Although chia seeds hold the potential to dramatically improve health and reduce chronic symptoms in the people who take them regularly, adding a new element to your diet should always be undertaken with caution. Though there are very few scientific studies demonstrating particularly negative chia seed side effects, there are a few concerns you’ll want to be aware of.
Increase in fibre
The first is the set of symptoms that can result in rapidly increasing the amount of fiber in your diet. This process isn’t unique to chia seeds – whether dramatically increase your fruit, vegetable, seed or bean intake, you’re going to experience some unpleasant side effects until your body adapts to the new levels of nutrients it’s receiving.
The most common complaint is an increase in flatulence. Fortunately, this can be eliminated entirely by slowly increasing the amount of chia seeds you consume on a daily basis.
Don’t start by adding a heaping serving of chia seeds to every meal – instead, consider starting with a half serving of the seeds at breakfast and working up your daily intake as your body adapts.
Bleeding and Drop in Blood Pressure
Due to their high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds can act as a blood thinner. People who are taking prescription blood thinners (such as Warfarin), are scheduled for surgery, or are on an aspirin regimen should avoid eating chia seeds or at least talk to their doctor before adding chia to their diet. An overdose of blood thinners may lead to excessive bleeding, which in turn may have severe negative consequences for your health.
People with low blood pressure should also consult a qualified health care professional before adding chia seeds to their eating plan as chia seeds appear to be capable of lowering diastolic blood pressure (DBP) to alarming levels.
Association to mustard seed reaction
People who have a history of negative reactions to mustard seeds should proceed carefully too, as side effects produced by these kernels are often seen following chia seed consumption as well.
Chia seeds and pregnancy
Pregnant women are likewise advised to avoid chia seeds throughout their pregnancies as well, given the lack of scientific research into how their children may be affected. Lactating mothers should also keep away from chia seeds as not enough research has been conducted to date.
Although uncommon, an allergic reaction to chia seeds is possible. Symptoms of chia seed allergy may include rashes, hives and watery eyes. Also more severe symptoms associated with food allergies may occur, including trouble breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, and swelling of the tongue.
There is some evidence that cross-reactivity exists between chia seeds and certain foods that are taxonomically close to chia, such as oregano and thyme which – like chia – belong to the Labiatae family of plants.