How to Use Chia Seeds

by Lisa on April 22, 2009

Chia Seeds are tiny black and white seeds that used to be a staple food in Aztec and Mayan times. They are now experiencing a resurgence in popularity due to their wonderful health benefits.

Chia Is A Superfood

These little seeds are relatively high in protein, sporting twice as much as any type of grain.  They also have more than three times as many antioxidants that blueberries contain and twice as much potassium than bananas.  Containing more than three times the iron content as spinach, they also have a whopping five times as much calcium as milk.  And if that does not convince you to try them, they are also chock full of Omega 3 fatty acids.

Adding Chia Seeds To Your Diet

Knowing all the wonderful nutrients chia seeds provide is important, but many people are more concerned with how to incorporate them into their gluten free or grain free diet. It is far simpler than most people realize. Chia seeds have a very subtle taste which means that you can add them absolutely anything that you eat or drink. They will enhance the nutrients, but they will not alter the flavor.

Drink Them

You can add chia seeds to a glass or bottle of water and drink them. As a matter of fact, you can add them to any beverage you choose: coffee, ice tea, orange juice… anything. If you are adding them to a liquid it is best to add them to the drink, stir them up and let them sit just for a minute or two so that the seeds have the opportunity to soak in the liquid.

Explore trying them in your coffee.    Chia Seeds In My Coffee?

But don’t forget to stir them. See what happens if you do:  Stir

Sprinkle

If you are having a salad you can sprinkle them on top. They can be added to yogurt as well. You can sprinkle them on fish, on steak, in veggies, soup, really anything you want. If you eat it or drink it, you can add chia to it.

Soak

One of the most common ways to eat them is to by soaking. The seeds absorb large amounts of liquid very quickly, usually within 10 minutes. You can make a basic gel by adding 1/3 cup of seeds to 2 cups of water. Stir well so that there are no clumps and then leave it in a jar with a lid and eat a spoonful whenever you want.

This powerhouse of a food is a great addition to your gluten free and grain free diet. With a few spoonfuls a day added to the foods you are already eating, you will soon start to notice the great health benefits chia seeds have to offer.

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth

Chia seeds are the best! I’ve been using them since I found out I have diabetes, my blood sugar is well under control, no blood pressure problems and in 3 months I’ve lost 17 pounds. They really keep you feeling full longer so you don’t eat as often and since they swell they make you feel full sooner.
Nature’s magic bullet!
Beth

CreditCardsOffers

I really liked this post. Can I copy it to my site? Thank you in advance.

Kelly Brown

Hi, very nice post. I have been wonder’n bout this issue,so thanks for posting

GarykPatton

How soon will you update your blog? I’m interested in reading some more information on this issue.

payroll loans

I found grainfreerecipes.com very informative. The article is professionally written and I feel like the author knows the subject very well. grainfreerecipes.com keep it that way.

KonstantinMiller

I have been looking looking around for this kind of information. Will you post some more in future? I’ll be grateful if you will.

Rob - @formerfatguy

Chia seeds are one of the best foods for all round health and energy. I wish I would have know about them 10 years ago.

I recommend them to all my clients and readers now.

Love your site by the way. Grain free recipes are a good thing. Will be having a look at a bunch of your recipes and such

Rob - @formerfatguy

Just had a look at your Alternative Flours and would also like to add to it Coconut flour. I just did up a coconut flour bread and it was awesome. Totally grain free. High fiber and high protein.

seeds

great article, definately looking to include chia seeds in my diet soon and will refer back to this post for information/advise. thanks

debi

So just how much chia seed should one ingest per day – 2 teaspoons, 1/2 cup, …
Thanks

sasikala

I have just started eating chia seeds today. My purpose is to reduce weight and control diabetics which is in starting stage.If u have any tips or quantam of uses let me know of chia

Mandy @ Thyroid Diet

Chia seeds as in Chia pets? I had no idea. I will look into this… it sounds pretty amazing! Thank you for posting this!

Pam B.

I heard that chia seeds help you sleep. Is this true?

Jackie

Do you have to drink alot of water if eating chia seeds?

PAT V

YES I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO KNOW IF THEY CAN HELP YOU SLEEP, BEEN HAVING A ALLFUL TIME TRYING TO GET SOME SLEEP. THANKS

Eddie

So Pam,

Did you try the chia seeds and if so, did they help you sleep?

julia

I am dealing with type diabetes and obesity. I had not read about chia seeds before I put them on my list for the health food store I cannot wait to try them

barb

i ordered some this morning so waiting for them to come in on the 5th hoping it works for my blood pressure so i can come off of it and works for weight loss since ive gained 20lbs since being on my blood pressure pill with it being a betta blocker so i can’t wait to start taking this

claudia

gonna try it

DEB C

STARTING THEM TODAY. I AM EXCITED. WILL LET YOU KNOW LATER HOW THIS WORKS.

R. Smith

Can Chia seeds give you diarrhea?

michelle biggs

how much seeds do you use in drink ? or anything

Lisa Bishop

I would start slow, with just a tablespoon of chia seeds in a glass of water or juice. You can also sprinkle them on your salad or sandwich.

Brenda

Just wondering if a person has pockets in the colon, can we still have Chia for our blood sugar and cholestrol?

erica

I was thinking about taking them but I’m under weight allready but have no energy at all through the day would they help

Tonya

I have been using Chi a seeds for almost a year. I saw a signifigant weight loss and appitite control the first 3 months. Then summer hit all the running and eating out forgetting to take seeds with me I gained back half the weight found out I an insulin resistant. So back to 1/8 cup 3x a day I bought “smidgies” from Tupperware (they hold the perfect amount and I don’t worry about the lid falling off in my purse) . I still eat out because it seems like I live in my truck between kids and work. But I take my Chi a seeds like vitamins. I put water in my mouth dump in the seeds and swallow. More water to rinse all down (those little suckers get between your teeth and you feel the jell 10minutes later) . I have lost 10 pounds since Christmas (2 months) I have more energy and I sleep so much better. But be careful too much will give you diarrhea and my mom got constipated because she took the seeds but didn’t drink any water. You MUST drink water! 8-8oz or more is best but @least 8oz with seeds.

Corey

My co-worker put me on to Chia seeds. He’s a runner, and I’ve recently starting running long distances, so he recommended them. Chia is indeed a superfood, and historically there were tribes in South America that used them for energy, as they use to hunt large animals. Their technique, run ‘em until they just collapsed of exhaustion, then kill them! Check out “Born to Run”. I’ve read of other great health benefits of Chia, but for long runs, it definitely increases your stamina. I buy it online by the 5lb bag…which lasts a while! Generally, I take 4 teaspoons in a 16oz cup; pretty thick. What I didn’t kno is that you can leave it and then come back. Great article!

Meg

Chia seeds are wonderful. You can put them in or on just about anything. I’ve lost 30 pound since Christmas. Not just from chia seeds, of course, but I do feel the help keep me feeling fuller longer. Plus when they gel, they help flush waste and toxins from your system.

Melanie

A few months ago I heard about Chia Seeds at Whole Foods market. They had some juice like drinks with the seeds in them, I bought a few and loved them but the price was close to 4 dollars per 8oz bottle. They were jelly like so now I just make my own with tea or green tea let it set in the fridge, I also use the Cristal Lite drink mixes too. They are great to drink I like the texture of them

jaws

im 33 yrs old n iv been constipated since childhoood. im on ducolax a
kind of lax to keep my bowel moving and iv been taking it for almost 19 years now, can chia seed help me solve ny problem or make it worst? pls advice tq

Diogenes Martinez

I just started drinking Chia Seeds with all my daily glass of water or any other juice. I found out about this great product at Whole Foods Market.

Rishi

After soaking chia seeds how long can store them?

Brian

Everything you’re talking about in these posts regarding the health benefits of chia seeds is pretty much true. It’s one of the healthiest, whole, raw foods in the world.

It helps with balancing blood sugar and hormones, reducing pain, weight, blood pressure and cholesterol, preventing aging and inflammation, encouraging healthy digestion, hydration, detoxification, metabolism and so much more.

It’s been a bit of a miracle seed for many people who thought there was no other option.

cathipo

Can you tell me if Chia Bran has the same benefits as the seed? What do you loose by using the bran version? Thanks

marija

Haw much Chia Seeds do you have to take?
Thank you MB

Lisa Bishop

You might try starting with 1 tablespoon, either in a drink or tossed over a salad. They are crunchy and yummy!

Lisa Bishop

Chia bran is chia seed that has been pressed, so all the oil is removed, so it is a fat free product. Folks use it to add fiber to their diet.

Christina V

High blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, over weight, tired all the time, NO energy….Started taking chia seeds today. Going to do 1 tablespoon 2X a day with my shakes. Hope it does everything I have been reading in above comments.

Lisa Bishop

Hi Christina! Let us know the results of your experiment! We would love to know how you do.

Victor Lavigne

Lisa wrote “Chia bran is chia seed that has been pressed, so all the oil is removed, so it is a fat free product. Folks use it to add fiber to their diet.”

One of the big benefits of chia seeds is its very high content of essential omega 3 fatty acids. I don’t think I’d want to remove that part of it.

yolanda tuttle

Are there any benefits to taking chia seeds when you have GERD.
I just got some today and were surprised that I actually liked the drink.
2 tsp in glass of water and wait 10 minutes to drink . I got them to lose a few pounds. Also, in addition to GERD, I have IBS and although my diet is good (lots of cooked vegetables. I have been lacto-ovo vegetarian since last July. I still have the IBS.

Lisa

Hi Yolanda!

The two most common foods associated with IBS is wheat and dairy. Wheat is common to acid reflux as well. You might consider eliminating these two foods completely from your diet for a week or so and see what happens with your IBS and GERDS. You might be very happily surprised. But it has to be total elimination, not just reduction. Let me know if you decide to try it and how you do.

I have read that some folks use chia seeds to help with their reflux by taking a tablespoon or two with minimum water. Then wait several minutes because the seeds supposedly absorb some of the excess stomach acid, then drink a large glass of water. I have no idea whether this works or not.

Thank you so much for the comment and hanging out here at my site! Let me know if you have any other questions.

Health and peace to you!

Rebecca

I just started taking Chia seeds yesterday. I love them! I actually like them without water so they are crunchy. I tried them in chocolate almond milk and let it set overnite. Dee-lish!! My 18 month old also likes them. Please advise as to how much is okay for him to have.

Lisa

Oh my, I have to try that. Thanks for the idea, Rebecca! I have not come across recommendations for how much one so young should eat. I would be very careful. Make sure that the chia seeds have fully absorbed fluid before giving any. You might ask your pediatrician as well.

I am currently researching chia seeds further in preparation for writing an e-book, so I will see if I can find out any other advice to give you. If you would like to be notified when the book is done, sign up using the form in the right hand column.

Thanks for the comment!

Patti

Hi,
I love mixing a lot of Chia seeds with my yogurt in the a.m. Have been eating it this way for months now. I don’t measure, just dump a bunch on. Have recently been getting an itchy rash on my chest and suspect ingested cause. It reminds me of prickly heat/eczema, which I have never had before. I read Chia seeds can cause rashes. Have you ever heard of this? I would hate to stop eating them. So many benefits.
Thanks,
Patti

Lisa

Hi Patti,
You may be dealing with a food sensitivity, which depends on quantity and frequency. If you suspect chia seeds might be the culprit, eliminate them from your diet for two weeks. If your rash starts to clear, you might want to wait even longer until it clears completely. Then try the chia seeds again. If you tolerate them, don’t eat them every day – maybe just a few times a week. If you don’t tolerate them, keep them out of your diet for at least 3 months, and then challenge with them again. But again, not on a daily basis.

Of course, dairy can also cause eczema, so if the chia seeds aren’t the culprit, you might try eliminating and challenging dairy!

Thanks for the comment! Let me know how you do!

Easter

Started today. Put 3 T in 6 cups of water and drank it all. I’m full! Anxious to see how I feel. Do you to refrigerate the dry seeds if you’re in hot weather or just store them in a bag in the cupboard?

Lisa

I bet you are full! Let us know how you do! I just keep my seeds in the cupboard – they last a long time. Thanks for the comment!

Kimberly Anderson

I was recently introduced to Chia seeds by my sister who sells Mila. I found a less expensive brand, that is made by the Dr who once worked for Mila…and I eat these like I am addicted. It has only been 6 weeks, and I like the milled seeds, spread over my yogart or mixed in with a whey protein shake and I have more energy, my complexion is starting to clear up, I have begun to see a slight change in my weight (I am allergic to excercise..LOL) I can see myself eating these wonderful chia seeds every day for the rest of my life. I love them!

Steve

Love the blog and comments. All so helpful and courteous. THANKS!

samantha9

Learned a few things from this page + comments. I have it for breakfast like cereal with coconut water soaked overnight. Also have it in between meals as a snack throughout the day. The taste and texture is great. Looking forward to the benefits everyone has mentioned here. Thank you!

elham .a.s

my son over wieght he is 27 years l recommend him to use chia seeds l like to know the side affect for this seed and any affect about his sexual life

it support ual.com

Really helpful, thank you.

Gina

I have been adding one tablespoon of chia seeds to my water bottle for two months. Not only have they helped my digestive system, my blood pressure has dropped :).

Bill

I drink a 25 ounce glass of water each morning and each night…with an oz of Braggs apple cider vinegar in each glass….do the chia seeds and the apple cider vinegar work together or can they hurt the effects of each?

Lisa

I don’t know why not – if it is working for you – go for it!

Janis

Because I have Diverticulitis (pockets in colon) & I’m afraid of little seeds I grind up a daily amount of Chia seeds & use in smoothies & sprinkle over my cereal, or just blend in with fruit juice. Actually can add it too what ever you choose.

Susana

Beth

If i may ask (i just found out i have diabetes, and im trying chia out for the first time), how did you prepare your chia drink? In plain water? Or did you mix with something else?

Lisa Bishop
Lisa Bishop

You can do whatever you would like. I prefer to put mine in my coffee or tea. You can put it in any liquid. Chia seeds don’t really have any flavor on their own – they take on the taste of the medium they are in. Thanks for commenting. Good luck with your health!

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