You can’t look at any health blog these days without reading about the amazing benefits of eating chia seeds. While this superfood reaps lots of positivity for our health, there has been some negative side effects depending on how we prepare them.
Do we eat them dry or soak them first? Both methods are safe when it comes to consumption but the problem comes if chia seeds are eaten dry and not enough fluids are being taken in alongside them as this can actually cause gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, bloating and gas. So should we always soak them first?
WHAT?! The Benefits of Chia Seeds May Actually Harm Some of Us?
Chia seeds do live up to their hype. They can inject a high amount of fibre, protein, calcium, antioxidants and omega-3s into our diet.The problem is that their high fibre content may be what’s the biggest issue.
Unless you’re very conscientious about your fibre intake, most people don’t actually get enough fibre on a daily basis. Introducing chia seeds will increase soluble fibre intake massively and if the body isn’t used to this then constipation can occur.
Another problem is that chia seeds are highly absorbent and soak up a lot of fluid. When soaked fully, they form a gel. If you’re ingesting them dry, you can imagine how much liquid they soak up within the body making constipation an even bigger threat. But by soaking them  prior to consumption, you make it much easier to digest eliminating the chance of constipation or other stomach problems.
The Benefits of Soaking Chia Seeds
There are multiple benefits to soaking chia seeds so before you sprinkle your dry seeds on top of your morning porridge, see why you should soak them first.
1. It Takes Away Natural Negative Properties
While chia seeds are pretty amazing, as a seed they do contain phytic acid. Nuts and seeds all contain this acid because it helps boost the plant to grow initially. Unfortunately, it isn’t always compatible with the human body and can impair the absorption of iron, zinc and calcium.
Simply soaking chia seeds actually releases this acid and stops it from binding to essential minerals and nutrients and stops it blocking these from being absorbed by the body.
2. It Cleans Your Gut
The mucilage (or soluble fibre) that’s contained in chia seeds, helps remove unwanted items in the digestive tract as it moves through.  As this mucilage can absorb up to 27 times its weight in water, soaking chia seeds before consumption will make this process much more efficient and prevent them from absorbing essential fluid in the body.
3. It Creates ACE Inhibitors
ACE inhibitors are used synthetically to treat cardiovascular problems and high blood pressure by pharmaceuticals but when soaked, the enzymes contained in chia seeds obtain this ACE inhibitor naturally. This goes towards getting a healthier heart and all the health benefits that go with it.
Therefore, soaking your chia seeds is much more beneficial to your body than eating them dry from the packet. Simply soaking this superfood in water before you eat it will have your body thanking you and allow it a better chance of getting the true benefits of this miracle seed!
How To Soak Chia Seeds At Home?
It’s really simple and easy to soak your chia seeds but a bit of preparation goes a long way. The rule is that there’s really no way you can soak chia seeds for too long.
Just placing some chia seeds into a container with a ratio of 1/3 cup of chia seeds to 2 cups of water, giving it a good shake and placing it in the refrigerator overnight is all you have to do.
If you want a quick method you can soak for 2-3 hours which is enough time for the seeds to form the mucilage gel.
For extra health benefits you can replace water with regular milk or almond milk to make a great breakfast or simply add a squeeze of orange or lemon juice to the water to boost your vitamin C intake.
So go ahead and soak those chia seeds and soak up the benefits while you’re at it!
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