What happens to your body if you eat too many chia seeds

In recent years, chia seeds have entered the mainstream. Once a niche superfood, they are now a regular on the menu of many trendy brunch spots and have even infiltrated the home kitchen. The best part? They boast many nutritional benefits, such as promoting weight loss, lowering cholesterol and fighting inflammation (via BBC GoodFood). But is there such a thing as eating too many chia seeds? And if so, what happens to your body if you eat too many?

Given chia seeds are full of fiber, when you eat too many, you may experience bloating and/or abdominal discomfort, says Healthline. Tracy Lockwood, RD, agrees, telling Well+Good that almost half of her clients who eat chia seeds experience this. “In order for the chia seed to move through the gut, it draws water from the intestine area, working like a sponge,” Lockwood said. “They also expand in your stomach, so both of those things can cause a lot of bloating,” she continued.

Chia seeds may cause dehydration and constipation

Lockwood also believes that too many chia seeds can also cause dehydration and constipation. “Because the chia seeds work like a sponge in the body, it’s important to drink more water so you don’t get dehydrated.” Lockwood elaborated, “But if we don’t have enough fluid to push it along, it’s sitting in our stomachs and then we get constipated.” In other words, if you’re eating chia seeds, you need to make sure you stay hydrated.

To avoid bloating, abdominal discomfort, dehydration, and constipation due to chia seed consumption, be sure to limit your intake, especially if you don’t eat them regularly. Lockwood advises slowly introducing them to your diet to see how your body reacts. “Some people are just not meant to absorb it,” she concluded. If symptoms persist, consider skipping chia seeds completely. If you do consume chia seeds, make sure you’re eating them the right way, and never ever eat them dry. 

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