Chia seeds are among the best low carb and high fiber seeds used worldwide. These tiny black and white colored seeds are mainly used in side dishes.
The edible chia seeds are full of nutrients and provide several health benefits especially benefits over gut function.
So what is the major gut benefit of chia seeds? Well, chia seeds are able to prevent constipation problems because of their high fiber density.
Are Chia Seeds Constipating?
No chia seeds are not constipating because they are rich in fiber and low in saturated fats. Both of these combinations work like a charm for constipation relief.
According to studies daily intake of more than 30 grams of saturated fat triggers constipation problems (1). On the other hand, intake of fiber-rich foods may increase stool frequency in patients with constipation (2).
1 tbsp of chia seeds contain approx 0.04 grams of saturated fats and 4 grams of dietary fiber which fulfills both of the criteria i.e high fiber and low fatty acid.
Moreover, chia seeds contain probiotics. Studies have shown that probiotics can help to relieve constipation. Probiotics are able to improve stool quality and can increase intestinal frequency (3).
Furthermore, chia seeds are a rich source of magnesium. Adding more magnesium to the diet can increase stool frequency and reduce the risk of constipation (4).
Considering all of these facts we can say that chia seeds can act as a natural laxative and may prevent constipation.
When Do Chia Seeds Cause Constipation?
Chia seeds contain a high amount of dietary fiber. Although dietary fiber is good for increasing stool frequency it may not be suitable for some circumstances.
In some cases, intake of dietary fiber is related to constipation. For, example a high intake of dietary fiber can worsen the constipation problems for
Some other factors can also cause constipation after the consumption of chia seeds. However, the majority of these causes are not directly related to chia seeds consumption.
These constipation causes are (7):
- Little intake of dietary fiber
- Depression problems
- Less water and fluid consumption with high fiber intake
- Obesity or overweight
- Tooth problem
Why Do Chia Seeds Make Me Poop?
The high fiber and magnesium density of chia seeds help you to do more poop. As both of these two are able to increase the flow of stools.
In fact, fiber increases the stool bulk and softens it which is one of the major factors of increased stool frequency during chia seed rich meals.
Moreover, chia seeds are a good source of probiotics. Probiotics help to poop by living constipation problems.
That’s why the consumption of chia seeds is a perfect way to boost your natural poop drive.
Can Too Much Chia Seeds Cause Constipation?
Yes, too much chia seed intake can cause constipation. Although fiber is a natural laxative, you need to maintain a water balance for fiber digestion.
Without adequate water intake, it is difficult to digest fibers. The indigestion of fiber is a leading cause of stomach problems like constipation.
Moreover, too many chia seeds will increase the consumption of saturated fats, which is constipation occurring factor.
Furthermore, chia seeds contain a very high amount of calories. A high intake of chia seeds can cause a caloric imbalance which may cause obesity.
As obesity is associated with constipation, too many chia seeds can indirectly promote constipation.
Do Chia Seeds Cause Gas or Bloating?
But why do chia seeds cause gas and bloating? It’s because of the high fiber component. Studies have shown that healthy adults can get affected with gas and bloating after consumption of high fiber foods (8).
Do Chia Seeds Cause Acid Reflux?
A normal intake of chia seeds does not cause acid reflux or heartburn. However, a surplus intake of chia seeds can cause acid reflux because of its vitamin C component.
Although chia seeds contain a little amount of vitamin C, too much intake can cause vitamin C overload. This in turn triggers heartburn aka acid reflux.
Furthermore, obesity is a cause of heartburn (10). A high intake of chia seeds increases the risk of heartburn or acid reflux indirectly. As it boosts the two common obesity factors i.e high calorie and saturated fat.
Do Chia Seeds Cause Diarrhea?
Intake of chia seeds does not cause diarrhea normally. It’s because all major types of diarrhea occur due to E Coli bacteria infection.
However, in certain circumstances, the high fiber components of chia seeds may cause diarrhea. It’s because a high intake of fiber can worsen digestive problems in patients with Idiopathic constipation and delayed transit time.
Which in turn may cause diarrhea. Moreover, a recent study has shown that dietary high protein may cause diarrhea in piglets (11).
As chia seeds are extremely high in protein it may increase the risk of diarrhea in humans. However, further research is required in this.
What Are The Alternatives of Chia Seeds?
There are several healthy alternatives to chia seeds. The majority of these seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients and are able to provide numerous health benefits.
Flax seeds: Flax seeds are ketogenic seeds and probably the best alternative to chia seeds. Moreover, nowadays people go for natural homemade flax seed milk instead of normal milk. The high nutrient value of flax milk provides several health benefits.
Hemp seeds: Hemp seeds are another healthy alternative to chia seeds. Hemp seeds are a perfect keto-friendly seed substitute for chia seeds. Furthermore, hemp seeds are among the high keto potassium foods which can prevent potassium deficiency on the keto diet.
Chia Seeds Nutrition
Chia seeds are a great source of both macronutrients and micronutrients. It contains a high amount of macronutrients aka fiber, fat, and protein.
Moreover, chia seeds are a rich source of micronutrients like
A 100 gram serving of dried chia seeds provide (12)
- Calories: 486
- Protein: 16.5 g
- Fat: 30.7 g
- Carbs: 42.1 g
- Fiber: 34.4 g
How Much Chia Seeds Can I Eat Per Day?
Chia seeds are normally used to increase the flavor of dishes. That’s why only 1-2 tbsp of chia seeds are consumed through delicious recipes.
Also, you can increase the intake limit of chia seeds. However, it is not recommended as chia seeds are extremely high in calories, which may impact healthy caloric balance.
Moreover, if you are on a keto diet you should maintain the intake of chia seeds. As too much intake of chia seeds can break your keto diet’s carb intake limit.
How Many Days Does It Take For Chia Seeds To Help Your Constipation?
A normal intake of chia seeds can show its benefits within a couple of days. If you are suffering from normal constipation problems, you can observe the chia seed constipation benefits within 3-4 days.
However, the duration may vary for different people. But if you are a chronic constipation patient chia seeds may take longer to show relief.
Although, in some cases, chia seeds may not work for chronic constipation patients.
Chia seeds are healthy and delicious seeds. This highly nutritious seed has a nutty flavor which increases the taste of healthy dishes.
Normally chia seeds are used as a laxative because of their anti-constipation benefits. The high concentration of dietary fiber, magnesium, and probiotic property of chia seeds is an essential factor to fight digestional problems like constipation, bloating, and gas.
Moreover, chia seeds have benefits over diarrhea control also. However, like all healthy foods too much consumption of chia seeds can do the reverse health problems because of nutrient overload.