How much chia can I safely eat?
And... how to prepare?


I generally prepare my chia seeds by putting 1-2 tablespoons in half to three quarters of a cup of water, putting that in the microwave for 30 seconds (warm water turns them to gel quicker) then drinking that or adding it to something, for instance, a Atkins shake when I'm trying to lose weight.

I'm hoping the chia will give me a full feeling quicker and I like the texture added to almost any food. At 70 calories per tablespoon it seems a good deal.

I’m wondering if it matters that I microwave the seeds in water, in terms of nutritive value.

Also how much can I eat in a day? In terms of texture added, I’d like at least 2-3 tablespoons added to my Atkins. What if I ended up eating 9-10 tablespoons a day? Would that be bad?

Also wherever I go I see the same information saying chia can be addicting. Nowhere does it say what this means medically. Any idea?


Answer (Updated Sept 21, 2016)

Hi Al,

Thanks for asking all your questions. You sound like your are having a good time with this new food.

Microwaving Chia Seeds in Water - Does it Harm the Nutrients?

Here's one example that I found having to do with microwaves and food.

"A study using garlic found that just 60 seconds in a microwave can render its principle active ingredient (alliinase) as useless. Microwaves have also been found to destroy immune-boosting agents that are found in breast milk. These are disease fighting nutrients which are essential to the health and development of the child. For example, one study found that microwaving breast milk caused a decrease in lysozyme activity and antibodies, and aided the growth of more pathogenic bacteria. (source) The interesting thing about this study is that the researchers found that more damage was done to the milk from microwaving compared to any other method of heating." Reference: Collective-Evolution - Science Sheds a Light...

From what I know about the activity of microwaves on water - it seems to speed up the activity of the molecules causing a dispersal. The water in the chia gel is actually integrated with the micro fiber extending out from the seed.

What I believe is this - the gel is structured in a natural form that helps to hydrate the body. I personally do not want to take a chance on changing that structure with microwaves. As for the seeds themselves, even as little as 30 seconds may be too much, in my opinion.

My suggestion to you - do a little more research on the effects of microwaving food and water and feel confident that you will make the right decision for you. My personal opinion is not enough for you to go by. It's the results you are looking for that will tell you.

Is it Bad to Eat 9 to 10 Tablespoons of Chia Seeds a Day?

From all the research I've done, I haven't come across that much chia seeds eaten in one day. This could be a question for each individual to work out for themselves. The size of the person, their metabolism, their activity, their digestion... these have to be considered.

I remained on chia seeds for about five years and then didn't feel a need for them as a food anymore. But I did switch over to creating electrolyte water by soaking 1/4 teaspoon chia seeds in a quart of water. I let that stand at room temperature for 8 hours and then strain off the water. I put 6 to 8 oz of that water into my liter of good water and drink that. I drink about 3 of these liters with the chia water in it a day and it has been great as an electrolyte supplement.

Is Chia Addicting?

I'm not sure addicting is the right word for it. And...since I am not a medical doctor, I'm not able to provide an answer for you with a medical view.

But... here's what I usually consider when I find myself eating a lot of one food.

  1. My body would be low on some nutrients the food contained and it would take awhile to satisfy the need, so I eat a particular food every day for a month or more, even years.

  2. If I begin to increase a food after eating it every day for over three months, I find I may not be eating enough variety and I need to find more foods that compliment the one I'm eating a lot of.

If you have more energy, a clearer minded, happier and productive, you've probably found a good food that supports a healthy life.

One thing about food, you are the best one to judge what you need. Observe what a little does and increase or decrease as you feel what's right. If you start craving more and more of a food after eating it continually for more than three months, you might look at #2 above and see if that could apply.

An addiction to foods may not really be correct unless there are ingredients added to the foods that are not truly foods that cause the cravings.

Here's a suggestion on variety. This food comes in three different colors and support the endocrine system. The many systems of the body depend on the endocrine glands to create hormones so all the life processes can go into effect. It's even more amazing than the chia seed. This article can give you an idea why I say it's amazing.

Why Maca?

Thanks for asking your great questions and be sure to sign up for my My Blog Updates to receive notice of each new article.

- Janis

Comments for How much chia can I safely eat?
And... how to prepare?

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Apr 10, 2012
Thanks for the information
by: Alan


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