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Is it safe to eat Chia seeds during Pregnancy?

Every pregnant and postpartum mother tries her best to do enough homework to include as many superfoods as possible, to make sure she and her baby are as healthy as possible. These are some of the most stressful and demanding times a woman can face in her life. While going through numerous resources, chia seeds are something that pops up very often. While it is a well-known fact that these seeds are a proven superfood, women are still a bit skeptical about whether it is safe to consume chia seeds during pregnancy?

Chia seeds, also known as Salvia hispanica (Spanish for “oily”), are the edible seeds of the mint family member Salvia hispanica. Chia seeds are produced by drying the flowers of the chia plant. They are high in fiber and have become increasingly popular in recent years as healthy food. As a staple food, chia seeds were believed to boost energy and stamina among the Aztecs.

Please do have a look wide variety of products prepared using Chia Seeds:

Nuts and Seeds Mix – Breakfast Cereal/ Snack Munchkin

Chia seeds are found in a varied range of delicacies. To develop a gel-like texture, they absorb water several times their weight. Whether it is a breakfast complimenting milkshake, salad specific dressing, main course vegetable ingredient, or texture altering dessert add-on, chia seeds have made their way into modern-day food habits.

Chia seeds are indeed safe for pregnant and postpartum women to consume during their pregnancy. There are several reasons for you to include them in your diet during pregnancy. Below are a few of the key reasons listed:

1. High on omega-3 fatty acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids. There are 3 types of omega 3 fats: Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Our body doesn’t produce these essential fatty acids, hence we have to externally include them in our diet. Chia seeds are a rich source of Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

During pregnancy, omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the brain development of the unborn baby. As chia seeds are high on ALA, when taken, our body converts them into EPA and DHA. EPA reduces symptoms of depression in pregnant mothers and prevents pre-term labor and delivery. While DHA forms about 40% of the human brain’s polyunsaturated fatty acids which helps in the development and function of an infant’s brain in a fetus.

You can eat chia seeds in ground form if you don’t want to soak them before eating. It also enables them to be more digestible and to have greater omega-3 absorption by your baby. You can also supplement it with salmon or fish oil to meet your daily omega-3 requirements.

2. Reduces risk of pre-eclampsia

The calcium content of chia seeds is 179 mg in an ounce – about 2 tablespoons. The anti-inflammatory properties of calcium reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia during pregnancy. Preeclampsia is a serious condition that develops in pregnant women due to high blood pressure and a high amount of protein in their urine. Pregnant women should consume at least 1000mg of calcium per day, which is almost 18% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA). Calcium also supports the dental and bone development of the unborn child.

You can add the chia seeds into your milk for breakfast or can consume them raw to maintain the calcium level during your pregnancy.

Please do have a look wide variety of products prepared using Chia Seeds:

Nuts and Seeds Mix – Breakfast Cereal/ Snack Munchkin

3. Prevents constipation and regulates blood sugar

You can experience digestive problems during pregnancy. The good news is that fiber-rich chia seeds can help you maintain a healthy digestive system. Taking 2 tablespoons of chia seeds during pregnancy can provide you with 8gms of fiber. Complications like constipation during pregnancy can be due to fluctuating hormone levels. Constipation may occur when you get less physical activity and eat less fiber – often due to nausea and vomiting. This problem can be prevented or relieved by consuming chia seeds, which are high in fiber that slow down the digestion process and relaxes the stomach muscles, hence helping in preventing constipation.

During pregnancy, you need to control your blood glucose levels during pregnancy so that you do not develop gestational diabetes caused by the accumulation of glucose in the blood. High blood sugar can adversely affect the health of your baby (and you). Fiber from chia seeds also helps regulate blood sugar by reducing the amount of sugar absorbed in the body.

4. Reduces cancer risks and premature aging

One ounce of chia seeds contains 4.7gms of protein. As nausea and change in hormones increase your hunger, eating protein-rich foods during pregnancy keeps you full for a longer period of time. Intake of protein-rich food during the pregnancy helps in the development of several body organs along with the cells in the fetus.

Chia seeds are also an excellent source of antioxidants which reduces cancer risk and premature aging. They may also help reduce adverse outcomes during pregnancy. Magnesium found in chia seeds can prevent skin conditions like eczema during pregnancy, which can be painful and itchy.

Summary

More or less, Chia seeds are one of the low-risk food, but it is always advisable to consult your doctor before adding more than one ounce of chia seeds per day to your diet. Because consuming too many seeds without moderation can develop complications during pregnancy.

Despite a lack of extensive research on chia seeds during pregnancy, chia seeds have actually been beneficial for a baby’s growth. You can try many different recipes including chia pudding or simply add them to your smoothie if you want to add them to your prenatal diet. Chia seeds may take a little getting used to, but you will be glad you did when you discover all the powerful health benefits they offer.


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Please do have a look wide variety of products prepared using Chia Seeds:

Nuts and Seeds Mix – Breakfast Cereal/ Snack Munchkin

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