We’ve done a couple of posts on soaking chia seeds and a common question seems to be if you can soak chia seeds in hot water? And also, should you soak chia seeds in cold or hot water?
We will look at soaking chia seeds in hot water in this post, as well as how you can do it and some of the best uses for this.
What are Soaked Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are a seed that comes in a raw form. They are like little dry balls or seeds, much like poppy seeds.
(We recommend these organic chia seeds at iHerb here. They are low-cost and high-quality)
But, chia seeds have an interesting property. They can absorb up to 19 times their own weight in water!
When you put chia seeds in water or another liquid, they will slowly absorb the liquid they are in. They will eventually form a gel-like gooey substance. Almost like something from a science experiment!
Can I Soak Chia Seeds in Hot Water?
This is a common question, can I soak chia seeds in hot water or warm water?
Soaking chia seeds in hot water is perfectly fine to do, but you don’t have to. Soaking chia seeds in cold water is acceptable and will have the same result. However, when heating chia seeds, there is some risk of losing nutritional value through overheating.
I’ve read that cooking chia seeds can destroy the nutrients. I don’t know if this is true or not, since I don’t think any scientific studies have been done on this. But, if that’s true, you might want to keep chia seeds away from hot water, at least very hot water.
(See more at Can You Boil Chia Seeds?)
Will the temperature of the water actually have an effect on the chia seeds’ nutrition? That’s unknown. But since you can soak them in the same way in cold water or room temperature water, you might as well just use that instead of hot water which could potentially affect them.
The only thing that you really want to make sure of is not the temperature of the water, but the cleanliness of the water. Make sure you are using clean and drinkable water to soak chia seeds in since you will be consuming the water with the chia seeds as well.
So, to answer the question, we have always soaked chia seeds in cold water, and they have always been fine and formed a nice chia seed gel. I have never used hot water or warm water and there doesn’t seem to be a need to do so.
Chia Seeds with Hot Water Benefits
Chia seeds come with tons of benefits. This includes tons of fiber, antioxidants, Omega-3 fats, plant-based protein, and more. (You can see the complete list of chia seed benefits in detail at Chia Seeds Benefits)
Soaking chia seeds, whether in cold water or hot water, increases their benefits even more.
For an increase in health benefits, some studies have found that soaking chia seeds rather than eating them raw, led to a much higher level of ALA found in the bloodstream. ALA is the Omega-3 plant-based fat that is found in chia seeds.
In fact, a study found no increase in ALA levels at all for those who ate raw chia seeds. But in a couple of studies involving chia seeds that had been soaked, it was found that ALA levels increased in the bloodstream. An even greater increase in ALA and EPA levels was further found in those who consumed ground chia. (See Ground Chia Seeds vs. Whole – Which is Better?)
It was further concluded in a study, that soaking chia seeds might also increase the digestibility and uptake of the protein in chia seeds.
Chia seeds in their raw form can also cause a problem when you eat them. It isn’t a huge deal, but they will stick to your teeth and gums. This is because they absorb water, so when they contact with the wet surface in your mouth, they have a tendency to swell and get stuck between your teeth. They can be a little annoying.
When you soak chia seeds, however, they swell and absorb water ahead of time. Then when you eat them, they don’t tend to stick in your mouth any longer.
Also, when chia seeds are soaked, they don’t have a crunchy texture to them when you add them to your foods. This makes them also slightly more pleasant to eat.
Another reason to soak chia seeds is there is a belief that soaking seeds or any nut, will remove phytic acid from the seed. Phytic acid is a natural protective mechanism that plants have on them to protect them from predators. But soaking nuts, seeds, or chia seeds is believed to reduce the phytic acid, making it easier to digest in our system.
But some evidence actually points to the fact that phytic acid might actually be beneficial and help us to absorb more minerals. So I don’t consider this to be a huge benefit for soaking chia seeds.
What’s probably more likely happening, is that seeds have a hard shell, which is hard for our digestive system to break down. But by soaking them first, we start the digestion process and soften this hard outer shell.
This allows us to then digest them much easier and better.
This is probably the reason why grinding chia seeds is also beneficial since it is another way to break up this hard outer shell. You see this as common practice for flax seeds, where it has been known that flax seeds need to be found before eating, in order to be able to fully digest them.
How to Soak Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are pretty easy to soak. You can find a full article I’ve written on how to soak chia seeds here.
How Long to Soak Chia Seeds in Hot Water?
If you are choosing to soak chia seeds in hot water, you want to allow them to soak for at least two hours. For best results, you should soak them overnight. This will minimize the amount of clumping you will see and give a better consistency.
If you are in a hurry, you could soak them in as little as 15 minutes, but you might not get the full benefit of soaking them, and they might still be very clumpy.
You can learn more about this at How Long to Soak Chia Seeds in Water.
Can Chia Seeds Be Soaked Overnight?
Yes, soaking chia seeds is best done overnight. This allows them maximum time to soak.
Chia Seeds with Hot Water and Lemon
Some people like to make chia seed water instead of soaking chia seeds. This is very simple to do, and you can just combine 1.5 tablespoons of chia seeds with 1.5 cups of water.
Mix and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes before drinking. You can then add lemon. You can do a teaspoon of lemon or you can just squeeze some fresh lemon into the water.
You can learn more about chia water at Chia Seeds with Water and Lemon.
Chia Seeds in Hot Water for Weight Loss
One good idea to help with weight loss is to incorporate chia seeds. This is because chia seeds are packed with soluble fiber. This helps to slow our digestion down and makes us feel fuller for longer.
Plus, chia seeds help to lower and regulate your blood sugar levels. This helps you to feel less hungry between eating. Furthermore, chia seeds are said to continue soaking up water in the stomach and expanding. This takes up more space in the stomach, making us feel even fuller and more satisfied, either after eating or between meals.
Chia seeds in water can be used for weight loss either by soaking the chia seeds or by drinking chia water.
(Learn more about chia seeds for weight loss at How to Use Chia Seeds in Water for Weight Loss)
Do I Soak Chia Seeds in Hot or Cold Water?
I soak in cold water and have always been happy with that. Either way should have the same results. It’s a matter of preference.
There is no need to soak in hot water, and the heat may have a negative effect on the nutrition content, but that’s not confirmed.
Does Hot Water Destroy Chia Seeds?
I’ve read that cooking chia seeds can destroy the nutrients, but I don’t know how true that actually is. There don’t seem to be any studies on the matter.
A lot of foods do change their nutritional content when they are heated, and heat can destroy nutrition. But, in some cases with certain foods, heat can actually make them more nutritious in some ways, and more easily digested by us.
Also, as long as the water is not boiling, it should not be too much heat to cause very much damage to the chia seeds. But it’s recommended to at least not boil the chia seeds in water. (Just use hot water but not boiling water)
(See also Does Heating Chia Seeds Destroy Nutrients?)
Chia Seeds with Hot Water in the Morning
The best time to drink chia seeds for weight loss is probably in the morning, although all times are good. This is because you are getting the chia seeds into your stomach, where they can begin to slow your digestion and help you feel full for longer throughout the day.
Even if you aren’t trying to lose weight with chia seeds, you can still get great benefits for your body by getting a good amount of Omega-3 fats as well as antioxidants and fiber that come from chia seeds, first thing in the morning.
One option is to add your chia seeds to a healthy plant-based breakfast bowl.
Can I Soak Chia Seeds in Boiling Water?
I wouldn’t recommend soaking chia seeds in boiling water. The extremely hot water is unnecessary and might break down some of the nutrient value of the chia seeds.
So, as we can see, chia seeds can be soaked in hot water if you choose to. But, they do not have to be soaked in hot water or warm water. They can be soaked just fine in cold water and it will have the same result.
Also, this is uncertain as to the effect, but there might be a degradation of the nutrients in chia seeds when added to heat. So, it might be best to soak them in cold water or room temperature water instead.
The main thing to remember is to make sure the water is clean and drinkable.
Lance has been passionate about the plant-based diet and we have been following a whole food plant-based diet for over 5 years. We focus on health, natural healing, weight management, animal rights, and the health of the planet and environment by focusing on whole plant-based foods and sustainable practices.
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