There are specific health conditions out there that make people always keen about knowing whether what they are eating is good for their health or otherwise might negatively affect it; such as being pregnant for example. Pregnancy and breastfeeding phase are both important and will require the women to make sure that chia seeds will be helpful or will keep her the way she is without bringing any side effects to her or her infant. Chia seeds have different benefits but some people consider them risky when it comes to pregnancy and breastfeeding. To know whether you are allowed to consume chia seeds when you are pregnant or else stay away from it, you should keep reading this article.
Chia Seeds Pregnancy
Chia seeds are also given the name “Salvia Hispanica” and they are a species of a flowering plant in the mint family known as Lamiaceae. Chia is found in Southern Mexico and Guatemala, and it is still used in both its ground and whole forms in those countries as well as Paraguay, Bolivia, and Argentina. Chia seeds were cultivated by the Aztecs who used to consider it one of the energy sources that they could depend on and even their famous Tarahumara tribe was famous for their runners who used to drink chia Iskiate in order to run longer without getting easily tired.
The chia Iskiate is now known as the chia Fresca, which is a combination of chia seeds, water, and lemon, and which is considered one of the recipes that people use when they are trying to get off some pounds and lose weight. There are other several benefits for chia seeds other than being used for weight loss or as a source of energy; they are a good source for omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc and each one of these could help the body in a specific way.
When it comes to consuming chia seeds for pregnancy, there are different things which you are supposed to know:
- Chia Seeds are Important for the Baby’s Brain
First of all, chia seeds are important during pregnancy because they have omega-3 fatty acids and those acids are known to be important for the health of the brain. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for the development of the baby’s brain and instead of feeling skeptical after getting your needed amount of omega-3 from salmon or fish; you could depend on these seeds.
- Replace the Lost Nutrients during Pregnancy
When the woman is pregnant, she usually loses some nutrients from the body and which she will be in need to refill or replace. Chia seeds carry different nutrients as we have just mentioned above and those nutrients could be beneficial to replace the ones that are lost. Chia seeds are filled with calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, copper, and zinc and each one of those will be needed during pregnancy after the body loses them.
At the end of the pregnancy period, specifically during the last three months, the body will need calcium for a proper skeletal development and chia seeds carry calcium more than what is found in milk, and in addition to that, they also carry boron which is another mineral that is needed for the health of the bones.
Another important nutrient needed during pregnancy is the iron, which is important for developing red blood cells that are responsible for transporting the oxygen through the body. During pregnancy the iron will be needed in order to accommodate the woman’s increased blood volume as well as for the development of the baby’s blood.
Magnesium is also an important mineral for the pregnant woman; it helps her with different things that include morning sickness, constipation, restless leg syndrome, heart palpitations, and anxiety.
- Chia Seeds Slow Down Sugar Absorption during Pregnancy
Another benefit of eating chia seeds during pregnancy is dealing with the high blood sugar level which might be risky for the woman. From the different problems that high blood sugar might cause during pregnancy; it might be linked to complications such as high birth weight, and increasing the chance of C-section deliveries and preeclampsia. The process of slowing down the blood sugar level happens when the pregnant woman consumes chia seeds because it creates a gelatin-like substance in the stomach which slows down the digestion and keeps the blood sugar level low.
- Chia Seeds Helps with Constipation
The choices that pregnant woman should make are important; she should know what to eat and when and what to stay away from because she is now responsible for two lives; hers and her baby. One of the different benefits of chia seeds is the way they help with relieving constipation due to the omega-3 oils that it carries and which help to lubricate the digestive tract. This is important for pregnant women because it helps in moving things smoothly and can help in preventing the tearing or irritation of hemorrhoids which might appear.
- It is a Good Source of Protein
We all need protein but when we mention those pregnant women, the protein needed will be a totally different issue to be tackled. The protein content found in chia seeds is needed for pregnant women because it assists in fetal growth, development of the brain, and maintenance of expanded blood volume. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the amount of chia seeds allowed for pregnant women is actually what could serve them with 75 grams of protein, since every serving of chia seeds carries 3.5 grams of protein.
- The Fiber in Chia Seeds is Also Needed for Pregnancy
The final nutrient that is found in chia seeds and which we will talk about its benefits for pregnancy is the fiber. Fiber is known as one important nutrient in chia seeds that help in filling the stomach faster with small amounts and which in turn reduce the amounts of food that the person consumes during the rest of the day and lose weight. It turns out that there is something more important than weight loss for chia seeds and which is pregnancy; chia seeds in pregnancy are important because of the fiber which helps in curbing irregularity issues and it can also reduce the chances of developing gestational diabetes.
Are Chia Seeds Good for Pregnancy?
Chia seeds are good for pregnancy for the reasons that we have stated above, but that does not mean that those pregnant women should not care about the amount of chia seeds that they are giving the chance to enter their bodies; they should always watch out. There are some researchers and specialists who advice pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding to stay in the safe side and avoid the whole idea of consuming chia seeds at all.
Some Side Effects to Chia Seeds
Chia and pregnancy is one issue that should be mentioned and talked about, and even researched more, but on the other hand, there are some important side effects that should be mentioned about chia seeds and which are related to all types of people not just the pregnant women. From these different side effects:
Chia can give the person a lot of gas but this will usually occur after eating large amounts of chia seeds. If you managed to eat the amount that you are allowed to on a daily basis without increasing it, you will be able to avoid this side effect.
- Blood Thinning
The omega-3 fatty acids that are found in chia seeds are considered double edged weapons and this is due to the benefits that they carry which we have mentioned above, and at the same time the risks that they might bring to the body. Those who are suffering from specific blood diseases or who are already taking blood thinning medications, should never consume chia seeds because the omega-3 found in it might lead to blood thinning as well.
- Allergic Reactions
Allergies differ from one person to another; you might be allergic to something that those around you eat in a regular way, and vice versa. For some people, eating chia seeds might carry some allergic reactions, and this will be easily discovered from different signs, such as watery eyes, hives, nausea, vomiting, skin rashes, difficulty in breathing, and swelling of the mouth and throat. You should always know whether you are allergic to chia seeds or not and if you faced any of these symptoms or signs, you should get off it immediately.
Eating Chia Seeds
There are different ways to eat and consume chia seeds and this is one of the reasons why people love the idea of consuming those seeds. Chia seeds are tasteless and this is one reason why it could be added to different ingredients and recipes out there; it could be sprinkled over some of the smoothies that you are preparing or on the dishes that you have cooked, it could be used in making puddings, desserts, and could be also used to create its own chia Fresca which is considered the easiest and the healthiest.
Chia pudding is one of the most famous things done of chia out there which is done with fruits, nuts, almond milk; making it easy and healthy to be consumed by pregnant as well as those breastfeeding women.
Chia seeds are good for pregnant women although there are not a lot of studies or researches done in the field. It is always important to watch out for the amount you are consuming, because eating more than what you are allowed to might actually affect your pregnancy instead of providing you with the different benefits that you might be in need of for yourself as well as your infant.