounded the chia seeds before adding them to the pureed fruit? Thanks, Damodara

  48. I find this inconsistent – why are chia seeds okay but not quinoa? citing the Mayans as a “supposedly, they used this for…” reference doesn’t line up with your other anti-grain stance

    • I have a coffee farm in Nicaragua. The farm next to us raises Chia so I can purchase for about $1 per pound. I am taking 15 pounds back to the US when I go this week. Thanks for the interesting info.

  49. I mix them with any flavour of Oikos yogurt, usually honey or Key Lime, then I add berries, flax seeds, sliced almonds and a touch of water… Pretty much the same as overnight oatmeal minus the oats! Blueberry and Key Lime is my favourite!

  50. hi! love this post!!! i was just wondering how much chia seed you are allowed to consume per day. on mine it says: do not consume more than 15g. (btw i am from austria)
    what are the side effects and is it possible to gain weight if you dont eat less than before but just include them to your meals because of the protein&omega 3?
    thanks!!

  51. If you live near a wegmans i find thats the best price for them. bobs red mill chia seeds 1 lb for $8.49. One store by me was selling the same brand for over $13.

  52. I brought Quinoa and chia seed milk- do you think using this as a substitute for other milks would be too much in chia/quinoa based recipes? 🙂

  53. Take 1-2 Tbsp of chia and add them to a small food processor or your blender. Cover them with 3-6 Tbsp of juice (apple, pineapple, mango, whatever you’ve got) or coconut water and let them sit for 10-15 minutes. Then add several chunks of frozen banana and 1/4-1/2 tsp of powdered cinnamon. Blend – and voila, cinnamon-banana soft serve! You can also pop it into a suitable container and put this into the freezer until solid and it’s basically a sorbet. The pop-crunch of the chia seeds are so satisfying, and the cinnamon helps balance out the sugars in the banana when your body digests it.

    I also discovered that this makes a good base to cover mediocre sorbet. I bought an acai sorbet that was so boring, I didn’t want to finish it. But half of the boring sorbet and half of the chia-banana stuff mixed together fixed the blah taste and prevented waste at the same time.

    Another great addition to this? Dark chocolate sauce.

  54. Thanks for sharing, you are funny! In Mexico my mum use to put the seeds in her homemade lemonade- I think it is a very old tradition.. Now I get to know why! It would be very expensive to get those nutrients from salmon and blueberries. Cheers!

  55. I make an infusion of yerba mate and hibiscus flowers, sweeten it to taste, add chia seeds, and chill in the refrigerator. The resulting drink gives me incredibly long-lasting energy with no crash after. It is also delicious and refreshing.

    I suppose you could blend it to make it a bit more smooth, but I personally like texture of the hydrated chia seeds.

  56. I bought the ground chia seeds on accident can i still make smoothies and the other recipes that you posted? I’m new to using these so i need a lot of help. I was thinking about introducing ground chia to my toddler too.

  57. I have been making health shakes with kale, evoo, berries, bananas, skim milk, stevia, and greek yogurt. I’ve started adding my chia seeds and LOVE it! I got my bag for 79 cents at a bargain grocery store (bobs red mill brand) though LOL I love them so much, when I started looking around to buy them elsewhere they’re much more! I’m not surprised with what they do for you though. Worth every penny, no matter how many they are!

  58. If you grind up the chia seeds do you still use the same amount? For instance, if a recipe calls for 1T chia seeds will 1T of ground chia seeds work just the same? Thanks!

    • I’ve used them for years now, & measured the before/after grinding once, & was surprised that it’s the same.

  59. I have a family member that has a sensory disorder and can not tolerate certain textures but can swallow capsules. Would I be able to put the Chia Seeds in a capsule and he still get the benefits from the seeds?

  60. Katie, have you ever heard of special needs kids who have to avoid thin liquids (because of aspiration) using chia to thicken milk? Would love to know.

    • Oh my gosh, what a great idea! I’m an RN & have had to thicken liquids for high-aspiration risk patients many times, using a powder provided by the dietary dept. This would be soooo much healthier!!

  61. Aren’t chia seeds full of phytic acid? If so, how to get rid of that? I read somehwere you have to put them in water for like 20 minutes and rinse them of after and also get rid of the water itself to get rid of the phytic acid.

    But i just got into using these seeds and i just know about phytic acid since yesterday when i checked out your article about remineralizing the teeth and mouth.

    I’m a vegetarian and i think i have a vitamin D shortage and i have very sensitive teeth and a lot of cavities which i get easily. Ive been brushing non fluoride since for ever, my dentist says i need to start using fluoride, but i dont want to. I sent him the link to your website by the way. And since like half a year i have already been using coconut toothpaste, since yesterday i added the calcium magnesium plus vitamin d.
    But if i take too much of the phytic acid, my body wont even absorb the vitamins…

    .???

    • Chia seeds are very high in phytic acid.
      The marker for phytic acid is phosphorous.
      Seeds, nuts, and many grains are high in this.
      Nuts have extremely high phytic acid content.

      Phytic acid is called an “anti-nutrient”.
      It attaches to the important minerals and will prevent them from being absorbed into the body.

      Almonds: soak in a salty warm water solution for upto 24 hours.
      Almonds 8-12 hours.
      some people even replace water every 3-6 hours.
      After done there are two options:
      1) refrigerate and consume in less than 3-4 days.
      2) buy a dehydrator set at 105F and dry them out for 18-24 hours.
      this will extend shelf life of your healthier nuts and the low temp used to dry them out does not kill the valuable heat sensitive enzymes.

      The other option with almonds is to soak them until they sprout.
      The sprouting process uses us the phytic acid. Ive see sprouted almonds on sale for $15 to $20 a pound.

      Oats, quinoa, barley, over night in a slightly acid solution: 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Rinse then cook.

      Im really not sure what to do with Chia seeds. Maybe sprout them and put them in salad ?

      Soaking these seeds may be hard, especially the rising part. Might have to get a fine strainer. The gel that forms may make getting the phytic acid part out more difficult? Not sure about this one yet. Googling continues.

    • To Kevin: I’ve been making our own tooth powder for several months now, & both my husband & I have found that our teeth are less sensitive & are remineralizing well. Recipe: Mix equal parts of baking soda, finely ground SEA salt (unrefined!!), cinnamon, xylitol, & bentonite clay (if you have it on hand), & roll your toothbrush in it (give up toothpaste altogether; it contains glycerin, which coats teeth with a very slick layer that prevents true cleaning. Also fluoride is poisonous, not protective! It should be illegal). Optional for whitening: add activated charcoal (equal amt) — really! The charcoal absorbs different types of stain-producing pigments on teeth. I’ve found that after brushing with the black stuff, my toothbrush cleans up much better if I rinse my brush & mouth with water, then brush several strokes again with a little water in my mouth. Another tip for gingival cleaning: using a flat toothbrush, brush at a 45-degree angle into the gum tissue to clean into the gum line; this helps rapidly heal the tenderness & easy bleeding of unhealthy gums, & a bonus is a drastic reduction of foul morning breath- YAY. It also will very likely make plaque formation (or at least build-up) go way down, since it cleans it off daily.
      Dr. Joseph Mercola recommends a quality probiotic to help reduce the condition that contributes to plaque formation. I use all these methods & haven’t had to get my teeth cleaned in 12-13 years now.

  62. You can let them sit in water for a while & use a cotton ball to soak up some of the water & put it on your face after washing it & it makes your skin look GREAT! 🙂

  63. Just made up a yummy new recipe (that’s probably been done before but I’m proud anyway!) Chia seed, almond, cranberry and chocolate ‘truffles’ 😀

    100 grams Chia seed
    100 grams Almonds
    100 grams Dried cranberries
    100 grams Dark chocolate (100%)
    2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup or honey
    1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil

    Serves 10 😀

    • thanks for this recipe. sounds delicious. I cant have maple syrup or honey so I would substitute with stevia (not equal amounts of course) as stevia is so concentrated.

  64. Chia seeds came to my rescue. I used to eat one cup of berries per day in my greek yogurt until I learned I am allergic to dairy products. Now I mix them them with chia seeds and rice milk. Make it the night before. Yum and guilt free!

    BTW – Id be interested to know if anyone has found a lactose free yogurt on the market.

    • I have found the coop in concord, NH carries goat milk yogurt, assorted goat cheeses. The one that looks like feta cheese is great on salads. A blueberry coated soft cheese is tasty on GF crackers. They also have hard goat cheese, and a cream cheese textured one. They also carry a coconut ice cream with sugar or without, called OhSo Delicious. Hannaford’s in same city also carries goat milk products. One in particular is individually wrapped cheese sticks of semi-hard cheese, which is great to grab and go. When visiting in Texas, I found a health food store that ordered some of the products I could not find anywhere. but had to wait a week for them to come in. Brands to look for are Redwood Hill Farm, Chevrine, MontChevre, and Montchevree. I have a glutin, dairy, egg, and sugar allergy. Have just discovered chia as egg substitute. I have tried various milk substitutes but find coconut milk the tastiest, especially the chocolate which I used to make a chocolate cake that was delicious. which was frosted with whipped topping,verylight, low sugar. I add color to small patches and use a small knife blade to “paint” flowers etc on the top. Can’t stand the after-taste of stevia but my health dr advised me to use xylitol, an alcohol sweetener with no side effects unless one pigs out on the sweetened foods, has no after taste, and is exchanged 1 to 1 in recipes. Main drawback is larger grains do not cream well. They must be desolved in heated liquids in recipe. No biggy.It works for me. Hope this has been helpful. Elli

    • Real yogurt uses up nearly all the lactose in the fermentation process. Lactose-intolerant folks can usually still tolerate yogurt. Make sure what you’re buying contains several strains of live, active cultures. Better yet, make your own – it’s a lot less costly, & easy. Plus, if you drain it to make greek yogurt (yum), since the whey doesn’t contain any lactose at all, you can consume that too — full of protein & probiotics. I use it to soak my chia seeds daily (first in a little water, then adding the whey), & for protein drinks. No waste & so good for you. A bonus:if you love other dairy products too but can’t tolerate them (such as sour cream), Greek yogurt is a great substitute for making dips, dressings, toppings, etc. if you decide to try making your own, I’ve found the best way to drain it is to line a large mesh strainer with several basket-style coffee filters, then scoop the fresh (still warm) yogurt in & let it drain — doesn’t take very long, & the whey drains clear. Hope this is helpful to you.

  65. Thank you for posting! I ordered some chia seeds, and can’t wait for them to arrive so I can try the energy drink, crackers, and pudding!

  66. I heard that one should stop taking chia seeds after 12 weeks of use. But I was not told when you start taking it again. Any comment?

  67. I love soaking the chia seeds with almond milk (or other non dairy milk) to form a gel then blending with frozen fruit. Add some honey or agave nectar if you’d like the sweeten. It makes a great smoothie that can be used as a meal replacement or for extra energy throughout the day! 🙂 The seeds are barely noticed when drinking through a straw (almost like strawberry seeds.) So easy I make most of mine with a magic bullet!

  68. Hi,
    I’ve wanted to chia seeds for a long time, but textures of certain things bother me and of course the gel is WAY beyond my comfort zone! What are some options? Also, I was told by several people that you aren’t to eat the seeds without soaking them, but it sounds like you frequently do that?? Please help… 🙂

  69. I’m a little sick today and as I was about about to drink a cup of milk I remembered that it may increase mucus, (I heard this, though not so sure), so I found this information here if chia seeds good in calcium, I read it in the store, but wanted to double check. Thanks Katie, I found more info

  70. I buy my bulk organic/non-GMO chia seeds from Nuts.com for $11.63/lb. I usually buy the 5lb bag and it lasts quite a while. They have the best price for the quality that I have been able to find and their shipping is AMAZINGLY quick! I ordered on Tuesday afternoon and they were on my door step Wednesday afternoon with their standard shipping option. LOVEEEE them and their products!

  71. The chia seed gel can be made and stored in the fridge in an air tight container or jar for up to 2-3 weeks. Didn’t know if that was in all this awesome info or not! 🙂

  72. I love putting my chia seeds in my daily lemon water:
    1 freshly pressed organic lemon and 1 Tbsp of chia seeds on an 8oz glass of water.

  73. I just started using chia seeds and I like to put them in all my hot cereals including oatmeal. I also top my spinach salad with them as well.

  74. My husband baught 4 large 8 month supply of the chia gold 100% chia seeds. I lpoked up a couple of healthy smoothie recipes to include with our workout routine. I can’t wait to try it for weight loss. Going through perimenopause sure puts a damper on wearing cute clothing from the weight gain.
    My daughter is 26 and wod love to try it for the health benefits. I am adding fruits to my grocery list.

  75. I like to put about 2-3 tablespoons in my yogurt cup every morning for breakfast, the more you add the thicker it becomes. Its a great way to hold you between breakfast and lunch as the seeds expand in your stomach. It makes the yogurt taste better and being that its Greek yogurt, it adds to the protein intake!!

  76. For the pudding, are you making it with coconut milk or coconut water? I was about to try your recipe until I realized that with coconut milk 1 cup of pudding would contain about 700 calories and 50g of saturated fat, which seems sort of the opposite of healthy.

  77. Hi – I am desperately trying to find out how to activate chia, and other small seeds like sesame, flax and poppy. I really don’t want to replace one set of toxins (legumes, grains etc) with another lot (unactivated seeds and such like)

    Thank you.

  78. I believe chia seeds are very high in phytic acid. With other seeds or nuts they can be soaked overnight and rinsed off in the morning which gets rid of a lot of the phytic acid.

    This isn’t possible with chia seeds as it gels when soaked so the water can’t be rinsed off.

    What is your take on this, Wellness Mama?

  79. I love GT’s Kombucha Synergy with chia seeds, which I started drinking when I heard the chia gel was good for detoxing your system. I recently started making my own Kombucha (trying to save the $4 a day!) and bought chia seeds to add to it, but the gel coating on the seeds is a small fraction of the volume of the ones that come in the store bought drink. I add a few tablespoons to each bottle before I put it in the fridge (after the second fermentation) but even after a few days they just aren’t very gelled. Am I doing something wrong? Did I buy inferior seeds/is there a brand that I should look for? The brand I got is called Spectrum Essentials and was about $8 for 12 oz. Thanks!

  80. Katie, I have been reading that Chia Seeds aren’t so good as they contain phytic acid. The problem is that with other seeds and nuts (Almonds for example) these can be soaked overnight and rinsed off in the morning thereby reducing the phytic acid.

    This can’t be done with chia seeds as they become a gel if soaked. What is you take on this?

    I have been using every day in a smoothie but don’t know what to do now.

  81. I noticed that when I eat Chia seeds they come out (you know what I’m talking about)) just the way they entered, as a little black seed. So I’m wondering if the nutrients being absorbed from them if they weren’t ground before consuming? Thank you.

  82. Let me add a recipe for Chia Seeds.

    Chia seeds coconut jaggery sweet balls

    Ingredients
    1 cup chia seeds
    4 cups coconut water
    2 cups of grated coconut
    1 cup jaggery or less as per choice
    nut meg powder 1/4 tsp
    Nuts as per chioce – I prefer walnut pieces and almonds

    Method
    1. Soak chia seeds in coconut water and wait till fully fluffed up and all water is absorbed.. Now use a thick pan and place chia seeds, grated coconut and jaggery, nutmeg powder and nuts ( preferably grated or very small pieces for easy melting) and put on a slow flame Allow the mixture to cook, keep stirring while it cooks. it should take aout 15 minutes to form into a thickened mixture. Take it down from the stove.
    allow it to cool for a while and form into small balls while it is warm. It is a very tasty and healthy sweet ( sweetness can be adjusted by varying the quantity of jaggery) sans sugar. I have often rolled these balls in pistachio almond powder to give it dry and attractive look apart from adding to food value.

  83. Would the chia gel help keep “ice pops” from getting rock hard? I tried making my own coconut milk-sicles & they got ice-cube hard. Also thinking of making my own fruit bars since the commercial ones are expensive, too sugary, etc. Have issues with corn syrup, so thinking of chia gel as an ingredient. Thoughts?

  84. I love chia seeds! I make chia seed pudding instead of tapioca pudding or rice pudding (rice is one of my allergies).

    I also can’t have egg yolk, and I prefer chia seed egg replacer over flax meal egg replacer. I don’t even grind the seeds—just use 1 T chia seed + 3 T water, stir & let sit for a few minutes, then mix in.

    I even managed to get my mother’s chocolate chip cookie recipe the right taste AND texture using chia seeds, raw sugar, and molassas instead of eggs and brown sugar. 😀

  85. Thank you so much for the chia seeds info
    I came on line because I am mid 40’s gaining weight like crazy on the stomach area
    realized a whey protein powder with stevia was contributing to the problem big time

    For me it is about satisfaction not just feeling full. I just made a shake/smoothie with ground flax seed milk chia seeds and a bit of vanilla pudding powder wow I am happy already
    I will be using chia seeds in my oatmeal this is too yummy.
    alia

  86. Love them…usually just put in flavored water….drink all day long…and people are always looking at my bottle ‘funny’ wondering what is floating….lol….
    I will use them forever…. : )

  87. For the gel does the coconut water need to be cold first? And does the gel go in the refrigerator?

  88. I just like them in my water. I’ve never liked drinking plain water and discovered chia seeds. I especially like to put my water bottle in the freezer for a little while and get it a bit icy. The seeds make a kind of crunchy gelly texture. They make drinking water fun! In the past few weeks I’ve drank way more water than usual. I do believe they make me pee more though, and that’s not just from the increase in water consumption.

  89. great tips! i’ve been using chia for my breakfast. one recipe you could get onto:

    when cooking oatmeal (or any type of hot cereal, I use half oatmeal, half muesli mix), add a generous amount of chia, around 1 tbsp. it will thicken the cereal and gives it a lovely texture. I top it off with some yogurt and fresh fruit. yum! of course, double or quadruple the amount for more people you feed.

  90. I found your blog when I searched for more ways to incorporate chia in my diet. Before I even got tothe list I was impressed! You are one of the few I have seen that cite sources and can write! It was a breath off fresh of air reading this post! And thanks for all the great suggestions!

  91. I put them in chicken and dumplings to thicken them up and noticed a day later everyone who ate it had to RUN to the bathroom. Is it due to the fiber content?

  92. I believe chia seeds are very high in phytic acid. With other seeds or nuts they can be soaked overnight and rinsed off in the morning which gets rid of a lot of the phytic acid.

    This isn’t possible with chia seeds as it gels when soaked so the water can’t be rinsed off.

    What is your take on this, Wellness Mama?

  93. Never eat chia seeds dry. Because they can absorb a lot of liquid, they can easily obstruct the airway while in transit from mouth to gut. Plenty of people have ended up in the emergency room eating chia seeds dry. It’s a dangerous thing to do.

  94. i make this everyday and want to share: variation of …. 1-2 scoops chia with 2 scoops of hemp seeds added to coconut milk either alone or with a little Kefer or organic yogurt … then add frozen blueberries or whatever fruit on hand ( organic fresh strawberries ) … i take that to work and at work for a mid morning snack i add sliced organic apple and banana and some organic granola – losing weight, not tired or hungry until maybe supper time … i do the Himalayan Sole with ACV in the morning on an empty stomach too though – will try it in cooking too now!!! thanks

  95. Hi, I really enjoy chia seeds & would like to consume them regularly if they’re healthy. I noticed that a number of people have asked about phytic acid and ways to neutralize it, since chia seeds are hydrophilic. Do you have any suggestions or comments? I realize people have to do their own research, but there’s a lot of conflicting information out there.

    Personally, I think the whole phytic acid thing is part truth and part scaremongering – in moderation, it’s actually beneficial. But I still wonder whether some of the calcium and zinc in chia seeds are bound & not absorbed by the body, especially since I currently don’t tolerate dairy.

    Do you have any links to studies that indicate how much we actually digest?

  96. I too would like to know about the phytic acid if Wellness Mama could respond and enlighten those of us who may not be fully informed (or anyone else that has credible info). I notice a lot of people are rasing this concern and there is no response to this. I guess I will continue my research. It’s so hard to know what to believe…..here we think we are doing something good for our bodies and our children’s, and then we find out it could be damaging……..so overwhelming sometimes!

    • From my research, the phytic acid in chia seeds is not as high as many sources and because of its structure in chia seeds, it is not as likely to affect the body. my take is to consume them in moderation and as part of a very nutrient rich diet.

      • My husband and I were installing some new fencing…looked around and our 2 big dogs were gone. Then we knew that they had gone to the creek where they love to swim…and the Salmon are spawning. Which means that the dogs can get the bad bacteria that the ocean Salmon have when they swim in fresh water.

        So when we got them home I fed each big dog some dry chia seeds with hamburger, hoping to absorb the toxic bacteria. This bacteria on raw Salmon has killed many dogs. Cooking kills this bacteria.

        For the next several days, I will feed these big dogs the chia in the morning, and give them a Monolaurin capsule in the evening. I don’t want the Monolaurin being absorbed by the Chia seeds.

        FYI: Monlaurin kills all bacterias and 14 viruses. We live in the middle of nowhere, and it’s an hour’s drive to Vets and Doctors. I actually cured my first (and only) bout of Diverticulitis with Monolaurin taken 3 times a day for about 2 weeks. My doctor was amazed. Usually people go to the hospital. I eaten way too much cheese, my very favorite food. Now I never eat cheese w/out chia seeds.

  97. Thank you for sharing all of these chia seed ideas! I just bought some for the first time with no idea what to do with them. I really want to make the energy drink but can’t find the recipe on this page. Where is it? Please help! Thank you.

  98. Chai seeds are wonderful. I do have to caution about having dry chia seeds or powder. When ingested dry they actaully absord water/fluids in the stomach. For people with problems with dehaydration its good to ingest them gelled or even in smoothies and other forms where they are not dry.

  99. I like using chia seeds in my morning drink. I throw in about two tablespoons into a mixture of vinegar and water. My favorite variation so far has been to use cranberry vinegar; the chia gel soaks in a lot of the tartness 🙂

  100. i have a gingerbread cake im really wanting to make for christmas tomorrow but it asks for 2 tbsp cornstarch… it also has flax in it already an almond flour. could i substitute 2 ground up tbsp for the cornstarch? any other suggestions?

    • I use Mrs Wright’s dried potato from Costco for gravies, soups, stews, puddings, etc…or I grate up a raw potato really fine (organic from my garden).

      I always use lots of butter whenever eating the (rare) white rice or potatoes because the fat significantly slows down the conversion of rice/potatoes into sugar in the body.

      Never corn starch or flour anymore.

      • Thanks Obie…I could have written this article. I do the same thing with Mrs Wrights instant potatoes…except now I worry about GMO potatoes. I didn’t know there was such a thing as GMO potatoes until I read “Seeds of Deception”. Scariest book I ever read.

        We do grow our own potatoes that we leave in the soil for winter. So we now grate with a fine grater our own potatoes.

        Right on about using a lot of fat (butter, etc) w/white rice and potatoes. Slows down the starch from going right to the blood/sugar.

  101. A friend just shared with me how she uses chia seeds in tea a couple months ago. I forget if it was hot or cold, but was interesting. She said it was like salmon roe (eggs) or cavier – I forget which, I’ve never had either, and don’t plan to try either. I thought it was more like drinking a jellyfish – never have done that either, and don’t plan to do that, either.
    So while at the store tonight, split peas were on the list to get to re-fill that container. And that was the one thing they were out of in the bulk container dispensers.
    Nearby was the dispenser for chia seeds.
    So… needless to say – my countertop split pea container is now a chia seed container, and I ended up here while searching for what to do with them.
    Thanks for all your info.
    As I’ve been searching for more things to DIY the past year, your site is one I keep ending up at.
    So chia seed sprouts – I got a tablespoon of them wet, and put them on a small plate. If I keep wetting them a couple times per day for a couple days – can I then use those sprouts in my juicer?

    • Wow… this site seemed so sincere, and yet it’s a fricken scam.
      Thank you – I’m now even more careful on what I trust.

      • I don’t really understand how you think my site is a scam or how this is at all relevant to gina’s comment about split peas and trying to learn to use chia seeds. (To answer Gina’s question- I’m not sure about juicing them… I have not tried or researched that). I’m also not sure why you think that my post about chia seeds leads you to not trust me… but if chia seeds are untrustworthy in your book… you might want to find another blog to read.

  102. FYI: I did read an article of a man who ate dry Chia seeds which caused an emergency for him. His throat could not take the expansion of the chia when they stuck in his throat. I’ve eaten them dry and never had a problem. Just use sense about it. Little at a time.

    I use chia in my bread making (sourdough) to keep my bread moist longer. We use Chia mostly though for putting in our fermented Water Kefir. We ferment the water kefir first, then add a tablespoon of chia. Water Kefir ferments faster than Milk Kefir and ya don’t have to buy milk. I flavor the water kefir with 1 organic fig, half a Persimmon, and lime juice in with a gallon of sugar water, w/the water kefir grains. I bought the water kefir grains to use in place of Milk Kefir. It’s hard to get Organic milk where we live.

  103. I take about a tsp or two of chia seed, throw it in a blender with some berries, and some honey, blend it all together, and throw it in the fridge and have jam that I know exactly what went into it.

  104. Nice call on the breadcrumb replacement! I’ve tried millet as a substitute which works well, but I’m curious to try them with chia seeds.

  105. Wow!! I just found this site by googling “how do you use chia seeds?” and have been reading your post and all the comments for the last hour!! I’m VERY impressed Katie, both with your knowledge and your writing skills. I’ve been extremely sick with sarcoidosis and diabetes (to name just a couple of my many ailments) and have doubled my weight in the last ten years. I’m desperate to lose weight, even though the weight management doctor told me not to expect to lose much because “you gained weight because you’re sick” and wouldn’t even consider bypass surgery. I’ve been in a wheelchair for the last four years and want to regain my health, so I will be bookmarking your site and referring to it often (I also signed up for your e-mails and am about ready to pin this site to my Pinterest page). Thank you SO much Katie!!
    ,

  106. The first time I tried these, I used one of your pudding recipes. I ate maybe one-half a cup and within half an hour I was unbelievably nauseous, sweating and had this odor coming out of me (and in my sweat) that was really weird. I don’t know if my body is so toxic because I’ve been sick for so long and am on a lot of medications that I just couldn’t handle it or what happened. I would love any kind of advice because I have gotten a Nutrition Bullet and want to use other seeds (like Hemp), but don’t want the same thing happening. I did try just eating a teaspoon of the pudding the following day, but even with that, I still had that strange odor permeating my entire body.

    Thanks,

    Paula

    • You have to start small with chia seeds – I learned this hard way. I started with a tablespoon in a cup of coconut water (delicious, by the way), and within the hour I was so bloated I felt disgusting. After hunting around the internet a bit, I found several sites that said I should be starting with like a half a teaspoon. I cut down the amount to half a teaspoon, and that did the trick! No more tummy bloat or aches. I’m up to a teaspoon now with success. Good luck!

    • You can definitely add them to water. They don’t really have a flavor. The texture might throw you but it’s easy to get used to.

  107. We usually use 50% Hemphearts and 50% chia with coconut milk for our breakfast instead of oatmeal. Add cinnamon and nutmeg, toasted almond slivers or sunflower seeds, a little salt and enjoy. Can mash in an aged banana for sweetness. ONE new thing, I made the usual mixture, but used less milk so is more like pancake batter. Then spoon dollops into a frying pan with melted coconut oil. It will pop a little like popcorn at first (don’t do this in the nude), so it can be messy on the stovetop, but the result is a crispy crunchy pancake-like cracker that I have been missing since going Paleo.

  108. I am interested to know how much impact chia seeds have on blood glucose levels. Amylase is contained in the saliva (in the mouth). The amylase is the first step in breaking down starch, this happens before carbohydrate reaches the stomach. however there is also pancreatic amylase which breaks down starch in the small intestine. I can see how it would slow the digestion of disaccharides as the enzymes for their digestion are only produced in the small intestine. Do you know how much chia impacts on digestion of starch, may be a good food for diabetics?

  109. Thanks for all the research you do and sharing your knowledge with all of us. After reading about all of the wonderful nutrients that Chia Seeds provide, should I still take additional supplements. I take so many and would like to eliminate some of them from my diet. Thanks

  110. I have made chia “puddings” in the past and it was easy but the last few times I tried they did not gel. I do not know what I did wrong-just added a few teaspoon full of seeds to a cup or so worth of coconut milk. Nothing happened after a whole day. Any ideas?

  111. Yummy Chia Breakfast Cereal
    2 Tbsp. Chia Seeds
    2 packets Stevia (or 1 stevia & 1 Splenda)
    3 drops vanilla flavored stevia
    1/2 tsp. coriander
    1 or 2 shakes salt
    1 egg yolk
    1/4 C. heavy cream (if your doing low carb) or 1/4 C. coconut milk
    1/2 C. warm water

    Place 1/2 C water in bowl. (I use a 1 pint canning jar for my cooking bowl.) Warm in microwave for 1 min. Mix in with fork, chia seeds, stevia, salt, and Coriander. Let sit for 10 min. or so to let chia seeds thicken.(One receipt recommends letting your chia thicken in the fridge overnight. I just don’t think about breakfast the night before.) While chia is thickening, in a separate small bowl, thoroughly mix egg yolk into your milk or cream. When chia mixture is thick enough, add your egg/cream mixture and stir everything together. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir again. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Place in serving bowl and enjoy.
    You can change the flavoring spices to suit your taste buds. Be adventuresome. Have fun. This is the best breakfast concoction I have ever eaten. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

  112. I’ve been searching everywhere, please, can anyone answer about soaking seeds? Chia seeds gel when soaked so how do you get the phytic acid off? 🙁
    Also, after soaking almonds do you have to take the skin off too, or does that take away some nutrients? Any seed and nut soaking welcome :))

  113. You know I recently realized that, while not so long ago, if I wanted to learn something new about some food item I would just go and type the name in the google search bar, now I type ‘wellness mama’ followed by the food name, just to see if you had something to say about it in the past 🙂 Chapeau!

  114. I have that question as well, I just had someone tell me not to give it to my kids as it’s blood thinning and lowering blood pressure. I can’t find any solid info on that, but obviously I don’t want to harm my kids. Any info on that?

  115. I am curious about controversial info on the health benefits of chia seeds. According to this blog I found, although on paper chia seeds appear to be full of nutrients, most of them cannot be absorbed because of its antinutrient acids found in most seeds/nuts/grains. Also the gel effect from the soaked chia seeds actually impair digestion and contribute to the “leaky gut”. Here is the article…
    http://thepaleodiet.com/seed-fatty-acid-composition/

    Any thoughts?

    • Elizabeth, did you happen to see the amount of grams people were ingesting in the study stated from the link you posted? It is 50g per day! Wow, that’s a lot! My bag of chia seeds states a serving size is 1 Tablespoon (15g). I don’t eat more than that in one day. Everything in moderation, I say.

      Also, I have vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels), specifically HSP. Luckily, the kind I have only affects my skin (hives) from heat or pressure, mostly. I have not noticed any adverse effects from eating chia seeds – I don’t get more hives from eating them. In fact, now that I think of it, about 3 or 4 months ago is when I started eating chia seeds (given to me by my mother, white Salba Chia Seeds). I was adding a teaspoon to my oatmeal in the morning and a teaspoon to my yogurt as a snack – letting them sit for about 10 minutes to “gel”. I drink more water throughout the day, too. About a month ago I ran out of chia seeds and forgot to purchase more. I remember a few months ago not having ANY hives at all from my vasculitis. And, about a month ago they seem to have been flaring up more, so now I’m wondering if the chia seeds were actually benefiting me. I just ordered more Salba Chia Seeds, and I’ll see if they help.

      For anyone out there that mentioned taking medication while eating chia seeds, I always eat my chia seeds during work hours (usually no later than 2pm) and always take my medications before bed and vitamins with dinner.

      Hope this helps!

      • UPDATE…

        Since I’ve been eating chia seeds again – not every day, only Monday through Friday – I have noticed that I haven’t had many flare-up of hives from my Vasculitis. I don’t know if it truly is from eating chia seeds, but it hasn’t hurt either.

        I was talking to my mother about her experience with chia seeds. She told me about her bloodwork from a routine annual doctor visit. She said that her cholesterol has gone down, and the only new thing she introduced to her diet was chia seeds. She only eats a teaspoon a day in yogurt. She also takes a teaspoon of coconut oil every day. I asked her which one – chia seeds or coconut oil – she thought helped to lower her cholesterol. She said she thinks it’s the chia seeds. Now, I am not stating that it will lower everyone’s cholesterol; but, in my mother’s case she believes it did for her. I’ll see if that kind of benefit happens to me.

  116. I’ve read everywhere that chia seeds do contain Omega3 oil but only the ALA kind which it seems is only useful when the body converts it into EHA or DHA. Also the conversion rate appears to be very low and slow. Some say the phytic acid content alone is reason enough to stay away from chia seeds. Can you provide info on studies done on chia seeds that support your decision to add them to your families diet. I have read the Weston Price study but I am looking for other studies done that might examine this from other concerned health perspectives. I have read a few health bloggers over the last couple years and they all seem to reference only one source for all their information: the Weston K Price Foundation. While reputable in its own right, one study doesn’t seem to convince me to consider them a healthy addition to my family’s diet.

  117. Great article! We keep chia seeds in an old cinnamon canister. That makes them super-convenient for sprinkling and stirring into yogurt, oatmeal, and many other dishes. My husband usually uses some at the dinner table.

  118. After research best I can. Uses & the phytic acid (anti-nutrient). If you’re looking to get all the great minerals from Chia seeds, you probably won’t as the Phytic acid binds to most of them. And, even the protein may be inhibited during the process. Even protein probably won’t be absorbed.

    If you’re eating with a meal, this could be problematic due it inhibiting absorption. Yet, the good news is that it only affects what currently being digested. Meaning it won’t affect you’re next meal (if no chia seeds involved or right before). You’ll definitely want meals, especially protein & veggies, without chia seeds in order to get the nutrients.

    Chia’s Omega 3’s are very very very low in absorption (almost nil) so don’t count on chia to get what Omega 3’s your body really needs. Eat wild caught fish/salmon or take cod/fish/krill oil supplements.

    So here’s the top reasons of when I will & won’t use Chia seeds.

    1) Won’t – put chia in my morning smoothie. I put all my supplements/protein/greens in that 1st drink of the day. I need to absorb everything possible. No reason to throw money out the door trying to get nutrition/minerals/supplements/protein and not have it absorb.

    2) Won’t – eat with normal daily meals of vegetables & protein.

    3) Will – bake or eat with meals of high starch content (think pastas/potatoes/bread) – (chia blocks absorption of carbs and slows down the blood sugar spikes – yeah!) or, drink water w/chia right before.

    4) Will – bake or eat with desserts (think heavenly cake or ice cream) – we all deserve a treat now and again ; ) or, drink water w/chia right before.

    5) Will – drink in water w/lemon or your beverage of choice 1.5 to 2 hours after/before a meal. It will satisfy my stomach until next meal and help to eat healthful portions (rather than gouging my food down because I’m so hungry). Sorry I grew up in a big family and you had to eat fast if you were going to get everything before it was gone. I know I’m working on it ; )

    6) Will – enjoy the anti-oxidant benefits; without suffering from the anti-nutrients effects.

    7) Will – enjoy the fiber, energy and possible vitamin benefits.

    NOTE: Not too much – start small 1/2 tsp, then 1 tsp, then up to 1 tbls at a time. Probably best to not have more than 2 Tbls in a day and enjoy days off. As with anything balance / shift / re-balance.

    Yes, in days of old, they used it for energy and endurance (only when they needed to go out and hunt or find new living quarters). Even then they did not eat them every day (it wasn’t a staple per say, but a go-to food when necessary and as needed).

  119. I read a post concerning a man who suffered a blockage in the small intestines due to eating chia seeds without sufficient water.

    Would you please advise if this is a problem and if you soak chia seeds will this overcome that problem. Also how much soaked chia should one take?

  120. I am a home-made bread maker and I’m surprised that there hasn’t been any mention of using Chia seeds – I add them to most of my breads either in the mixes or I brush the bread or rolls with melted butter then sprinkle Chia seeds on top.

  121. Sorry if someone already mentioned it as there are a ton of comments and I don’t have time to go through them all!!

    As far as using chia as an egg substitute, what kind of food does it work best with?

  122. Hi
    I love Chia seeds and an eating 1 Tbsp Every Day in My smoothie. Is it bad to eat them Day?
    Best wishes Susanne

  123. Is it okay to consume chia seeds when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding? Is it okay to have kombucha with chia seeds when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding?

  124. As Chia seeds are relatively expensive I am hesitant to use them in cooking bc I worry that they might lose lots of their nutritional benefits when heated. Do you know how much of their potential they lose when used in cooking/baking? Thanks.

  125. I’ve read some of the earlier comments about chis seeds being bad for you. Unfortunately , often, the nay sayers on these sites are actually paid by big pharma to make these negative comments. Just sayin.

  126. My favorite uses of Chia Seeds
    1) In water – it makes the water taste like the freshest, cleanest water I have ever tasted. It’s amazing!
    2) Make a berry freezer/frig jam (Blueberries or strawberries or ???) with no sugar or pectin
    2 Cups berries (of choice)
    1/4 cup Honey or Agave Nectar (or substitute 4 to 5 packets to taste of Stevia to make sugar free)
    1 Vanilla bean caviar – or 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
    2 Tbls. Chia seeds

    Put berries, honey and vanilla bean caviar in pan and simmer on medium heat until soften (or bursting) for apx. 5 minutes (stir often). When soft enough, mash or use immersion blender to mix to consistency you want for the berries. Add Chia Seeds and cook on low for another 10 minutes until thickness of jam. Let cool. Scoop into small canning jar or plastic container.

    Best think is you can adjust after cooking if you want it more sweeter or add more chia seeds if you want it thicker. Many recipes I saw said to add Maple Syrup, but I feel it just overtakes the taste of the berry and doesn’t taste natural.

  127. I MAKE MY OWN CHIA GEL AND HAVE IT EVERY MORNING! ABOUT 1 TBSP/ SHOULD I BE HAVING MORE ON A DAILY BASIS? ALSO DOES IT CAUSE FLATULENCE AND DIZZINESS?

    • I’ve been consuming chia gel everyday for as long as I can remember. 1 tbsp every morning, like you. So far it has not caused flatulence or dizziness so I doubt it will. Of course, everything in moderation.

  128. Want to add something in your kid diet; muffins will help you for that add healthy items in muffins will reach their health.

  129. I love this article. And one more thing I want to know I heard that chia seeds are dangerous blocking the intense wall, Is it true??

  130. I shared some of my seeds with my mother and, after reading about a few bad side-effects, I had second thoughts
    and advised her not to consume any more until she heard back from me.
    My concern is that last year she had two surgeries at one time (stomach area) and is still feeling the effects of that.
    She’s always had severe digestive problems and presently has a large hernia that must come out. also a tumor on her lung.
    And……she is 90 years old.
    If there’s a chance in a million that the seeds would harm her in any way, I must know about it.
    Please write and let me know if you know anything. Please, no opinions. Just the facts.
    Thanks so much.
    Sincerely,
    Karyn

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