Chia seeds, extracted from the flowering plant in the mint family called Lamiaceae, are native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala. According to the archeological findings, these seeds are one of the oldest and were consumed by the people of Central America even around 3500 BC. Some historical evidences also suggest that they were cultivated by the Aztec civilization in the pre-Columbian times. Today, Chia seeds are cultivated worldwide and are a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids and essential minerals such as phosphorus, manganese, calcium, potassium, and sodium. Known for their subtle nutty taste, Chia seeds have been popularized as “super food” by many health experts. They are eaten in many different ways: raw, cooked in puddings and porridges, soaked in juice, and in baked goods including breads, cakes, and biscuits. But as they say “too much of everything is bad”, Chia seeds too, along with multiple health benefits, come with side effects, albeit less. If not cared for, these side effects can cause allergies, increase risk of potentially dangerous diseases, and other problems. So, before you include them in your diet, it’s recommended that you go through the following section that throws light on some of the possible side effects of Chia seeds. 

Chia Seeds Side Effects

  • Since Chia seeds are known to lower the blood pressure, they may deprive the brains and organs of oxygen and other nutrients in people who chronically have a blood pressure that is lower than normal. This lack of oxygen may even send them to a state of shock, and possible death.
  • As with any other new food, Chia seeds too can trigger allergic reactions to an at-risk individual causing swelling of tongue or mouth, headaches, and other problems like difficulty in breathing, addictive effects, diarrhea, skin rashes, and watery eyes. These problems vary from person to person, with some individuals not having any allergic reaction at all.
  • People who are prone to frequent gastric troubles may suffer from stomach disruptions, a bloated stomach, intestinal bloating, and other stomach-related problems such as flatulence at the hands of Chia seeds because of the high fiber content.
  • Since Chia seeds are a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids that have the potential to thin the blood, they can thin the blood to an alarming level in those people who are taking blood thinners or are hemophiliacs. Those planning a surgery or are on aspirin treatment should avoid consumption of Chia seeds.
  • The consumption of Chia seeds makes one feel very full and it’s very likely that this feeling of being full may make them consume less food and water thereof, leading to loss of energy and possible weight loss if it continues to go on regularly. However, it is a good option for those looking to shed some weight off the belly.
  • According to the Netherlands’ Wageningen Centre for Food Sciences, excessive consumption of Chia seeds may increase the risk of prostate cancer in men.
  • Chia seeds are known to contain vitamin B 17 in large quantities. As such, possible side effects of Chia seeds can include an overdose of phytonutrients for people who are already taking B 17 supplements as well as consuming chia seeds.
  • Since the researches in the field of Chia seeds and pregnancy are fairly inconclusive, pregnant and lactating mothers are advised not to include Chia seeds in their diet. 

Now that you know that even Chia seeds aren’t all good and can cause harm when consumed heavily, keep a tab on your intake to reap the benefits that the seeds come along with.