7 Outstanding Benefits of Chia Seeds During Pregnancy and Where to Buy?
When you are pregnant, it is said that what you eat will also have the influence on your baby, both presently and in the future. Therefore, many women who are carrying baby(ies) manage to control their intake of food very strictly. However, making good choices is not always easy. Not only hormone surges, morning sickness, food aversions or preferences can make it difficult to prioritize nutritional density, but also the lack of information may get you wrong about some certain food. This means you might have passed over healthy food without knowing.
Whatever you may miss on, chia seeds should not be one of them. Why? Continue reading, and you will know the answer!
Chia Seeds’ Profile
Chia seeds (or “Salvia Hispanica”) are a species of flowering plant in the mint family known as Lamiaceae, which can be found in Southern Mexico and Guatemala. Back then, the Aztecs warriors ate chia seeds to give them high energy and endurance – 1 spoonful of chia could sustain them for 24 hours. For 3000 years since the first hand of chia seeds were harvested, they are always highly valued for their medicinal and nutritional properties – one of few foods that combine all the important nutrients for a healthy pregnancy.
The reason chia seeds are so beneficial is due to them being rich in fiber, omega-3 fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals such as:
- Dietary fiber (11g – 42% recommended daily value)
- Protein (4.4g – 9% RDV)
- Omega-3 fatty acids (4915 mg)
- Omega-6 fatty acids (1620 mg)
- Calcium (77 mg – 18% RDV)
- Copper (0.1 mg – 3% RDV)
- Phosphorus (265 mg – 27% RDV)
- Potassium (44.8 mg – 1% RDV)
- Zinc (1.0 mg – 7% RDV)
Chia also contains essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic and linoleic acid, mucin, strontium, vitamin A, B, E, and D, and minerals including sulphur, iron, iodine, magnesium, manganese, niacin, thiamine. They are a rich source of anti-oxidants too.
Top 7 Outstanding Benefits of Chia Seeds During Pregnancy
Since pregnancy can deplete your body of essential nutrients, it is suggested that expectant mothers should consider eating chia seeds to provide themselves with those lost nutrients. Furthermore, chia seeds also give you energy boosts to get through a long day.
Here are top 7 outstanding benefits of chia seeds during pregnancy in details:
#1 Chia seeds are good for the baby’s brain
Chia seeds, especially if they are milled, contain plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for a baby’s brain development. Most women would choose to consume salmon or fish oil supplements to meet their need, however, the mercury content in fish tends to make most pregnant women skeptical. Therefore, chia seeds are a great alternative.
#2 Refill lost nutrients
Pregnancy can use up your body’s nutrients pretty quick, that’s why you need to replace them as soon as possible. Chia seeds will do the job perfectly since they are high in essential minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, iron, and niacin. Each one of those will be needed one way or another while pregnancy.
Chia seeds contain almost five times the amount of calcium as milk and boron. During the last three months of pregnancy period, adequate calcium intake and boron are vital to your baby’s skeletal development.
One tiny tablespoon of chia seeds will give you 7%-9% of your recommended daily amount of iron. This mineral is responsible for healthy red blood cells that transport oxygen throughout the body. During pregnancy, increased iron intake is necessary to accommodate the mother’s increased blood volume and for the development of the baby’s blood. An anemia or low level of iron is common in pregnant women, especially in the last trimester.
#3 Rescue you from annoying signs of pregnancy
While you are pregnant, there are symptoms that can make you miserable, for example, morning sickness, restless leg syndrome, heart palpitations, and anxiety. Don’t worry, chia seeds will help you to get rid of those signs of the full amount of magnesium they contain – one ounce of chia seeds provide up to 30% of the recommended daily allowance.
Magnesium also advances in regulating blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and might even lower the chance of premature labor by reducing early uterus contractions.
#4 Slow down sugar absorption
Chia seeds can deal with the high blood sugar level, which is a dangerous factor to pregnant women. Due to many studies, it is shown that high blood sugar might responsible for high birth weight, increase chance of C-section deliveries and preeclampsia. When consuming chia seeds, they create a gelatin-like substance in your stomach. This slows digestion and keeps blood sugar levels stable.
#5 Effective energy booster
In addition to slowing sugar absorption, chia also slows down the process of converting sugars and carbohydrates from the seeds into energy. This slow-burning process results in a sustained energy boost.
#6 Chia seeds help with constipation
Chia seeds are rich in insoluble fiber, providing nearly 11 grams per ounce. The fiber adds bulk to your stool, which keeps bowel movements regular and helps pregnant women with constipation. This is important to pregnant women since it can assist in preventing the tearing or irration of hemorrhoids.
Moreover, it is essential for your body’s ability to balance insulin levels, which means an adequate intake of it will reduce your chances of developing gestational diabetes and excessive weight gain.
#7 Good source of protein
Protein that found in chia seeds assists in fetal growth, development of the brain, and maintenance of expanded blood volume. Each serving of chia seeds carries 3.5 grams of protein.
Chia seeds don’t really have any flavor – you can put them in many things without worrying about changing the taste. At the time that any strange food’s flavor can make your head spinning “right round”, chia seeds can do much help to not only provide you with necessary nutrients, but also prevent you from meeting Mr. William Charles. (Sorry!)
Chia seeds hold a record for longevity. Typically nuts and seeds with a high fat content have a short shelf life, but since chia seeds are so rich in antioxidants that they can be kept in storage for up to four years without deterioration.
Some Amazing Recipes Use Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are primarily sold in their raw, dried form. They can also be found in many packaged foods, such as bread, cereals, granola bars and crackers.
There are many ways to get a nutritional boost during pregnancy. You can soak, grind or even eat them straight raw (beware, they might stick in your teeth). Recipes? You either go with simple ways like sprinkling chia seeds on cereal, yogurt, salad or mixing chia seeds into bread, bars, and smoothies. Or challenge yourself with more advanced and complicated recipes, for example, chocolate chia pudding, pumpkin pie oatmeal, muffin with chia seeds,… All up to you!
And, Where to Buy?
But first, we need to get our star. Here are the top 3 brand of best chia seeds that you should consider:
This is one of the best sellers in Chia Seeds category on Amazon. Viva Labs collaborates with the regions’ best farmer to collect the seed when they are highest in antioxidant activity, fiber, protein and essential vitamins and minerals; which brings the freshest and healthiest gluten-free chia seeds to you. Furthermore, the products are certified with QAI Certified Organic as well as non-GMO, and are sourced directly from farmers in compliance with fair trade practices.
Each bag weighs 2 pounds (907 g) and can be stored for approximately two years at room temperature, up to four years when stored in your refrigerator or freezer.
Healthworks’s chia seeds products are hand selected from small sustainable farmers to provide a truly exquisite seed to your front door. They are raw, gluten-free, vegan, nut-free and grain-free, making them a powerful addition to any diet! The products also are certified organic as well as non-GMO, and no pesticide allowed.
Each bag weighs 5 pounds (about 2268 g). Their expiration date is about two years after purchase when unopened, and a shelf life of 3 months after opening. There is no need to keep the seeds in the refrigerator. Storing chia in a closed container will help extend its shelf life. One con is this product quite expensive.
Nutiva’s chia seeds product is ranked #1 Organic Chia Seed in US, grown totally in the US. They are also certified with USDA Organic, non-GMO as well as gluten-free. Furthermore they are never use hexane-processed. Each bag weighs 2 pounds (907 g).
If you care about the farmer and the environment, Nutiva’s product will have your heart. The company has been certified as B Corp & Green Business and 1% of their sales is donated to sustainable agriculture. Nutiva’s aim is to reduce carbon footprint and become a zero waste facility. Don’t have much heart for all of that? Then buy it because this product is relatively cheap in compare to others!
Possible Side Effects of Chia Seeds
Even though chia seeds are generally healthy snacks, you should keep in mind these side effects, just in case:
– High triglycerides: Triglycerides is a type of fat has in your blood, and high triglycerides levels are unhealthy. Certain kinds of chia seeds may lead to the increase in triglycerides. If you already have high triglycerides, try to stick to a specific variety of chia called Salba. Consuming these chia seeds during pregnancy do not significantly increase triglyceride levels.
– Prostate cancer: According to a study, alpha-linolenic acid contains in chia seeds could increase the risk of prostate cancer, a disease mainly exists among men. Despite the fact that this study was later shown to have some bias, whoever have prostate cancer or are at risk of getting it should avoid consuming large amounts of chia seeds.
– Flatulence: Due to the high fiber content of chia seeds, you may experience stomach discomfort if you consume a significant amount of chia seeds.
– Blood thinning: The omega-3 fatty acids that are found in chia seeds might lead to blood thinning, thus those who are suffering from specific blood diseases or already taking blood thinning medications should never eat chia seeds.
– Allergic reactions: If you have signs such as watery eyes, hives, nausea, vomiting, skin rashes, difficulty in breathing, and swelling of the mouth and throat, it means you are allergic to chia seeds. It’s just simple that you are born with it, so don’t worry or sad about that.
Now you’ve got the answer why pregnant women shouldn’t miss on chia seeds, do you want to eat these powerful little things immediately? Tell us, we are curious 😉
If you find this article helpful, please do kindly share with your friends so they can know about this healthy snack!