Chia seeds are a wonderful and healthy superfood to incorporate into your diet. Our family eats them every single morning with our breakfast. They are honestly, one of the healthiest foods you can eat, and a reason they are called a superfood! They are packed with antioxidants and tons of fiber. Chia seeds come in dry form, but it is very popular to soak them in water first before eating. This might leave some people wondering, Do you need to soak chia seeds before eating?
Let’s look at that answer in this post.
Is it Okay to Eat Chia Seeds Without Soaking?
Chia seeds are a powerhouse of nutrition and are wonderful for you to eat. When you buy chia seeds, you get them in the dry and raw form.
So, is it ok to just eat them as they are? Absolutely. Just like eating nuts or any other kind of seed, it is perfectly fine to eat them without soaking them first. You will get all of their amazing nutritional benefits from eating them just the way they are. You will get all the wonderful antioxidants, Omega-3s, protein, nutrients and fiber that make chia seeds so great for our health.
So, it is ok to eat chia seeds without soaking them first. But you might want to choose to soak them. That’s how we eat them a majority of the time. And here’s why.
Why Soak Chia Seeds?
The biggest downside to eating dry chia seeds is only that they are a little harder to eat. The dry chia seeds tend to get stuck in your teeth and can leave a slightly unpleasant feeling. The reason for this is that chia seeds absorb up to 19 times their weight in water. So, they tend to stick between your teeth and to your gums right after they touch the wet surface in your mouth and begin to absorb the water around them.
Chia Seeds Soaked in Water Overnight Benefits
When you soak the chia seeds first, it creates a gel like substance. This gel like substance is much easier to eat and will no longer stick to your teeth when you are eating them. (Since they’ve already absorbed water).
Another benefit to soaking chia seeds first, is that they will hydrate you better. Since soaked chia seeds have absorbed a lot of water, they carry that water with them into your body, helping to hydrate you better. It’s been said that eating dry chia seeds on the other hand, might absorb water from your body in the opposite way.
A final benefit that some people claim comes from soaking chia seeds, is that they are better absorbed in the body. They idea is that just like with nuts, when chia seeds are soaked in water, it helps to begin the sprouting process and also might help to remove phytic acid. This will supposedly help the body to digest the chia seeds easier and better. But there are no studies that I know of that can confirm this. So, I won’t make any claims about this.
How Long Do You Need to Soak Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds can be soaked in as little as 15 minutes, if you are in a hurry. They will still be slightly clumpy though, and not fully soaked. That’s why it is best to let the chia soaks soak for at least a couple hours. The best is to soak them overnight in the fridge. This will allow them the best amount of time to absorb the water fully.
Once they are soaked you will get a chia seed “gel”. You will start to get that gel as soon as 15 minutes after soaking, but it will still be very clumpy and not as consistent.
See the post How Long Do You Need to Soak Chia Seeds?
How Do You Prepare Chia Seeds to Eat?
Chia seeds don’t have to be prepared ahead of time. You can eat them raw if you choose. But in order to prepare and soak the chia seeds, here is what I usually do.
First, I take a big coffee mug or bowl. I fill it about 1/4 of the way with chia seeds. Then I fill the bowl up with filtered water until everything reaches the top. You can also use almond milk or another plant-based milk instead of water.
Then I will stir the mixture with a spoon and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then, I will stir it again one final time and then place it in the fridge. I’ve also started covering the chia seeds in the fridge, but I didn’t use to, and never had any adverse problems.
The ratio I use it about 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to 4 tablespoons of water. I’ve seen another ratio of 1 tablespoons of chia seeds to 6 tablespoons of water (1:6). This would give a less dense consistency.
I recommend to experiment and find what you like. Start with the 1:4 ratio, and if you like that, then stick it with.
Do You Have to Grind Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds do not need to be ground. This might come from the idea of flax seeds needing to be ground. Flax seeds have a hard-outer shell and are hard for the body to digest, but this isn’t the case with chia seeds.
Other Answers About Chia Seeds
How to Eat Chia Seeds for Weight Loss
Chia seeds can be eaten to help with weight loss. This is because they have tons of fiber, which can make you feel fuller. Also, fiber increases the amount of calories your body uses just in the digestion process. So because of this, they can be excellent for weight loss. I think it’s usually the best to eat chia seeds with water in the morning with your breakfast. Chia seed gel can be easily added to oatmeal dishes or to overnight oats.
You could also drink some chia seed water throughout the day.
Can I Soak Chia Seeds in Hot Water?
Chia seeds can be soaked in cold or hot water. There is no need for the water to be warm or hot first. Just make sure you are using clean and filtered water that you would normally drink, since you will be consuming the water with the chia seeds.
How Long to Soak Chia Seeds in Yogurt?
Chia seeds can be soaked in yogurt just like water. But we recommend to eliminate or minimize yogurt or dairy consumption. See WFPBD for more info as to why.
How Much Chia Seeds Per Day Should You Eat?
I usually eat around two tablespoons and I think that’s a good number to shoot for. I would eat at least one tablespoon to get enough of the nutritional benefits. You could eat more than two tablespoons, but just bear in mind that chia seeds are very high in fiber. 2.5 tablespoons already contain 37% of your daily fiber intake. So eating too much of it could be a bad choice.
Chia Seed Pudding
Chia Seed Pudding is basically chia seeds mixed in a plant based milk, with usually honey or maple syrup added. You can add other flavors from there as well, such as strawberries or chocolate, depending on what flavor pudding you like.
Here’s a simple 3 ingredient chia seed pudding.
Or, here’s a chia seed pudding recipe with a couple more ingredients.
How to Soak Chia Seeds for Smoothies
You could either soak the chia seeds before adding them to the smoothies, or what would be easier is to add them into the smoothies without first soaking them. Then, allow them to sit at least 15 minutes in order to start the soaking process before drinking the smoothie with chia seeds.
What Do Chia Seeds Taste Like?
For everything about chia seeds taste, please see the post on Chia Seeds taste.