Chia seeds are usually safe to eat during pregnancy as long as you prepare them first. Here’s the scoop on the benefits and some recipes to start you off.
Super mamas require superfoods, and you can’t go far wrong with chia.
It’s packed full of protein, fiber, and healthy fats, which are great for you and your growing baby.
Plus, it’s pretty easy to prepare.
To get the maximum benefits of chia seeds during pregnancy — and avoid some unpleasant side effects — there are a couple of things you should know before you munch.
In this article: 📝
- Are chia seeds safe during pregnancy?
- The benefits of chia seeds in pregnancy
- How to consume chia seeds during pregnancy
- Chia seed recipe ideas for pregnancy
- Chia seeds while pregnant — the bottom line
Are chia seeds safe during pregnancy?
In a world of pregnancy food restrictions and judgemental comments about your caffeine intake, you may be pleased to hear that chia seeds are generally safe to eat during pregnancy.
There are just two things to know about these tiny magic seeds:
- They contain a lot of fiber.
- They soak up a lot of water.
This means that chia can cause constipation and bloating.
Since these tummy troubles are already a common complaint at every stage of pregnancy, you probably don’t want to make the situation worse.
It’s also important to know that, in some cases, the high levels of omega 3 in chia can thin your blood.
This means it doesn’t play nicely with medications like blood thinners or ACE inhibitors, which lower your blood pressure.
So as always, it’s a good idea to give your doctor a call before you start making chia a big part of your diet, especially during pregnancy.
And although it’s not one of the most common allergens, some people are allergic to chia seeds.
If it’s your first time trying them, keep an eye out for symptoms, and be especially cautious if you’re allergic to other seeds, like sesame.
The benefits of chia seeds in pregnancy
According to the USDA, chia seeds deserve their superfood reputation.
3 tbsp/1 oz of raw chia contains:
- Almost 5g of protein
- 8.7g of healthy fats
- About 10g of fiber
- 179 mg of calcium, which is more than a small glass of milk.
- Between 20 and 40% of your RDA of trace elements such as manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc.
Good news so far, right?
It gets better.
Eating chia can:
- Reduce pregnancy bloating and constipation because of the high fiber content — as long as the seeds are soaked and you don’t go overboard. (More on this in a moment.)
- Fight iron-deficiency anemia in pregnancy anemia since 1 oz of chia seeds will give you 20% of the pregnancy RDA of 30 mg of iron.
- Strengthen your bones and teeth, which is helpful since growing a baby can [take its toll on your calcium reserves]((https://www.peanut-app.io/blog/what-to-eat-when-pregnant).
- Support the development of your baby’s brain and eyes, thanks to the high levels of omega 3 and 6.
- Stabilize your blood sugar and keep you full for longer — great news if you’re trying to resist sugar cravings or at risk of developing gestational diabetes.
How to consume chia seeds during pregnancy
There are two main ways to get chia seeds into your pregnancy diet.
- You can sprinkle them on top of things.
- You can soak them and mix them into things.
To avoid constipation, we’d recommend option two: soaking the seeds for at least two hours in water, juice or milk before you eat them.
It’ll make them look like frogspawn, but this chia “jelly” is much easier to digest.
And, if your only experience with this superfood is from chia pets (little figurines used to grow chia), it’s worth starting slowly.
For example, begin with a teaspoon mixed into your granola.
You can then increase your intake over a couple of weeks by adding up to 2 tablespoons into a smoothie.
Chia seed recipe ideas for pregnancy
The best thing about chia?
You can add these seeds to almost anything.
Try sprinkling or spreading the seeds on top of toast with peanut, cashew, or almond butter.
This is a quick meal full of micronutrients and protein that’ll keep you full until lunch.
Or blend the pre-soaked seeds into a smoothie.
Try this recipe, which uses berries and almond milk to flatten the blood sugar spike that happens when you drink fruit juice.
Chia seeds and salad were made for each other.
This recipe toasts the seeds and adds them to a superfood salad.
Or you can try a chia-filled honey-mustard vinaigrette.
This recipe uses manuka honey as an extra immune system boost.
Or, technically, dessert.
Soaked chia seeds look fantastic in a healthier take on an ice cream sundae.
Grab a glass and layer greek yogurt, fruit, and chia jelly.
You can also make chia pudding by soaking the seeds in milk (this recipe uses almond milk), sweetening them with honey, and blending them with your favorite flavors — from tropical mango and coconut to rich cocoa powder.
And chia is often used as an egg substitute in vegan baking.
This eggless lemon cake recipe is a good place to start.
Chia seeds while pregnant — the bottom line
This superfood should be just fine to eat when you’re pregnant and comes with a host of benefits.
Just eat it in moderation and pay attention to preparation.
And, like with many things in pregnancy, it’s best to check with your doctor first.
Otherwise, enjoy! ❤️