How Much is Too Much Chia Seeds?

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raw chia seeds on spoon

Chia seeds have become a popular superfood in recent years and many people incorporate chia seeds into their diet for their potential health benefits.  But consuming too many chia seeds can lead to negative side effects and can also interfere with nutrient absorption and lead to health complications.

In this post, we will look at what a safe amount of chia seeds is, and some possible side effects of chia seeds, particularly if you eat too many of them.

How Much is Too Much Chia Seeds Per Day?

The recommended serving size of chia seeds is generally around 2 tablespoons (about 28 grams) per day. This is equivalent to about 12 grams of fiber. Consuming more than this amount can increase your risk of experiencing digestive side effects such as bloating, gas, and constipation.

You could potentially eat more than this, up to 4-5 tablespoons a day, and you may not experience any adverse effects. But this might be too much for you, especially if you eat all the chia seeds at one time, or within a short span of time (rather than spaced throughout the day).

This is because chia seeds are high in fiber, and consuming too much can lead to an overconsumption of fiber, which can cause these digestive issues. Additionally, consuming too much chia seeds can also interfere with mineral absorption and lead to deficiencies in essential minerals such as iron, zinc, and calcium.

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Chia seeds are also high in calories and consuming too much can lead to weight gain.  A 2 tablespoon (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains about 138 calories.  If chia seeds are consumed in addition to a diet that is already high in calories, it can contribute to weight gain.  (However, you can eat a higher amount when dieting, as mentioned in How Much Chia Seeds Daily for Weight Loss)

Another potential side effect of consuming too many chia seeds is that they can interfere with blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. Chia seeds are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids but also contain high levels of alpha-linolenic acid, which can affect blood clotting. Consuming too much chia seeds can increase the risk of bleeding in some individuals.  (See Chia Seed Dangers)

In addition, people with certain medical conditions should be cautious when consuming chia seeds. For example, people with diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease, or other conditions that can cause narrowed or blocked intestinal tracts should be cautious when consuming chia seeds, as they could cause blockages or worsen of the condition.  Also, females may have special needs to be aware of, as mentioned in Side Effects of Chia Seeds for Women.

It’s worth noting that these side effects are generally mild and can be avoided or minimized by consuming chia seeds in correct amounts and being mindful of how your body responds to them.

What to Do If You Eat Too Many Chia Seeds?

If you have consumed too many chia seeds and are experiencing negative side effects such as bloating, gas, constipation, or discomfort, there are a few things you can do to alleviate these symptoms.

  1. Drink plenty of water: Chia seeds absorb a lot of water and can cause dehydration if not consumed with enough water. Drinking plenty of water can help to soften the seeds and make them easier to digest, which can help to alleviate bloating and constipation.
  2. Limit further chia seed consumption: If you have consumed too many chia seeds, it’s best to limit or avoid further consumption until your symptoms subside.
  3. Eat light and easy-to-digest foods: Until your symptoms subside, it’s best to stick to easy to digest foods such as fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Avoid foods that are high in fat, sugar, and processed ingredients, as these can worsen your symptoms.
  4. Try a gentle laxative: If you’re experiencing constipation, you can try a gentle laxative such as prune juice or stool softeners to help alleviate your symptoms.
  5. Rest and relax: When experiencing digestive discomfort, it’s important to rest and relax. Stress can exacerbate symptoms of bloating and constipation, so taking some time to relax and unwind can help.
  6. Consult with a healthcare professional: If your symptoms persist or are severe, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional. They will be able to evaluate your symptoms and determine the best course of action.
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It’s important to keep in mind that consuming too many chia seeds can also interfere with mineral absorption, lead to nutrient deficiencies and increase the risk of bleeding, especially if you are taking blood thinners, so if you experience these symptoms it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional.

In summary, if you consume too many chia seeds and experience negative side effects, it’s important to drink plenty of water, limit further chia seed consumption, eat light and easy-to-digest foods, try a gentle laxative if necessary, rest and relax, and if symptoms persist or are severe, consult with a healthcare professional.

Can You Die From Eating Too Many Chia Seeds?

While chia seeds are generally considered to be safe and healthy to consume, consuming very large amounts of chia seeds could potentially lead to serious health problems. However, it is extremely unlikely that eating too many would lead to death.

This is because there have been no recorded cases of anyone dying from eating chia seeds.  Generally, it will just cause digestive discomfort if too many chia seeds are eaten.


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