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Diabetes Developments - A blog on latest developments in diabetes by David Mendosa

Chia Seeds

December 13th, 2007 · 343 Comments

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You might think that everyone who has diabetes would know about a seed that is superior to other plant and marine sources of essential omega-3 oils. It is also high in antioxidants and fiber. Besides that, it is high in protein and lipids, is low in sodium, and has fewer net carbs than most other grains.

But we have more misinformation about it than we have knowledge.

The seed is called chia (Salvia hispanica) and is a member of the mint family. It originated in Mexico’s central valley.

Before the Spanish conquest, chia was a big part of the Aztec and Mayan diets and was the basic survival ration of Aztec warriors. But the conquerors came close to wiping out chia. Maybe that was because of the Aztec custom of cutting images of gods made from chia dough into pieces and eating them after their religious ceremonies. That was too close for comfort to the practices of the conquering religion.

Over the past few decades, commercial production has resumed in Latin America. Much of the credit for this needs to go to Wayne Coates, Ph.D., who retired just two months ago as a research professor in the Office of Arid Lands Studies at the University of Arizona, Tucson. Together with Richardo Ayerza Jr., Dr. Coates wrote the definitive book on the subject, Chia: Rediscovering a Forgotten Crop of the Aztecs (The University of Arizona Press, 2005).

Dr. Wayne Coates (image used by permission)
Dr. Wayne Coates (image used by permission)
Their work led to the commercial cultivation of chia in Peru.

Chia is 16 percent protein, 31 percent fat, and 44 percent carbohydrate of which 38 percent is fiber. Most of its fat is the essential omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid or ALA, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 20 (2007).

Exactly how much of chia’s fiber is insoluble and soluble is hard to pin down. But about three-fourths is insoluble and one-fourth soluble. Still, chia’s soluble fiber has a much higher viscosity than other dietary fibers such as beta-glucan and guar. This means that it has significantly increased intestinal transit time, delayed gastric emptying, and a slower rate of glucose absorption.

For all its power chia is a remarkably mild tasting seed. I add it to everything from salad to yogurt to eggs and ground bison. I enjoy its nutlike flavor and sometimes eat a handful of whole seeds straight from the container. Chia is a tasty, interesting, and healthful addition to my diet.

But for such a little-known food we can find a remarkable amount of stuff on the Internet that just isn’t true. Dr. Coates helped guide me through this morass.

I don’t have any interest in the recipes for chia that I found in the book by James F. Sheer, The Magic of Chia (Berkeley, California, Frog Ltd., 2001). But essentially all of those recipes call for soaking the chia in a glass of water to form a gel. Is that really necessary?

It’s not, Dr. Coates replied. “They were believers in soaking, but all that does is bring out the soluble fiber. It doesn’t do anything more magical than that. There is no documented reason to make a gel to use it. I personally just put it on my salad every night and eat it that way.”

I also wondered if we might need to grind chia seeds, since flax seeds require grinding. Does grinding chia make it more bioavailable?

“Not really,” Dr. Coates replied. With flax you have to grind it, because it has a hard seed coat. Chia doesn’t, so you don’t need to grind it.

I persisted. It seems to me that the chia is more palatable when I grind it. So is there any reason not to?

“No, there is definitely no reason not to, except for the hassle of doing it,” he answered. “Grinding will not hurt anything, and if in fact you do grind it, the nice thing is that it has natural anti-oxidants so it won’t go rancid like flax.”

What about cooking? I broiled ground chia on my bison burger last night. Does cooking destroy anything of the chia?

Again, that is not really a problem, Dr. Coates replied. “Whether ground or whole there is no detrimental effects. Of course, the higher the heat there will be some destruction, but not a lot. I think it is slightly better to add it at the table.

“Now, if you cook with chia oil, it isn’t stable, because the antioxidants are in the seed and the seed coat,” he says. So don’t use chia oil for cooking, he adds, just as you wouldn’t use flax oil for cooking, because both of them will oxidize.

Then, I asked Dr. Coates what his take on Salba was. A company in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, has begun to promote it heavily.

I told him that I just ran across an article by Vladmir Vuksan and his associates about Salba. The article is “Supplementation of Conventional Therapy With the Novel Grain Salba (Salvia hispanica L.) Improves Major and Emerging Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Type 2 Diabetes: Results of a randomized controlled trial,” in Diabetes Care, November 2007, pp. 2804-2810.
“It’s a joke,” Dr. Coates replied forcefully. “Salba is just the white chia.”

Then, what about organic chia? I told him that I ran across a source of chia that purports to be certified organic.

Dr. Coates replied point blank, “There is no certified organic chia. That is another falsehood. But the chia is never sprayed with pesticides because insects never bother it. So there are never any chemicals on the outside of the seed. It is harvested with combines mechanically and it is mechanically cleaned. We don’t irradiate it; we don’t do anything to it. It is natural.”

Then, I said that I heard that you can take too much fish oil and I wondered if you could take too much chia.

“You can OD on fish oil and algae oil,” Dr. Coates replied. But there are no know restrictions or limitations on chia. You can eat a cup a day. You cannot OD on ALA. Your body takes the ALA and converts it to fish oil.”

But doesn’t ALA convert to fish oil with less bioavailability than the fish oil itself?

“There is a big argument about how much ALA gets converted,” Dr. Coates replied. “Your body is going to convert what you need rather than converting extra. So you are going to convert differently from what I am going to convert. That’s why nothing has come out about what percentage is converted.”

This is clear enough now for me. I will continue eating at least three or four teaspoons of chia every day. And most of the time I will eat the little seeds whole. I will stick with the more common and much less expensive black seeds. I will cut back a little on my fish oil and increase the number of chia seeds I eat every day.

This is a mirror of one of my articles that Health Central published. You can navigate to that site to find my most recent articles.

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343 responses so far ↓

  • 1 james // Feb 13, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    chia seeds are great and i own the book that wayne co-authored and it is a wonderful, unmatched resource for info on chia. i order my seeds from The Chia Seed and i believe they come from wayne’s company because the package says they are manufactured in sonita arizona. either way i am very pleased and the seeds are great quality. i also don’t have to pay for shipping which is a huge plus!

  • 2 Asha // Mar 8, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    I’ve never heard of Chia before except in the context of a “Chia pet” which involved coating a clay animal figure with a paste of seeds. The hook was that the clay figure would grow “fur” rapidly. Is this the same Chia seed?

  • 3 Carol // Mar 14, 2008 at 10:27 am

    Good article. Answered most of my questions about chia seed. Thank you.

  • 4 steve simpson // Mar 18, 2008 at 6:54 am

    Hi,
    In this article on chia seeds, you have said “that it has significantly increased intestinal transit time”. Increasing time would mean that it takes longer for chia seeds to complete the digestion process. Is this what you mean?
    Steve

  • 5 Karen Vaughan // Apr 16, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Chia is great. You can sprout it, as with the pet, or eat it whole. It sticks to the ceramic pet because of that fiber. I always use the black seed because it is easier to find and is cheaper. The intestinal transit time is the time it takes to get through the intestine, completing the digestive process. The soluble fiber also means that it will help diabetics who get diarrhea from their meds because it absorbs water, and will help people with dry constipation because it makes the stool moist with the gelled water.

  • 6 Elaine // Apr 29, 2008 at 7:39 am

    I ‘ve recently read about concern regarding the ALA in flaxseed encouraging/causing prostate and breast cancer. I understand chia seeds contain more ALA than flaxseed. So, is chia seed good for you?

  • 7 David Mendosa // Apr 29, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    Dear Elaine,

    That would be a stretch. “There is limited research of the effects of flaxseed or alpha-linolenic acid (which is in flaxseed) on the risk of developing prostate cancer. This area remains controversial.” This is according to The Natural Standard as quoted on The Mayo Clinic site (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/flaxseed/NS_patient-flaxseed). The Natural Standard grades this evidence as “D,” its next to lowest grade. And, of course, this is about flax seed, not chia seeds, and I already had other concerns about flax seeds, one of the reasons why I don’t eat them.

  • 8 Natalie // Apr 29, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    I just found out about chia seeds in my local health food store. I’m going to start putting chia seeds into my diet everyday. I wanted something to help with digestion, bloating stomach, fiber and maybe to lose a couple pounds. Chia is good for all of the above? Do you recommend a cleanse? and what is your concerns about flax seeds?

  • 9 David Mendosa // May 1, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    Dear Natalie,

    Yes, chia seeds will probably help you with all of those issues. It has helped me.

    But I do not recommend a cleanse and never have been a believer in them.

    I haven’t been able to investigate flax seeds as much as I would like. But I know that you have to be very careful that they don’t go rancid.

    Best regards,

    David

  • 10 rockwell // Jun 5, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    hey in response to the first comment from james, i’ve also been buying my chia seeds from thechiaseed.com and they’ve been fantastic! i can’t say enough good things about chia and i think every one of your readers, david, needs to try chia seeds. thanks for such a wonderful resource!

  • 11 Samantha // Jun 27, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    For all those who enjoyed David’s interview, here is another recent interview of Dr. Wayne Coates that is quite interesting:

    http://www.naturalnews.com/022780.html

    This interview between Dr. Fred Liers and Dr. Coates shows how he has helped popularize this healthy superseed. Enjoy.

  • 12 David Mendosa // Jun 27, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Dear Samantha,

    Thank you for discovering and posting the link to this very helpful interview.

    David

  • 13 Angella // Jun 30, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    I love what you say chia seed can do. my biggest concern however is: when i was on flax seed it made me bloated. i actually gained weight. i use to take it at bedtime too, and i was pretty regular. but i had to come off it because of the weight gain. will chia seed cause this.

  • 14 David Mendosa // Jun 30, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Dear Angella,

    I have never heard of any reports that chia seeds cause bloating. Try them!

    David

  • 15 Carrie-Ann // Jul 1, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    Angella, I could never consume flax because the discomfort was just not worth it. I would bloat, get cramps and be miserable for a couple of days. Chia does not do this. I’ve been eating the black chia seeds for a few months now and I keep a container of them in my drawer at work to help stave off the occasional 10am or 3pm meltdown. Just be sure to drink water with them!

  • 16 Miguel Castro // Jul 15, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Good article, but I am concern about the “gastroparesis” that is common on those with Diabetes II. If Chia increases Intestinal transit time and delayed gastric emtying that will be an added complications for those with gastroparesis. This pseudo obstruction requieres a diet low in fiber and avoid anything that delayed the gastric empty capacity.
    So I think that more research has to be done.

    Miguel

  • 17 charley // Jul 22, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    well i had to take the advice of james and rockwell and check out thechiaseed.com and i am very pleased with the chia seeds they sent me. have you ever heard of and or purchased from them david?? i’ve been skeptical about buying them online but since james mentioned that he thinks they are coming from the same place wayne is associated with i gave them a shot. any thoughts david? i love your site by the way!

  • 18 David Mendosa // Jul 24, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Dear Charley,

    Thank you so much!

    I haven’t used this source, but I will sure keep it in mind for my next chia seed order.

    By the way, I buy a whole lot of stuff on line and often from companies that I have never heard of before. Never had a problem. And it sure saves time and gasoline!

    Best regards,

    David

  • 19 Krill Oil // Jul 25, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    [...] Comments David Mendosa on Chia Seedscharley on Chia SeedsDavid Mendosa on Splenda or Stevia ?rathan on Splenda or Stevia ?Miguel Castro [...]

  • 20 Drew // Aug 5, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    I’m using about an ounce, 2 T., of chia seeds per day and think that they’ve been a great addition to my diet. But, I also take fish oil and am now wondering how much I should reduce that, or perhaps I should eliminate it altogether. What are others doing.
    Also, are chia sprouts as healthful as the seeds?

  • 21 charley james // Aug 6, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    David, thanks for the reassurance of buying online! I am definitely getting more into it and with gas prices, the risk is worth it. Thanks again!

  • 22 Acai Berry Detox // Aug 24, 2008 at 11:22 am

    I’m always into discussions on anything organic, so this read made me feel at home.
    I’ll bookmark the site and subscribe to the feed!

  • 23 Leon // Sep 8, 2008 at 8:34 am

    I want to respond to Angella, as others have said chia seed are easier to take, (no grinding needed) plus you don’t seem to get the bloating. I get Chia Seeds from http://www.nuchiafoods.com, I use them because they also have a Chia Seed flour that is really good.

  • 24 Ariadne // Sep 10, 2008 at 9:10 am

    Angela,

    The chia seed when put in the right amount of water turns into a gel like substance. When you take the chia, whether you eat it in your salads etc or drink in your juice, you will find that as you drink more liquid you feel more full, and that is because the chia is expanding in your stomach. It is not a bloated feeling, but a full one. You are also don’t get as hungry. You may find that you have less air in your stomach and therefore, less gas. The chia loves liquids, so any liquids, acids, etc in your stomach, the chia will absorb and neutralize it.

    The website that I purchase my chia from and it also has a lot of historical and nutritional information is http://www.nuchiafoods.com.

    Hope the info helps.

  • 25 Marvin Armendinger // Sep 24, 2008 at 10:33 am

    Anyone out there have diverticulitis, and take Chia seeds?? Appreciate your reply.
    Marv

  • 26 Leon // Oct 25, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    David,

    You mentioned above that you “already had other concerns about flax seeds, one of the reasons why I don’t eat them”. I am curious as to what your concerns are as you have recommended the seeds in other posts on your website.

    Thanks.

  • 27 David Mendosa // Oct 26, 2008 at 8:07 am

    Dear Leon,

    My concerns were something that Dr. Coates told me about flax seeds. But I have never been able to verify those concerns and Dr. Coates was never able to substantiate his claims that flax seeds were bad in any way for us. So I have subsequently started to use flaxseed oil for my salad dressing (it cannot be heated safely, however, since that is something that I can verify). I still don’t use flax seeds, but at this point I think that they probably are safe.

    Best regards,

    David

  • 28 Leon // Oct 27, 2008 at 9:45 am

    Now you’ve peaked my interest. Who is Dr. Coates and what concerns did he voice about flaxseeds?

  • 29 David Mendosa // Oct 27, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Dear Leon,

    Dr. Coates sells chia seeds. I interviewed him for the article above.

    He told me that you can get too much of the precursor to omega 3 oil from flax seeds. That’s what I have not been able to substantiate.

    David

  • 30 Leon // Oct 27, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Hmm, i’ve found a bit about flax have antinutrionals and how flax is banned for human consumption in France etc from this website, but who knows really. I am eating sardines 2-3x per week now to get my omega-3
    http://equinexia.jimdo.com/chia_seed_versus_flaxseed.php

  • 31 David Mendosa // Oct 27, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    Dear Leon,

    I also eat sardines regularly. I really like the Portuguese sardines in organic olive oil from vitalchoice.com . I probably have 8 or 9 cans of them a week!

    Best regards,

    David

  • 32 Jason // Nov 13, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    I love chia seeds as porridge. I will now try them in my salads.

    If you eat chia at a meal when taking supplements, does the fiber affect the absorbtion of the supplements?

  • 33 David Mendosa // Nov 13, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Dear Jason,

    I think that the chia seeds will slow down the absorption of the supplements. Slow down, not prevent.

    David

  • 34 Heather // Dec 5, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    I don’t really like making the gel for the chia seed and I am new at this all together but, I’m concerned about colon blockage if I just take the seeds dry about 3 teaspoons total in the morning with a bottle of water to wash them down, any thoughts???

  • 35 David Mendosa // Dec 6, 2008 at 12:54 am

    Dear Heather,

    I think that in light of problems with taking guar gum (a different product, but similar in that it expands a lot too), you have a legitimate concern. It is a question of how much liquid that you take with it. The guar gum problem was with supplements, that some people took with very little water. It is also a question of the amount of chia seeds that you take and what you take it with. Certainly, I would not advocate taking chia seeds without food, like on your eggs for breakfast, and not 3 teaspoons all at once. Be moderate.

    Best regards,

    David

  • 36 Harold // Jan 22, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    I was given this website as to get more information about Diabetes. I just found out. I am a 35 year old man who lives in Wisconsin-The home of beer and cheese. Does anyone know of some good websites besides this that I can get more information on Receipes and Diabetes in general. All my doctor gave me was 12 print outs about what I can and can not do. I asked and he provided nothing else.

  • 37 David Mendosa // Jan 22, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Dear Harold,

    Once you finish reading the one thousand or so articles and two books that I have written about diabetes, there are many other fine websites dealing with it.

    First, please start with my article at http://www.mendosa.com/advice.htm

    I do list, link, and describe the most important diabetes websites at another of my web pages, http://www.mendosa.com/genl.htm

    The best one is the only one that predates mine (from Feb. 1995). It’s the U.S. Government’s NIDDK site.

    Best regards,

    David

  • 38 Walking Canes // Feb 14, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Great post!

  • 39 Debbie // Feb 23, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    i have been eating chia for 3 weeks now,love the energy it gives me ,the full feeling and stamina that i get is amazeing.i get my chia from getchia.com great service,no shipping cost and the best prices .if you buy a three pound bag it only cost $9.33 a pound and my order came super fast.

  • 40 Linda // Mar 15, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    I’m not clear from my reading…will chia seeds slow gastric emptying or speed it up? If it slows it down, then it would not be good for someone with delayed gastric emptying. Is this correct?

  • 41 David Mendosa // Mar 15, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Dear Linda,

    You are probably right, but I don’t really know. Does anyone reading this know the answer?

    Best regards,

    David

  • 42 Lydia // Mar 17, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    After reading a lot of positive information about the effects fo chia seeds, I decided to test them. The effect on me and my husband however is quite negative. Yesterday I made the gel and we took 3 tbsp (as was written in the instructions that came with the seeds) with our supper. We couldn’t sleep well because our intestines were moving and making some noise. In the morning we took 2 tbsp with breakfast. Today all day we felt very uncomfortable, full, with stomach cramps, and worst of all there was no bowel movement. We both generaly have regular BMs 2 times a day. Looking for some explanation of what happened, I found this forum. Maybe our experience is too little to draw conclusions, but it seems that chia seeds are not very good if you have regular gastric emptying, let alone delayed gastric emptying. Or could it be some incompatibility between our diet and the chia seeds? We drink a lot of water – about 2 liters every day, and eat at least 5-7 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables, with every day intake of cottage cheese and flax oil, no red meat. Is it possible that chia seeds are not apropriate with such kind of diet ?

  • 43 nena // Mar 28, 2009 at 10:29 am

    Have you heard of the Budwig cottage cheese/flax oil diet? Supposedly prevents and/or cures cancer. It’s a mixture of cottage cheese (or yogurt cheese) with flax oil, and flax seeds. I have recently read so many potentially harmful things about flax (like it promotes estrogen related cancers) that I would like to substitute chia oil and chia seeds. has anyone tried this? and if so, where do you find chia oil?

    Thanks!

  • 44 David Mendosa // Mar 28, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Dear Nena,

    I have heard of Dr. Budwig, but know nothing about that diet.

    While I continue to eat chia seeds every day, I haven’t used the oil. But I did a Google search just now for “chia oil” and immediately came up with many results.

    Best regards,

    David

  • 45 Sweden // Mar 31, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    I’m getting rid of fat eating chia seeds gel :)

  • 46 L. Flores // May 13, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Mr. Mendoza,

    I don’t know if you’re aware that Dr. Coates is working to distribute the best quality chia that there’s in the world to help improve the health and wealth in the world. Please see the sites that I list below, directly with Dr Coates:

    Part 1 7:29 min. Dr Coates gives some general information about Mila

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGrCOD5zGlQ&feature=related

    Part 3 1:27 min. Advantages of Mila with respect to other types of chia

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Jc8o6DkZbw&feature=related

    Part 4 2:14 min. Explanation of how Lifemax is offering the highest quality of Chia and nutrition

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYlqCagpeZY&feature=related

    Part 6 3:33 min. Explanation of process of micro slicing and how this affect and preserve the original nutrients

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tMjFsyBTQ4&feature=related

    Part 9 1:11 min. Dr Coates shares his vision about Lifemax and Mila

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-9ZGRXdlWo&feature=related

    Diabetes is common in my family (both sides), so I need to take preventive measures. This product arrived by chance to my hands, and I’ve taken Mila for 3 months. The results are amazing. So amazing, that the medical community is starting to look into that. There will soon be a publication about this, I still don’t know the name of the journal, but improvements have been incredible in many cases, not only for diabetes, but for heart disease, depression, digestion, etc. I encourage you to take a close look to this blend of seeds, specially from the medical perspective.

    If you, or anyone else wants to try one month supply of Mila for free (just pay for shipping) for you to notice the difference with respect to other chia seeds, please email me to lilia.e.flores@gmail.com.

    For more information, visit: http://delangel.lifemax.net/ look in product, and select Mila. For questions use my email address above to contact me directly.

    I’m helping Mila to arrive to the hands of those who need it the most.

    Sinc.

    L. Flores

  • 47 Tony Donayre // May 17, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Your information says that tanks to Dr. Coates there is commercial production of chia in Peru.

    I would like to know where in Peru is chia grown.

    Tony in Lima

  • 48 L. Flores // May 18, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    I’m looking for that information. I’ll get back to you asap.

    Thank you,

    Lilia

  • 49 Junie Licaros // Jun 2, 2009 at 6:43 am

    Can you send me more information on white chia seed i.e nutritional values and benefits

    Thanks

  • 50 David Mendosa // Jun 2, 2009 at 7:12 am

    Dear Junie,

    Please read what I wrote about Salba in this article. You can also follow the links there.

    Best regards,

    David

  • 51 MB // Jun 2, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Wow, Mila is $55 for 16 oz? How do they justify charging that much? Is there any kind of proof that the product is worth the extra charge compared to other chia/salba products?

  • 52 David Mendosa // Jun 2, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Dear MB,

    Good question! Maybe the answer is that they sell it through multi-level (network) marketing, which always ups the price.

    Best regards,

    David

  • 53 Kate // Jun 17, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    I started using chia when I had a sample at Whole Foods one day…I was feeling a bit dragged down that day, and about 35 min later was definitely feeling a bit perkier. I continued to use them off and on and when I found out my boyfriend had Crohn’s looked into the possibility that it might benefit him. We ground the chia up until it was a fine powder and he takes 2 tsp mixed with juice 3x per day with meals (he doesn’t let it swell up completely, just a minute or two)’…I cannot tell you the difference it has made in his life. He used to have miniflares at least 3x per month even with his regular medication. Now, he will occasionally have a flare, but that is likely only after he has had a social night out on the town or eaten something that triggers a flare. He and I have both taken it when we feel bloaty or when food just doesn’t sit right, and it clears that right up as well. The chia seeds have definitely made an impact on our lives. I am now just starting my horses on it as well (I breed show jumpers) to see how they do on it as a part of their daily diets. Great info source here! Thanks!

  • 54 marcus // Jun 17, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    I want to clear up some things that I feel Dr. Coates is a little underinformed about. Nothing to him, I respect him a great deal and I’m sure we’ll meet as I am pursuing my PhD in Physiology from UA.

    1. It isn’t necessary to make a gel, but the reason one would is that the seed will get hydrated in your gut, but to do so would use your body water. If you hydrate the seed you are letting the hydration happen before it enters your body, which would be especially useful if it is part of a water deprived recipe like salad dressing for example. I think that if the seed enters your body that was in the form of a gel for a while it would be easier to break down and absorb by your body as compared to whole unhydrated chia. This may help people with gut issues who don’t want to grind the grain. I do agree with you that it doesn’t make much difference either way.

    2. It is great that natural antioxidants let you store ground chia easily ( I love to mix a shake of ground chia into a glass of water), however you do want to store it more prudently than whole chia because it is less protected. You don’t want all the antioxidants to get used up before you eat it heh.

    3. Salba: I agree that the “novel grain” part of the study title is a joke, but the people who make salba are really upfront and truthful about it. Check out their website if you want. In one of the video’s they say that the industry wants a consistent and predictable product, and the same is required for medical trials. Salba does deliver on that consistency factor. Salba is a type of chia just like yellow and red bananas are types of bananas. Different types have different levels of different nutrients and possibly a different taste. So I look at it as a good thing that they’re bringing press, credibility to this grain, and it is also a high quality supplier.

    Thanks for the article, I learned alot.

  • 55 marcus // Jun 17, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    I checked out the Mila website and it agrees with some of my points. Also I’m sorry I said I felt Dr. Coates was a little underinformed since he certainly is not.

    Thanks again

  • 56 marcus // Jun 17, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    Lydia, I think you just ate too much too fast. My suggestion is to start slow and work you way up in a way that’s compatible with your body. This food has a possibly different type of fiber than your used to so just take it slow and it will be great.

  • 57 marcus // Jun 17, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    Linda, Soluble fiber slows gastric motility and insoluble fiber speeds it up as a rule. Soluble fiber absorbs water and therefore adds bulk to stool, while insoluble fiber doesn’t absorb water and helps things move through the tract. Chia’s ratio of soluble to insoluble fiber (1 to 4) should make it just fine for anyone if they start small and slowly increase their intake.

  • 58 marcus // Jun 17, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Marvin, Whole chia seeds are probably not a part of a “low residue diet” but I will say as a Nutrition major that they would be very beneficial to someone who has diverticulitis or diverticulosis. The fiber, EFA’s, protien, etc. will all help you recover in my opinion.

  • 59 marcus // Jun 17, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    Drew, You can probably stop taking your fish oil supplement if you continue consuming a serving of chia a day. I would recommend also eating animal sources of omega 3-s like salmon, sardines, etc. once in a while too.

  • 60 marcus // Jun 17, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    Drew, typically sprouts have more nutrients than seeds because a sprout is the seed + sunlight derived new nutrients. However, sprouts can have a little more not so edible compounds that make things bitter. These compounds are not harmful, but I would minimize them if I was having liver or kidney problems because it may give them a little extra work to do to metabolize and excrete them. Moderation too.

  • 61 marcus // Jun 17, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    Miguel, If your doctor says to have a diet low in fiber, then do it. Chia is not a low fiber food :) .

  • 62 Bernard // Jul 23, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Just for the record, when the sellers of Mia claim that flaxseeds are banned in France, this is a total lie. I even communicated with a large health food store in France called http://www.BienManger.com, and the confirmed that they sell many varieties of flaxseeds (called graines de lin in French). So, when somebody actually lies about stuff like that, it makes you wonder about the integrity of the company.

  • 63 Marcus // Jul 24, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    I don’t necessarily dissagree with you Bernard, but it may be that they can’t sell it in stores in France, and online may be a “loophole”. Just like how in our system you can buy goods (even in the same state) without sales tax by buying online. Did you do research to see if large open shop retailers or vitamin shop’s sell flaxseeds? That could be a way of verifying your results.

  • 64 Tonya // Jul 27, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Does Chia help with constipation and gas? If it does what is the best way to take it?

  • 65 David Mendosa // Jul 27, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Dear Tonya,

    It might help with constipation because of its high fiber content. But I’m never seen any studies showing that it might help with gas.

    Best regards,

    David

  • 66 marcus // Jul 27, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Tonya, my opinion would be the same as David’s. The easiest way I’ve found to take it in reasonable quantity is to stir in the whole or crushed seed into lemonade, let it soak a few minutes, then drink. Anywhere from 1-2 tsp or a couple tablespoons, start small though.

  • 67 Anna // Jul 31, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    What is known about taking Chia seeds when one has diverticulosis – since seeds are restricted?

  • 68 marcus // Aug 1, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Anna, The current medical treatment of Diverticulosis is a low residue diet, which restricts seeds like chia. However, new research and leaders in the Nutrition field do not believe a low residue diet is necessary, and that the high fiber foods that are typically not low residue are actually beneficial. I think the truth lies towards the middle, if the diverticula are inflamed I would defiantly recommend a low residue diet, but otherwise I wouldn’t think it would matter. I am not a doctor, so if I were you I would do a search for scholarly articles on the subject and bring them to your doctor and discuss your options.

  • 69 Margaret // Aug 5, 2009 at 8:41 am

    This is a terrific and informative thread! For more information about chia seeds, and some recipe ideas, check out my website: http://www.chiativity.org

  • 70 Norma // Aug 10, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    How much chia seeds can be used as a substitute for oil or fat for baking purposes.

  • 71 Jason // Aug 23, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    I love CHIA! I incorporate my Chia in breakfast and throughout the day meals.

    http://www.JappelOrganics.com offers the highest quality Chia seed and lots of other great organic products like Bedding, Clothing, Shoes, Supplements, and more!

  • 72 Dave Noel // Aug 28, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Ive been taking chia for two months. Other than helping me during evacuation times… i havent felt ‘BETTER’ yet. I think sometimes they slightly constipate me till it works its way through. I take one tbsp with each meal. I guess I’ll keep taking it for a few months to see how it really works. Another think im starting to take daily is GAZPATCHO soup….. boy that cleans one out….. all these veggies in a bowl.. partly predigested cause of the foodprocessor. I hate chomping endlessly on big peices fo veggies so this is a painless way of getting good vitamins.

  • 73 Marcus // Aug 29, 2009 at 7:39 am

    Dave,

    I think your approaching it wrong, chia can’t solve your problems. Listen to your doctor and other wise council around you to make necessary changes in your life, that is what will really work. Chia can help your body regulate blood glucose, blood lipids, appetite, and bowel regularity a little better than normal depending on what you typically eat. If you already eat mostly vegtables and whole grains you will probably only benefit from the omega 3 oils and protien. If you eat a traditional american diet you will probably notice a better blood glucose control, blood lipid profile, appetite, and regularity. Have a good one.

  • 74 Marcus // Aug 29, 2009 at 7:43 am

    Does anyone know or can help me find info about whether or not chia contains alkaloids? I often get a bitter taste from chia and was wondering if this was from the alkaloid content. Thanks

  • 75 Karen // Sep 23, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    I just started on the Chia seed gel today and I am confused about how much is appropriate to take/eat. I like the full feeling it gives me so I am tempted to want to eat more. How much of the GEL, once made by following the standard recipe of 1/3 cup seeds to 2 cups water, is ok to eat?

  • 76 David Mendosa // Sep 23, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Dear Karen,

    Personally, I never eat chia seeds as a gel. I do eat two or three tablespoons per day — on eggs, salad, yogurt (on the rare ocassions when I eat yogurt), and many other dishes. But it’s always the seeds themselves.

    Best regards,

    David

  • 77 Katie // Sep 24, 2009 at 5:50 am

    Hi
    This is great info for me who is starting the wonderful chia seed today.
    I am vegan and looking forward to using the chia as an egg alternative in baking! I am also excitied that the seeds will provide calcium, b12 and iron especially which are difficult to incorporate into my diet normally.
    I am interested in any comments anyone can make as to how much seeds/gel I should take each day as a vegan. I was also wondering if it is possible to grind the seeds before adding them to water to make a gel. I think this would make the gel more palatable as the shells would not be as noticeable (and the kids won’t know they are there either!!)
    Thanks for your help and advice.

  • 78 David Mendosa // Sep 24, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Dear Katie,

    Yes, you certainly can grind chia seeds, although unlike flax seeds you don’t need to in order to make them bioavailable. As I wrote Karen (above) I don’t make them into a gel. But it is a good idea in order to disguise them from your kids!

    Best regards,

    David

  • 79 Marcus // Sep 24, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    Hi Katie,

    I agree with David said and think it would be a valuable addition to your diet. I used to drink about a half cup of the gel once and a while and now do about a tablespoon of ground seeds in water once in a while. It is a grain, but more of a supplement grain in its raw form (the natives roasted? it and made bread with it among other uses) . Also as a nutrition major (you’ve probably heard this but what the heck) as a vegan you might want to take a B12 supplement once in a while to help your energy and mood.

    Take care,
    Marcus

  • 80 Jessica // Sep 27, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    I’ve been eating Chia for just over a year now and I love it. Everyday I would put a tbls. scoop into my morning smoothie(w/yogurt, kefir, or soymilk and fruit). I noticed in a short amount of time I had more energy- and I almost never get that afternoon slump. The 3 ways i use it most now is a scoop on top of my cold cereal, mixed in yogurt, and just mixed in some diet juice. When I put it in the juice I just let it sit for about 15 minutes and stir- it never gets to a thick gel maybe because I use 1 tbls of chia and 8-12 0z. of liquid, but that is my favorite way to take Chia. Last month I decided to take Chia 2x a day- 1tbls. in morning and 1tbls later in the day- just that little bit more has made such a difference. Since taking more the skin on my face is glowing and the wrinkles starting on my forehead(I’m 36) have virtually disappeared. I almost can’t believe the change in my skin. I’ve never had any digestive problems whatsoever because of them- actually it has helped my digestive problems. I’m trying to get my mom to take these regularly as she has cancer and I believe Chia can help people heal and help fight cancer. This really is a miracle food!! Don’t know why anybody wouldn’t take it. Before Chia I used to always put ground flax seed in my smoothies and yogurt, but it was always so grainy and didn’t always taste good. Chia blends so well with everything and doesn’t affect taste of food at all. I will never go back to flax seed.

  • 81 Trish // Sep 28, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    I use whole chia seeds. A friend started selling Mila. I can’t understand the cost – yes, it is an MLM deal. What is also bothering me is the Mila propaganda. It seems to contradict what Dr. Coates said previously (ground not better than whole, recommending drinking it in water). That Mila is somehow better than Salva. And that it is a cure for everything under the sun.

    Call me skeptical. I don’t believe that Mila is that different from any other chia. Their marketing really turned me off. I told my friend I could not buy it from her.

    I’m still curious about whether the seeds benefit me or not. I have MS. I regularly take fish oil and eat pretty healthy so I might not notice a radical difference.

  • 82 Marcus // Sep 29, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    The seed is the same species so the main nutritional profile will be very similar mabye 10% different on a couple things like omega 3 or protien, Dr. Coates could probably tell you more accurately. I think Dr. Coates is concerned mostly with good practices in getting the seed from growth to table and new ways to help the body utilize the most out of the seed. Is there a noticeable difference? I don’t know if there are any objective studies on the nutrient absorbtion or whatnot.

  • 83 Neil // Oct 3, 2009 at 3:50 am

    Hello

    Is it safe to add chia seeds on kefir with acai?

    Neil

  • 84 David Mendosa // Oct 3, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Dear Neil,

    I can’t image why not! Kefir is a great pro-biotic and acai, although little studied yet, is probably good for us too, as long as we use it in moderation (because of the fructose in it).

    Best regards,

    David

  • 85 Neil // Oct 3, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Thanks David for your insight… I’m new to chia seeds. I was introduced to chia seeds through Mila (Lifemax) When I read the benefits of mila on their website, i was amazed with it’s health benefits but i find the price US$55(per pound) prohibitive for someone who lives in a 3rd world country like me. But after a thorough research in the internet, i came across hidalgofoods.com which sells chia seeds for US$5.36 per pound. and they also offer a wide range of health foods.

    Neil

  • 86 Vikky Cabrera // Oct 5, 2009 at 7:12 am

    Hi, I came upon this thread after searching for studies on effects of chia seeds on breast cancer. Still have not found it, but this discussion is really interesting. I was introduced to chia seeds at a time when I had also decided to take stock of my health. I’ve been using Mila brand chia seeds for some 5 months now, and purchase them online at http://milachiawellness.lifemax.net .
    The most visible effects of chia seeds on me were higher metabolic rate, energy and stamina, restful sleep, more supple skin, and best of all loss of 20 lbs in 5 months. I add a teaspoon of the microsliced Mila chia seeds to my iced tea, fruit, juice, soups, salad, and even tried to substitute it for a third of the tapioca in apple pie. Really delicious.

  • 87 Matthew // Oct 23, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    I have been very interested in Chia seeds ever since I first heard about them. I have purchased some and usually just eat them whole right out of the container.

    I was wondering if you could make Chia seeds a main part of your diet (as in eating seeds for breakfast and lunch then have a normal dinner) or is it just to be used in addition to a regular diet?

  • 88 David Mendosa // Oct 24, 2009 at 7:36 am

    Dear Matthew,

    Most of us, myself included, just eat them whole. But we usually add them to our salads, yogurt, eggs, etc. The only story I remember about anyone making chia seeds the main part of the diet was Sheer’s in his book “The Magic of Chia.” He tells of meeting an American Indian hiking near the top of a high peak in Southern California. The Indian was eating only chia seeds and had plenty of energy.

    Best regards,

    David

  • 89 Marcus // Oct 24, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Wow thats cool, if one was going to make them a main part of thier diet I would reccommend grinding them and cooking them and making bread like products like the natives did, or mix them with an acid like lemon or lime juice. For some reason I don’t think eating very large amounts of them raw would be a good idea.

    Good luck!

  • 90 Jenna // Nov 10, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Is anything known about the benefits chia has on lowering cholesterol? I was told about chia by a man that said his cholesterol lowered 20 points over 1 year. I know that fish oil helps control triglycerides so I am assuming that the same principle applies here.
    I am 24 with high cholesterol, with only genetic risk factors and am wondering if I will see positive results with chia?
    Thanks for the feedback.

  • 91 David Mendosa // Nov 10, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Dear Jenna,

    I wish that I knew, but don’t. I do know that the total cholesterol count isn’t very important. So I assume that you are referring to your high level of LDL cholesterol. We do know that monounsaturated fats — avocados, olives and olive oil, nuts like almonds and macadamias — will lower LDL while possibly at the same time increase HDL cholesterol (which we want to increase). Eating a lot of saturated fat — as from red meat and dairy products — will raise LDL cholesterol. But medicine is in a funny place right now with LDL cholesterol because diet can indeed influence its level but testing LDL cholesterol may well be testing the wrong thing. What may well be better are testing different types of LDL, specifically small dense LDL. That’s not tested much yet, because it’s not yet easy and inexpensive to test (I just arranged to have my small dense LDL tested and will write about it in a month or two). The bottom line is that testing LDL per se doesn’t predict mortality. If you really want to dig into understanding LDL, perhaps the best thing you could do is read the posts of Michael Eades, M.D. at http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/ . His most recent post is http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/cardiovascular-disease/statinators-spill-the-beans/ about the problems with the statins. Another well work reading is http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/weight-loss/low-carbohydrate-diets-increase-ldl-debunking-the-myth/ ; also http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/lipid-hypothesis/low-carb-litesort-of/

    Best regards,

    David

  • 92 Marcus // Nov 10, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Jenna,

    I’m in the same boat as you and I have found my total cholesterol can fluctuate from ~165 to 230 depending on how much/healthiness of the food I eat and how much I excercise. So for me chia can help if it helps me eat less and have more energy to excercise. In a controlled experiement I would guess it would have similar effect as ala’s from walnuts plus it has the fiber which should slightly decrease fat absorbtion in the gut.

    But I think it is helpful to know that most of the time (genetic or non) high choleterol is caused by saturated fat intake or even refined carbs or dietary cholesterol intake. With High cholesterol the metabolism is usually not effiecient in one or a couple of these three so if you can find out which thing(s) it is for you it could really help you lower yours. (The doctors usually reccomend lowering all three just to be safe since they can’t really test which it is).

    But ya I agree with David and I hope we will see more specific focused testing in the future to really give us more personalized advice as to whether we need to worry or not about our high total or LDL cholesterol.

    Good luck,
    Marcus

  • 93 chiame // Dec 12, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    $55 a pound for chia is a crime. I viewed the mila site, and there is nothing extraordinary about their product.

    Except that you are paying TEN times the price. Why an MLM for a product I can buy anywhere.

    Please save your money and buy chia elsewhere.

  • 94 Julius // Dec 14, 2009 at 8:37 am

    Mila is a scam! I am disappointed in Dr. Coates for associating himself with such an organization and the type of marketing hype they are using. Dr. Coates was the loudest voice saying that Salba was nothing more than glorified chia seeds and now he is standing behind a company that is using the same untrue marketing tactics to say they have a “super seed”. It’s all garbage! Sure, quality varies as with every type of food, but don’t be fooled!

  • 95 David Mendosa // Dec 14, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Dear Julius,

    I share your disappointment in Dr. Coates.

    David

  • 96 Jill // Dec 16, 2009 at 1:27 am

    I am in the process of trying to compare Mila to ground chia, and after a week on each, have to say the Mila seems more powerful – the increased energy was much more apparent – i don’t like the cost or marketing, so am perplexed – any similiar experiences?

  • 97 chiame // Dec 16, 2009 at 10:32 am

    Are just comparing whole seeds to ground seeds? Regardless, I feel bad for anyone who spends so much for chia. Do you want mila to be better for reason ie you are in the mlm, supporting someone who is, need to justify the cost etc?

  • 98 Marcus // Dec 16, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Mila, according to my understanding, is processed differently than whole or ground chia. Mila is Microsliced, which I don’t know how well it is done, but may contribute to higher absorption rate. Also from my understanding Mila is more of a developed crop than wild chia which means they selected for traits they thought were beneficial like omega 3 content among other things, kind of like what Salba did. I agree that the price is high but there may be real reasons why people think it works differently.

  • 99 Jackie // Dec 27, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    I bought my first supply of Chia seeds today. I paid $12.30 for 500 grams which is over one pound. I got it in a health food store in Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada. I saw Salba for 3x the price and was told it cost more as it was organic. I just don’t believe non-organic is not as good. Hopefully I will be happy with my purchase.

  • 100 Gwen // Dec 28, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    I just started taking Chia seeds. I also take many other supplements like Maca, Colostrum, etc. I am concerned that the fiber content in the Chia will interfere with the absorption of these other supplements I take. Should I take the other supplements separate from the Chia? Mr. Mendoza, do you have any thoughts on this? Thanks in advance and your site is super informative!!

  • 101 David Mendosa // Dec 28, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    Dear Gwen,

    I am confident that you can relax about the fiber in the chia seeds. I’ve never heard that it will interfere in any way with other supplements.

    Best regards,

    David

  • 102 Cassandra Miles // Jan 19, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Please people if you are new to Chia seeds start off with a very small serve and maybe add water also. I was using 1 tablespoon of Chia in my breakfast for over a month but after two weeks I started to get horrible pains in the upper stomach. I had ultrasounds and tests but came back clear. After eliminating Chia the attacks dissapeared and Chia was the last thing I thought I could be sensitive to, being such a pure food.
    I plan to start back on Chia in a few weeks but only in the dissolved form and maybe 2 teaspoons spread out through out the day.
    My 18 yr old can eat it till the cows come home and no nasty side effects.

  • 103 Susan // Jan 31, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I started eating chia seeds daily (1-2 tsp.) last summer. Usually I mix with water or with my a.m. green tea. Sometimes I just pop them into my mouth and wash down with water. *But if you do it that way, you need to check your smile as they are more likely to stick in your teeth!

    At first I noticed I was ready to hop out of bed faster in the morning (or even go for a run!) and the gentle energy boost you feel within about an hour of consumption. They also fill you up, so you are less likely to be hungry or overeat.

    I am in my 60s and have had some joint discomforts over the years. After a few weeks taking the chia seeds regularly, I have noticed greater strength and flexibility in my knee and hip joints, and the pain I felt in one hip when I exercise is gone.

    There are no known negatives, nor have I experienced any. I buy 3# for $18.00 at http://natural-remedeez.com/ and give them to friends and relatives.

  • 104 David Mendosa // Jan 31, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Dear Susan,

    Any way that I eat chia seeds (except ground), they stick between my teeth. But I don’t mind, because that impels me to floss, which of course we all need to do after eating anything!

    Best regards,

    David

  • 105 Tirza // Feb 3, 2010 at 7:13 am

    I am so happy with chia. I use it to make great puddings, blended smooth or left whole so it’s like tapioca. I thicken smoothies with it.
    Just lately I have been absolutely loving some new products I have found here in Canada. Look up http://www.ruthshempfoods.com The products can be ordered online, but are also available in stores (US and Canada) which you can find with their store locator.
    They have a selection of really yummy breakfast “cereals” called “Chia Goodness”, which can be eaten warm or cold as cereal or even a desert pudding. There are several bars and other things that are amazing and not too expensive. She also has recipes and some instructional videos on the site.
    I have diverticulosis and have noticed no problems. I am wondering if it the gel around the seeds that protects from irritation.

  • 106 kate // Feb 6, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Cassandra,
    I had the exact same reaction that you did after consuming chia seeds for the first time. My boyfriend is very “into” them and started putting them in everything we ate and after eating them for about 3-4 days straight (I have NO idea what amount I was consuming on a daily basis), I started getting really bad pains/bloating in my stomach – almost a week later I am STILL dealing with the discomfort. I was so worried at one point I went to urgent care because I thought something was seriously wrong with me! I’ve NEVER experienced any symptoms like this before and suddenly realized that the only thing that had changed in my diet was eating the chia seeds. Now I’m trying to drink a TON of water to get back to normal. Any idea how long it might take to get over the stomach discomfort?? I haven’t eaten any for a couple days now, but am still not feeling 100% better..

  • 107 Cassandra Miles // Feb 6, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Hiya Kate
    This probably sounds weird but it great to finally meet somebody else who had adverse reaction to chia as there seems to be no information out there about side effects.( I thought I was crazy!! Chia being such a natural wholefood was the last thing I suspected!) My doctor had no clue either as she’d never heard of Chia before. I only found out by mistake as I had to fast the morning of the ultrsound- and you guess it no pains on that day. I stopped for about 2 weeks and slowly reintroduced them. Inially 1 teaspoon dissolved in a huge glass of water after my breakfast then another teaspoon dissolved in water in the afternoon . I haven’t had any pains this time round and I am glad to be having the benefits of Chia once again. I can only put this down to Chias abilty to absorb 8 times its own weight in water. You need to counteract this with lots of fluids. I was putting the tablespoon on my cereal but no extra fliuds, only the milk in my cereal and I didn’t dissolve it first. Hope you will be feeling better soon Kate. Once you are back to normal maybe try very slowly with lots of water.
    I do understand the excruiating pain you were going through. I would describe it like an attack that would last 20mins to an hour!!! My doc thought it was gallstones.

  • 108 Cassandra Miles // Feb 6, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Sorry Kate, forgot to answer your question!! I was back to normal after aprrox. 10 days. You will feel better, not sure when for you but you will get back to normal. I was scared to try them again but here I am and no side effects this time.

  • 109 Neil // Feb 6, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    I also experience stomach discomfort whenever I eat a spoonful of chia straight to my mouth. But I’m fine when I mix it with a glass of water and lessen the amount of chia seeds (from a spoonful to 1/4 of a spoon).

    I’m wondering if it’s better to take cold milled chia seeds, maybe I wouldn’t experience any discomfort.

  • 110 Cassandra Miles // Feb 6, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Wow cold milled Chia. I only have access to the seeds. I’m not sure Neil. Maybe an expert here might know???Bakers Delight here in Australia have started to include Chia in their breads. Great for kids who won’t eat them. The seeds are whole and white( not milled) but are easily digested in this form.( for us sensitive tummy folk!)
    I also wanted to mention to Kate please go to your practioner if your symptoms aren’t getting any better because I am definitely no expert!!

  • 111 KathyB // Feb 7, 2010 at 7:13 am

    Just started on Chia this week. I have high blood pressure, and want to get off my meds. Like flax, it seems easier for me to take the ground Chia in a glass of water/juice.. and incorporate Chia into baked goods for the family. Any indication on whether Chia does lower BP?

  • 112 Dave D // Feb 7, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Has anyone had bad experience with The Chia Seed (thechiaseed.com)? I ordered two bags from them on Dec 30….was charged through PayPal on Jan 4, but no seeds and can get no response from them either by email or the phone number printed on the PayPal receipt. I’m nervous that this is a ripoff site.

  • 113 kate // Feb 7, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    I know what you mean, Cassandra. I was starting to think I was crazy too! Seems like very few people have bad reactions to chia seeds. But I am definitely one of them! Thanks so much for getting back to me. Hopefully I’ll be feeling back to normal in a couple days!

  • 114 April // Feb 11, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Hey guys !, I tried chia seeds. But for me i love more the cold milled chia though both is delicious and healthy food. Cold milled is one of my favorite. I got mine last month at hidalgofoods.com

  • 115 Janean // Feb 23, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Hey guys…I have a couple of questions about chia seeds. I ordered some and got them this morning. Haven’t tried them as yet. I read on the internet about some side effects and am a little worried about it. My husband and I both have blood pressures that run from 98(me) to 120(him..sometimes a little lower) on systolic side. I am type 2 and he has CAD and abdominal aneurysm, being watched. He has coronary blockages with collateral circulation. He also has a low pulse rate…usually around 42 – 48…I have even seen it lower. He is also on a statin and aspirin therapy. I am on aspirin therapy…not sure why, the type 2 I assume. Anyway…my quesiton, I have read today that someone with low BP’s should not eat the chia. And on blood thinners. My husband is 71 and I am 64. I sure had my hopes up for the chia…especially for the low blood sugars. What should I do?

  • 116 Buckzollo // Feb 24, 2010 at 2:07 am

    Great thread! thanks everyone for your helpful comments. Cassandra and Kate welcome me to your club? I have the same symptoms. ugh! brutal bloating and stomach pains. I stopped the chia for a couple of days and felt better, but for a sour stomach. I am allergic to tree nuts and feared a reaction to chia, but now think it is dehydration. I drank one tablespoon in a mugful of hotwater and could not finish due onset of cramps for the next three hours. I am determined to make this work so I now plan to increase water intake and overtime gradually increase chia intake. I want my, I want my omega threes… Mila is killer, don’t hate.

  • 117 Sarah // Feb 24, 2010 at 2:16 am

    Hi,

    I just placed an order for chia seeds from superseeds.ca because i find mila to be ridiculously expensive. How much better can they be than other chia seeds for them to charge such a ludicrous price? Has anyone tried ordering from superseeds.ca before? I just want to know if their chia seeds are good quality.

  • 118 fiftyate // Feb 27, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    i have not seen one post about chia lowering blood sugar or reducing A1C. does anyone have any specific blood sugar readings before chia and a few weeks after taking chia? thanks.

  • 119 TinaB // Mar 18, 2010 at 8:02 am

    I am wondering if chia seeds can help with hyper-glycemia…? My 20 year old daughter was under extreme stress two years ago (college junior, new job, money isses, etc) and went to the doctor. The doctor ordered a glucose blood test, she was diagnosed with hyperglycemia and told to eat better. Well, she hasn’t had any other issues (feeling faint or weak and has reduced her stress level)…and hate to say she still eats like a college student.. She doesn’t take any medications. My daughter is trying to buy health insurance, but cannot get coverage due to the previous diagnosis. Our thinking is this…maybe she could use chia seeds in her diet to regulate her sugars (and for overall better health) and retake the glucose test in hopes of having the diagnosis reversed. Any thoughts from the experts? Thanks…

  • 120 Sandy Shumate // Mar 22, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Since Dr. Coates web site is no longer in existence, is there any web site that has articles and information on his chia seed research?

  • 121 fiftyate // Mar 22, 2010 at 11:55 am

    since this is mainly a site on diabetes, has anyone had experience with chia lowering b/s and A1C. thabks fiftyate.

  • 122 Adam // Mar 22, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    There’s good info on chia seeds at http://www.ChiaSeedsDirect.com. I downloaded a free report with nutritional info and recipes. Very good prices and free shipping.

  • 123 Vikky Cabrera // Mar 23, 2010 at 10:17 am

    I usually refer to Dr. Coates through http://milachiawellness.lifemax.net which includes both transcripts and videos of Dr. Coates talking about his research and findings about chia seed.

  • 124 Margaret // Mar 23, 2010 at 7:47 pm

    My website, http://www.chiativity.org , also has transcripts and various interviews with Dr. Coates.

    I am not a chia seed (or Mila) distributor, but rather, I try to maintain a list of recipes and interesting facts and information about chia seeds.

  • 125 Glo // Mar 25, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Is it necessary to grind chia seeds to get it’s benefits?

  • 126 David Mendosa // Mar 26, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Dear Glo,

    Thanks for asking. Absolutely not!

    Best regards,

    David

  • 127 Glo // Mar 27, 2010 at 3:59 am

    Thanks David. I appreciate your response. I’ve been using (whole unground) chia seeds for some time and am glad to know that I’ve been doing it right.

  • 128 Cassandra // Mar 28, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Kate and Buck I hope your Chia adverson has settled somewhat. I can well and truly say I am used to it now. I fill my water bottle up add 1 tablespoon of Chia and let it turn all gel. I drink this and have been feeling wonderful. If I miss my daily serve I get bloated from no evacuation. I think it has helped me keep my weight dwon also.

  • 129 JC // Mar 28, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Is any one taking Chia for weighy loss and has any one had any positive results

  • 130 fiftyate // Mar 28, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    i have been taking 1tablespoon of chia before each meal that has more than 10 g. carbs. i have not lost a pound. chia does not curb my appetite, but does improve b/s. i have been doing this for 2 years.

  • 131 Judith Barrie // Mar 31, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Been taking Chia seeds every morning, usually on my natural peanut butter on toast, just sprinkled over, I have had bladder problems which I never had before. I wasn’t able to ‘hold on’, it was am awful urgent feeling & had to go for a wee immediately or have an accident! Went the docs & got some tablets which fixed the irritation fast, has anyone heard of this happening? My daughter, a health nut, was having Chis seeds every day in greater quanties & after a while developed the same problem. Have now cut our in take to every second day & seem OK.

  • 132 kent // Apr 2, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    I have experienced many benefits of Chia, particularly the ability to run for 5 + miles with just a tsp in water. For those with GERD, ulcers, diverticulitis, I would STRONGLY suggest grinding it first! The whole seeds can solidify and clog the digestive system resulting in horrible reflux! When they are ground, however they are risk free.

  • 133 DA // Apr 14, 2010 at 6:51 am

    I LOVE CHIA SEEDS THE BENIFITS ARE GREAT! BEST PRICE AND GREAT QUALITY I FOUND IS http://www.buychia.com THEY SELL BOTH WHITE LIKE SALBA OR BLACK LIKE MILA LIFEMAX! FOR LIKE $5.00

  • 134 Sisi // Apr 14, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    Like Judith Barrie, I have bladder problems since I started taking chia seeds. I just can’t stop peeing and my water intake is exactly the same as before, nothing changed in my diet except for the chia seeds. Other than that, I’ve been having some bloating and abdominal pain. The way I take my chia seeds is a follows: I soak a tablespoon of seeds in a tall glass of water for 30 minutes and then drink it. I do that twice daily. Am I doing anything wrong? Should I be chewing the seeds and not swallowing them in a glass of water? Is anyone else having bladder problems like urinary frequency?

  • 135 David Mendosa // Apr 15, 2010 at 5:54 am

    Dear Sisi,

    I wonder if perhaps your peeing a lot has another cause. It is perhaps the most common initial symptom leading to a diabetes diagnosis. So perhaps it means that your blood glucose level has gone up. Are you checking it regularly?

    Best regards,

    David

  • 136 Sisi // Apr 15, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Thx for the reply David…I’ll look into it. Also one more question..Can chia seeds be eaten whole or do they have to be chewed because i drink mine whole in water after soaking them for 30 minutes.

  • 137 David Mendosa // Apr 15, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Dear Sisi,

    Yes, chia seeds — unlike flax seeds — can absolutely be eaten whole. Many of us usually eat them that way.

    David

  • 138 glo // Apr 15, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Speaking of flax seeds, although ground as a rule is the way to go, if they are roasted/toasted whole will this provide some of the fiber and other benefits?

  • 139 Alex Allaux // Apr 15, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Dear David,

    I am a senior in high school and have recently read the book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall which mentions the chia seeds and their use by the Tarahumara peoples. I have written some papers on the seeds and am now aiming to make a drink using the chia seeds. Do you know how long the seeds can stay fresh in a liquid? Im going to try boiling them, grinding them, and many other methods. Any anwers would be awesome. Thanks for your help.

    -Alex Allaux

  • 140 Denton // Apr 24, 2010 at 12:21 am

    Cassandra, Kate, Buck, I started taking about two months ago, three teaspoons in the morning in instant oatmeal, two teaspoons in Crystal Light in the afternoon. No problems for an entire month of this , and suddenly the cramps set in immediately after eating them. It took me a while to figure out what was causing it, but the last time I ate them, I had massive cramping, diarrhea and projectile vomiting. What amount are you eating now, and have you had any return symptoms since starting back on them?
    Thanks, Denton

  • 141 Cassandra // Apr 24, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Denton I only have 1 tablespoon now in the morning seprate to my cereal and dissolved in a huge glass of water.I wait till they puff up and the I stir vigourously and drink. Of course others can spinkle away without any extra fluids and have no side affects but for us sensitve folk I don’t think we can sprinkle on cereal. I only have it separately and no more that 1 tablespoon. No symptoms since doing it this way and bowels have never been better.( sorry if TMI) Good luck Denton

  • 142 Cheryl // May 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    I just bought a jar of Salba and started with 1TBS today. I appreciate all the important facts you post: don’t need to grind, don’t need to soak, eat them plain or add them to something. I had gastric bypass 5 years ago so am now wondering how I will react to the feeling of fullness/bloating. Will post back with those results. I am hoping for help with weight loss and maintaining and to see my boyfriend’s BS come down. He can’t seem to get them under 220 and we are controlling his carbs to 30-30-20-30-20 (that’s brkfst, lunch, snack, dinner, snack). Absolutely love your site, David, and find it interesting that every good article/site leads back to you! Here’s to chia!

  • 143 fiftyate // May 8, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    if you have any problem with hemorrhoids, it is best to grind the chia seeds.

  • 144 Nimpluro // May 8, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Just wonderful – very interesting thoughts

  • 145 Wayne Coates // May 12, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    An open letter to all interested parties:

    I, Wayne Coates, have either discussed or corresponded with many individuals regarding LifeMax and Mila. I truly have enjoyed this interaction as my goal for last several years has been to spread the word about chia. After researching chia for 19 years, I can honestly say it is the best whole food available today, and is a great source of omega3, fiber, antioxidants and protein.

    The Wears, LifeMax owners, have accused me of breaking my consulting contract with them, but this is not true. In fact, truth and basic philosophical differences with the LifeMax owners and staff had more to do with my termination than anything else. I have tried to resolve these issues, but they have stopped communicating with me. Also, unbeknownst to me, the Wears had been working with Dr. Bob Arnot for months to bring him into the fold, have him become the spokesman for chia, and replace me.

    As I have had no direct interaction with their blending, processing or packaging operation since January, I cannot in good conscience endorse their product any longer. I have asked that all references to me, use of the videos I have made, and photos of me be removed from all Lifemax sites, blogs, etc.

    I believe that chia is a great product and its many benefits don’t need embellishment of facts. I want all of you to know that I will continue with my chia research and development activities and will strive to increase the quality of chia available in the retail market today and work to improve production practices, so that chia prices can be kept as low as possible, making it readily available to the general public. Please go to http://www.drcoateschia.com for information on chia and to keep up-to-date on chia’s availability.

    Regards,

    Wayne Coates

  • 146 Hetty Driessen // May 23, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    I was taking Chia seeds in australia as they were readily available in every healthfood shop and loved the energy it gave me. I have moved to Peru late April, have ran out and cant find them anywhere. Does anyone know of a supply, say in Cusco? It is grown here, isn’t it?
    Much appreciated
    Hetty

  • 147 Chia Fairy // Jun 25, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    After reading this extensive dialogue about Chia vs Salba vs Mila (and how expensive it is) I want to point out a couple of things: A) You can’t put a price tag on your health B) if you haven’t tried Mila, you can’t compare it to store bought/in some cases animal grade chia- and therefore how can you tell the difference? Try it and compare the two so you can see the superior quality yourself! c) it is more expensive because of the micro-slicing process and the fact that it is independently tested by 2 laboratories for toxins and impurities and dirt & debris is removed from this chia (unlike the chia Calvin ordered)- also, the seed that is not up to par to be sold for $55 is sent to children in orphanages in Africa & the Phillipines who are getting more nutrition in 1 scoop than they get from any other foods they are eating. I don’t mind paying more for my chia if my money goes to causes like that . Also I feel that I’m eating the best chia on the market which I order from lifemax.net/bettina. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it and felt the difference! I also think that $55 for the highest source of Omega 3’s, the protein, the fiber, the phyto-nutrients, the calcium, the magnesium, etc is well worth it- how much do supplements containing all of those beneficial nutrients cost? And they are only 40-60% bio-available at the end of the day?

  • 148 fiftyate // Jun 26, 2010 at 9:45 am

    what is all the stir about contamination? it is either contaminated or not. there seems to be a lot of politics in the last few posts. thanks, fiftyate

  • 149 rob // Jun 27, 2010 at 2:19 am

    Hi I use chia seeds from http://www.chia4uk.com and their is alot of information about chia seeds for different ailments I personally use it for weight control and endurance running but some of my family use it for ibs and constipation which it seems to work well for.

  • 150 Bob // Jun 27, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    O.K. as some smug individuals have suggested, I have just tried 2 pounds of Life Max Mila and 1 pound each of whole chia seed and ground chia from http://www.nutsonline.com. I can affirm that I could tell absolutely NO difference in the way I felt from this experiment (other than having more money in my pocket from buying at nutsonline). I will align myself with the good Dr. Coates (the Godfather of all things chia). He has placed a spread sheet on his site of many sites selling chia, and has not left off Life Max, for your comparison. Dr. Coates has 19 years + selling the health benefits of chia to those of us willing to listen. Life Max has what? A couple of years? They are selling hype. I, like Dr. Coates, recommend you use chia in your diet regularly. But don’t drain your pocketbook doing so. Buy the whole food – natural chia seed – not hype from Wall Street style hucksters. I welcome your comments.

  • 151 fiftyate // Jun 27, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    i buy my chia from whole foods market. i prefer to buy the chia ground as it seems to have a different connsistency when i grind it myself. i also use the whole seeds with good results, but the pre gound seems to curb my appetite a bit while the whole seeds do not. blood sugar and lipid panel improve with every brand of chia that i have used.

  • 152 Chia Fairy // Jun 27, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Dr. Coates is the one who got Lifemax off the ground by creating the micro-slicing machine and utilizing his years of experience to help the company get started and sadly, was just terminated for reasons that I do not know Even though Mila is micro-sliced, it is still considered a “whole food” and is “natural”-it’s best not to “bash” other companies & their products- just stick to the positives about chia and the wondrous things that it is doing to improve people’s health!

  • 153 Bob // Jun 27, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Chia Fairy suggests we should not bash companies and their products, but it was Chia Fairy and others I directed my comment to concerning chia. I did not bash the chia product from Life Max – Mila, but rather their exorbatent pricing to support their zealous super hype. Life Max’s chia is as good as other companies chia. The point is, theirs cost 10X more. And it was Chia Fairy’s comments about Life Max chia being superior (which is just an unspoken way of bashing other companies, don’t you see). So as I tried my best to convey, please use chia on a daily basis. If you have more money than you know what to do with it, pay ten times more for it from Life Max. It will not harm your health, just your wallet. But Chia Fairy is just doing his/her job drinking the kook-aid of Life Max and selling their product. You gotta sell it for 10X more when you have so many people in your network marketing chain ALL taking a cut of the $50.00 a pound chia. Unfortunately for Chia Fairy, people on this blog appear NOT to be taken in by Chia Fairy’s hype. So, go peddle your high-priced chia else where Chia Ferry. I will continue to encourage all people to use chia daily. Fortunately you are not harming anyone’s physical health by hyping Life Max. And, I do wish you will with your network marketing job.

  • 154 Wayne Coates // Jun 27, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    I feel I need to enter into this discussion.

    Really it is a shame when someone calling them self “chia fairy” hides their identity. Perhaps because they are selling mila?? Or ??

    Also how in good faith can anyone say it is ok to ship inferior product to the less fortunate?

    As for chia, blending can improve the quality, but one needs to know what they are doing. There is good quality chia in the marketplace today, yes there is poor quality as well so shop carefully. Price is not a good indicator of quality as clearly some chia “brands” are way overpriced.

    As for milling. There has been no studies that show this is necessary or useful, so if the whole seed does not bother you, take it that way as it is cheaper and stores longer.

    Go to my site for for more information on chia. The Q & A tab has a lot of info as do many other pages. We just launched the store, so if you are so inclined check this out.

    My only goal is to educate the public on chia and its many benefits, as well as to bring inexpensive high quality chia to the market.

    Wayne

  • 155 Melissa // Jul 11, 2010 at 6:42 am

    Hi, not sure if this question has been answered as I dont have time to read all the above questions. I would just like to confirm that chai seeds are safe for my children which are one and three and also daily recommended intake for children. Thank you
    Melissa

  • 156 David Mendosa // Jul 11, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Dear Melissa,

    I don’t know what the daily recommended intake is for either children or adults. Certainly, no authorities have set one.

    Whether chia is safe for children is something for you to decide after reading “The Chia Controversy” at http://www.healthcentral.com/diabetes/c/17/115845/chia-controversy

    David

  • 157 edna welch // Aug 5, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Can taking Chia seeds cause a little fatty liver or elevation in liver enzymes?

  • 158 David Mendosa // Aug 7, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Dear Edna,

    I would be very surprised if eating chia seeds has any effect on the liver. By far the major cause of fatty liver disease, which doctors measure by elevated liver enzymes, is being overweight. That’s what killed my late wife Catherine. And she didn’t drink any alcohol, which also can cause fatty liver disease and its progression, but isn’t nearly as common as being overweight.

    David

  • 159 Edna // Aug 7, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Thank you for your reply. I am not overweight nor do I drink alcohol. I have completed 6 TX of Chemo for NHL of the spine. But doing TX my liver enzymes were not elevated, Chemo stopped 3 weeks ago because the Dr. feels I am in remission-I started chia seeds and now my liver enzymes are elevated. It probably has nothing to do with them but, it is the only thing I changed & the fact I am not taking any medications.
    Edna

  • 160 Federico // Aug 17, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    Since I started eating Chia with my yougurt and cereal, the size of my stool in the morning is amazingly long. Sorry for the blunt language…
    In my opinion this effect has to be healthy!

  • 161 Tesa // Aug 29, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Still no one has commented on the benefits of chia seeds on blood pressure. Any comments.

  • 162 Pat // Sep 18, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Thank you to all who have contributed to this site …and particularly to Wayne Coates for your life long dedication/research so that the rest of us are able to benefit from Chia.

    Flax (grind my own,prefer golden) and Chia (don’t want to pay over $6/#) have become part of my daily routine.

    2Tbsp of chia in 20 oz of S/F beverage–16oz green tea + 4 oz diet cranberry juice–is great for mid morning hydration…and to keep the hungries away. Thankfully no side effects for me, but since my plumbing is slow to start with (62yr) I also mix my daily dose of Miralax in to my mid am drink.

    It seems that the anti inflamatory component has decreased my arthritic response, so I will continue with Chia… just ordered 10#more on line.

    Thank you again, Wayne Coates. We are blessed by your work!

  • 163 Tahoe // Sep 22, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Hi, I too love the chia seeds but after taking them for 4 weeks I started to get severe pains and cramping and bloating. I am now going to stop eating them for a while to see what happens but I also got very cold and tired. I was wondering if anyone else has felt that way.

  • 164 Wayne Coates // Sep 23, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Always make sure you drink plenty of liquids when you eat chia. As it absorbs a lot of water, it can lead to the pain, and cramping, etc. Not sure of the cold and tired aspect, but could be a result of the other issue.

    Go to http://www.azchic.com and look for the Q & A tab for information. Also visit our store if you are so inclined

    Wayne

  • 165 Wayne Coates // Sep 23, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Sorry it is http://www.azchia.com

  • 166 trrish // Sep 23, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Tahoe,

    I’m going to express a minority opinion on this. I don’t believe taking chia or flax or other foods every single day is necessary. I suspect incorporating chia into one’s oatmeal or muffins a couple times a week or less is completely sufficient.

    Everything in moderation, and yes, the seeds are quite dense and water helps. But your body may not want that much chia every day!

    Trish

  • 167 rosie // Sep 28, 2010 at 11:56 am

    does anyone know if Chia is supposed to help with Energy right away? or through time?
    thanks

  • 168 fiftyate // Sep 28, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    is there a way of going to the last chia posts on my updates without going through every chia post? thanks fiftyate

  • 169 Wayne Coates // Sep 28, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Regarding energy from chia.

    Will depend on the individual, but most testimonials have said later in the day or run.

  • 170 sonja discher // Sep 30, 2010 at 11:09 am

    I know that Cholestyramine interferes with nutrient/ drug absorption. Anyone know if this is true for chia? If not, certainly a study needs to be done! And what about lowering BP? I not seen an answer yet. Thanks for such an informative site!

  • 171 Margaret // Oct 4, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Great discussion with lots of good information. For more information about chia seeds, and some recipe ideas, check out my website: http://www.chiativity.org

  • 172 qt // Oct 9, 2010 at 7:19 am

    are there fructose or galatans in chia? I’m trying to find this info because i’m fructose intolerent.

  • 173 David Mendosa // Oct 9, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Do you mean galactose? I don’t recognize “galatans.” In any case, I can’t find much data on galactose. Can you?

    As to fructose, I think all of us are intolerant of more than a minimal amount from a little fruit. The worst form, of course, is high-fructose corn syrup followed by sucrose, which of course is half fructose and half glucose. Sucrose is what most of us call table sugar. I also avoid carrots because they have so much fructose. Some fruits are high in fructose, including apples, pears, cherries, and grapes.

    Specifically, the best answer that I can find for the amount of fructose in chana dal comes from the USDA publication, “Sugar Content of Selected Foods” on the USDA website. While it doesn’t include chana dal per se, it does have values for chickpeas (garbanzo beans), which must have essentially the same values. For fructose it says the content is 0.1 grams per 100 grams of the cooked portion, about as low as anything.

    Best regards,

    David

  • 174 qt // Oct 12, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Thank you very much for your help.

  • 175 Maggie // Oct 18, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    I have been using chia seeds for over a year now and love the increased energy and well-being I am getting. My adult son loves them as well but does not like to eat the whole seeds, so I have come up with some recipes for using ground chia seeds which he likes, especialy cookies at http://www.chiaseedrecipes.com
    Maggie

  • 176 Mark S // Oct 19, 2010 at 5:26 am

    Hey, great article on chia one of the best ive read yet. I got into chia seeds when i went vegan looking for an omega 3 source and chia seeds are perfect for this. My wrist pain has disappeared totally after years and that was even with fish oil use. I use about 2-3 tablespoons of chia seeds a day , i just eat them from the spoon. I get mine from a UK store which is great – http://www.amlaberry.co.uk

    The fibre content is great also for keeping me regular and feeding the good flora.

  • 177 Bob // Oct 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Hey Mark S. did you stop taking fish oil all together now that you are using Chia? I have stopped taking fish oil since I have been using Chia daily. Would love for somebody to tell me if I need to continue fish oil also. I use a scoop (around 2 tablespoons) of Chia daily in my cereal.

  • 178 Marianne Doty // Oct 30, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Help please! I am 73, chronic constipation only
    getting worse because of meds taken for high
    blood pressure and cholesterol. I take psyllium
    husk (Konsyl) every night and some “natural”
    herbs for constipation which I get at the health
    food store. Would like to stop all of the above
    slowly, and switch over to Chia seeds. Will this
    help with constipation and should I gradually
    wean myself from psyllium and natural laxative?
    Does Chia, indeed, have wonderful success with
    constipation??? Thanks so much.

  • 179 David Mendosa // Oct 30, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Dear Marianne,

    Chia seeds might help with constipation because of its fiber content. But perhaps even better would be some of the pro-biotic foods, which many people use. Even pro-biotic capsules, although I don’t have any personal experience with them.

    Best regards,

    David

  • 180 Tsipy // Nov 23, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Hi David,

    Sorry my question was so supposed to be if I can replace fish oil for Chia seeds?

    Thanks,

    Tsipy

  • 181 David Mendosa // Nov 23, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Dear Tsipy,

    Fish oil (or fish or krill oil) and chia seeds are totally different sources of omega-3 fatty acids. See http://www.healthcentral.com/diabetes/c/17/103781/cutting-back-omega

    David

  • 182 Ben // Jan 21, 2011 at 12:59 am

    n case you are researching a different option to lose excess fat while still retaining healthy nutrients and vitamins you might want to think of getting a package of chia seeds from the area store. Chia seeds are nature’s secret ingredient when it’s concerning dropping pounds without losing the many essential vitamins and its minerals which are so essential to a healthy and balanced diet. Chia seeds are extremely high in fiber, protein, calcium, zinc and phosphorus which are necessary to your all round well-being. Chia seeds can be integrated directly into just about any drink or food. The taste of chia seeds isn’t a sour one, so they can also be dished up uncooked. You can even typically come across Chia ground and put into Pinole, a coarse flour utilised in food preparation. Chia is frequently added to veggie juice or water and dished up as a beverage in South america termed “chia fresca”. The sprouts of the chia plant also are utilised in sandwiches along with a wide variety of other dishes.

  • 183 Chia seed // Jan 21, 2011 at 1:00 am

    i’m healthy as a horse as it is… so i include them if and when i can, but not a priority. i would try them though! and i might have…. all sorts of seeds and sprouts pass through my hands when i was working at the health food stores. (up until last month. ha.)

  • 184 Glori // Jan 22, 2011 at 11:05 am

    My kitchen scale no longer works and now I need to know the weight of a tablespoon of chia seeds (in ounces or grams). Anyone know?
    Thanks so much.

  • 185 Aurea // Feb 8, 2011 at 8:41 am

    This product is great but, have you tried the Chia Seed flour? It’s like the flour of wheat but not gluten and taste completely normal. You can substitute the regular flour in recipes like cake, muffing, or cookies. I have used it and my kids love chocolate chip cookies.It is a product I’m just using and is very good for health and family. No items in youtube and prepare all kinds of recipes (nuchiafoods) It is an excellent product and offers Nuchia Foods. http://www.nuchiafoods.com

  • 186 Wayne Coates // Feb 8, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    You need to understand the difference between chia flour and milled chia seed. Chia flour is what is milled after the majority of the oil has been pressed out, so it has a very low omega3 content as is shown by their label. On the other hand milled chia is the whole seed which has been mechanically opened and there is no oil loss. Go to http://www.azchia.com/sales if you would like to purchase this product or whole seed.

  • 187 Deborah // Feb 11, 2011 at 10:27 am

    I love the “pudding” I make from soaked chia seeds. Since I am into mostly raw food and no junk, the healthy pudding definitely agrees with me. I flavor it with some of a variety of things: almond butter, applesauce, carob, maple syrup, honey, vanilla, coconut. I appreciate the hydrating effect of the soaked seeds.
    A great dip or spread can also be made from the soaked seeds by simply varying the seasoning.

  • 188 nancy kearns // Feb 13, 2011 at 9:53 am

    will takeing the pill or the powder (meal) be just as good for you? thank you.

  • 189 fiftyate // Feb 13, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    david, will you tell me how to go directly to the latest post when i get an alert? i have to shuffle through all of them and it is very time consimong. thanks fiftyate

  • 190 Wayne Coates // Feb 13, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Reply to Nancy

    Do you mean a pill of chia oil? That has only omega 3 you do not get protein, antioxidants and fiber. I suggest whole seed as is cheaper but if you like the milled that is fine. Compositionally they are the same.

    Wayne

  • 191 Terri // Feb 25, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Love the Chia article. I found out about Chia through Dr. Oz’s book and now I talk about Chia all the time. I was told by a specialist that I was diabetic and that was why I had neuropathy. I attended nutrition classes, and went for follow up tests. I added excercise to my daily routine, drank less soda, and added Chia to my diet. Within 3 months I was told that there was no sign that I had ever had diabetes. Whether it was the changes I made or the Chia, I will never know. I do beleive that the Chia had a lot to do with it. Now I put chia into my morning smoothies a few times a week and feel great. I hide the Chia in my families meals and I have noticed improved energy in all of them. There is something to the Chia, I am glad I stumbled upon its benefits when I did.

  • 192 montsersmom // Mar 8, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    I have been taking Chia seeds for 2 weeks (1 tbs 2x a day in water) and have actually gained weight. My BM’s have always caused me trouble and was hoping that the seeds would “regulate” me, but am still having issues. Could I be taking too much? and with the delayed digestion of the seeds actually be “holding” the seeds in my digestive tract?

  • 193 Jay // Mar 8, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    I definetly had to change the amount I was taking – a smaller amount…but really do like how it acts like a regulater – remember – lots of water!

  • 194 TONY // Apr 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    All these comments and very few if any mentioned the smartest way to use chia seeds to loose weight. I was told by my supplier that if used as directed before I eat they will expand in my stomach, I will feel full & I won’t eat as much. This has not been the case. I eat just as much & I’m fearful that chia seeds will actually cause me to gain weight instead of lose it! please advise …….

  • 195 David Mendosa // Apr 9, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    The problem, Tony, is that we all are different (actually that’s basically a good thing too!). But some people when they feel full will stop eating. Others, like you apparently, will continue to eat. Actually, I am pretty much like that, not really yet in tune with eating to hunger signals. So many of us eat to other signals, particularly social ones.

    David

  • 196 Wayne Coates // Apr 11, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Tony

    David is correct, we are all different. The way that chia helps curb your feeling of the need to eat is that it absorbs water, swells and makes you feel full. As chia isa food with no known issues, in reality you can eat as much as you want. So try eating more, but make sure you consume plenty of liquid with it.

    Wayne

  • 197 fiftyate // Apr 11, 2011 at 11:07 am

    david, is there any way to access the last posts on chia without going through them all. this is very time consuming. thx. fiftyate

  • 198 fiftyate // Apr 11, 2011 at 11:09 am

    david, is there any way to access the last chia post without shuffling through the entire subject?thx.fiftyate.

  • 199 David Mendosa // Apr 11, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    I wish there were an easier way!

    David

  • 200 eskrigian // Apr 12, 2011 at 4:44 am

    WARNING do not read on if you are faint of heart! Ok, here goes… my sister has Crohn’s. Last month she had an illiostomy (bag) surgically installed. She is still in the hospital because they can not control her “stool” output -the bag fills too quickly and it bursts. she also is dehydrated. basically she has diareha that they can’t seem to control. I thought about chia seeds. any thoughts on using them in this kind of situation? we’ve got to come up with something.

  • 201 Primal Charged // Apr 21, 2011 at 7:25 am

    Hey guys, those of you who are having problems digesting chia, especially bloating might want to try grinding instead of full seeds or soaking.

    I had a similar problem and even noticed undigested seeds. Grinding solved all issues. You can use a poppyseed grinder, good pepper grinder, coffee grinder etc.

    I noticed immediate energy boosts when I started grinding chia seeds. I’m focused on more of a primal diet. I usually toss some ground chia seeds into a primal smoothie with some raw eggs and bee pollen… produces all day energy! :)

    Ground chia is also great to add into your mix when making protein bars. Perfect energy fuel to take along on a hike.

  • 202 violet 333 // May 5, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I just started chia seeds. I had them for 3 days with lunch – about 1/2 tbsp. I drink tons of water daily. By day 3, I felt like I couldn’t breathe I was so full…very very uncomfortable sick fullness…and then the same day I started to develop the same bladder issues other people wrote about – I have NEVER had a bladder problem before – I suddenly felt like I needed to pee ALL THE TIME. No infection. No reason for the feeling. So I stopped the chia and after a day the feeling lessened 70% and after 2 days it is almost gone. It is 2 days since stopping Chia and I am slowly starting to feel hungry again…and besides eating less and feeling sick – I gained 2 lbs. I started hunting on the internet and found the comments here. I am glad I’m not crazy. This is not a safe supplement for everyone!!!!!!!!

  • 203 stephanie // Jun 18, 2011 at 9:52 am

    I am a diabetic,have high blood pressure, have blood clots in both lungs, and fibermyalger in my back and down the back of my legs, I am also 100lbs over weight, other than that I am healthy lol, sorry I need some humor, I am 58 years old and want to know if chia seeds are safe for me to take, I need something to help me get rid of the sugar craving, I am actually a sugar addict, I need help some one recomended the seeds for me?

  • 204 David Mendosa // Jun 18, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Dear Stephanie,

    Chia seeds are a good choice. But you must do much more. Your highest priority has to be to get down to a normal weight. I know of just two reasonable ways to do that, and I have written many articles about both ways: One is the diabetes medication called Byetta and the other is a very low carb diet.

    Best regards,

    David

  • 205 Bob Brewer // Jul 17, 2011 at 8:02 am

    Concern whether or not Dr. Wayne Coates is still in business. Reason for concern. Was attempting to refer a friend to him and his site to order some Chia. Virtually NO site currently on the Internet works for him. Attempts to call number provided and email address I have for both his business and personal have returned to me as no known address. Have you heard whether or not he is still in business? If so, someone needs to address the fact that no reference to him on the Internet is currently working

  • 206 Bob Brewer // Jul 17, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Also wanted to add … using my last order request, none of the contact information was working for Dr. Coates.

  • 207 Wayne Coates // Jul 17, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Chia friends

    We are fine, had a server issue, things like that happen

    Site up and totally secure.

    Wayne

  • 208 Bob Brewer // Jul 17, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Just today have heard from Dr. Coates. He was having temporary problems with the internet. He states he is up and running again.

  • 209 BB // Aug 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    I have not seen an answer for someone that asked if chia seeds affect diverticulitis. Would I have to conform to using chia only in the powdered form? I would much prefer eating the whole seed.

  • 210 Allali // Aug 12, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Hello ;
    I am diabetic and leading an NGO on environment and health in Morocco
    I am intetrest to bring Chia in my country
    Please could hou help by providing contacts of holesellers in Peru Lima
    Thanks

  • 211 Catherine // Aug 20, 2011 at 11:05 am

    I recently discovered chia seeds.
    Near the end of this article I’m confused by this :

    ———
    “You can OD on fish oil and algae oil,” Dr. Coates replied. But there are no know restrictions or limitations on chia. You can eat a cup a day. You cannot OD on ALA. Your body takes the ALA and converts it to fish oil.”

    But doesn’t ALA convert to fish oil with less bioavailability than the fish oil itself?
    ————

    Our human bodies convert ALA to fish oil???? Huh?

  • 212 David Mendosa // Aug 21, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Dear Catherine,

    You are absolutely right that our bodies convert ALA, the short-chain omega-3 oil, very inefficiently to the long-chain omega-3 oil that we get from fish.

    David

  • 213 Soon // Aug 21, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Stephanie, can I recommend a book that is great for sugar addiction. It has helped me greatly. I also have chia as part of my diet, it’s just one piece of the puzzle for me.

    Book: “sugar addicts total recovery program” a must read in my opinion and trust me, I’ve tried a lot of things! :)

  • 214 Margaret // Aug 24, 2011 at 8:11 am

    This a great, helpful and informative discussion! Thanks David!

    If you want to read more about chia seeds and get some recipes, I have a collection of these on my website.

    Thanks.

  • 215 fiftyate // Sep 1, 2011 at 11:33 am

    david, i can’t find the new comment. this happens often. how can i go to the last comment when i get a notification? thanks. fiftyate

  • 216 fiftyate // Sep 1, 2011 at 11:44 am

    david, i did as you directed and the last comment on this subject is number 215. i there another way i can access the latest comment? thanks, fiftyate.

  • 217 Wayne Coates // Sep 8, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Margaret’s post is right on track.

    Additional information and over 100 recipes can be found at http://www.drcoateschia.com

  • 218 Wayne Coates // Sep 8, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    An earlier post by Catherine misquoted me as it said that I had made the statement that ALA is converted into fish oil.

    This is not the case, ALA is converted into DHA and EPA, which are the omega3 components of fish oil, but are not essential omega3 fatty acids.

    Wayne

  • 219 sina88 // Sep 9, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Extraordinary write-up, thank you, I’m going to book mark you now!

  • 220 josh // Sep 30, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    I tried chia seeds…black ones with a few white mixed in. My friend had it and he told me to put a scoop on my oatmeal.
    It tasted great, but….
    I didn’t go poop for 3 days and when I finally did, it was like a big stone.
    What happened?
    I have been off the seeds for a couple of months and just started taking them a week ago.
    I go poop every 2 days or so and although not so stone like…it’s kind of hard or heavy and compacted.

    very sorry for the blunt but I would like to know whats going on and if I need to change something or what i’m doing wrong.

    thanks

  • 221 cassandra // Oct 2, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    Josh. Chia absorbs 8 times it own weight in liquid so if you are not a big water drinker do have an extra glass when consuming Chia. I had the same as you only excruciating stomach cramps. Now I drink more water with chia and the stools are great. Chia if taken properly is great for constipation.

  • 222 Wayne Coates // Oct 3, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Josh

    I believe the problem is because you are not taking in sufficient liquids with the chia. Please try this and let us know.

    Wayne

  • 223 joan // Nov 15, 2011 at 9:10 am

    I have been advised to use Chia seeds for my loose bowels. My fear is they will make it worse. Anyone wuth similar experience

  • 224 Wayne Coates // Nov 15, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Joan

    Depends upon the amount of fiber in your diet. If you have been on a low fiber diet and eat a lot of chia it will make the problem worse, just ramp up and you should be fine.

    Wayne

  • 225 Sandy // Nov 15, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Joan:

    If you are having loose stools, you may have some intestinal issues. I had loose stools and was told I probably had a yeast infection (candida albicans) in my intestinal tract. I was also given a book called “Breaking the Vicious Cycle” (http://www.breakingtheviciouscycle.info/). I also read “Gut and Psychology Syndrome” (http://gapsdiet.com/). Probiotics help and you may need to take large doses. However, start out with a low dose and build up gradually. I took too much too fast and got a very severe rash from detoxing too fast. These are great books on intestinal health. My loose stools have cleared up. The books stay it takes at least 6 months on mega doses of probiotics to re-establish the good flora in your intestinal track and get rid of the bad.

  • 226 Christine // Dec 3, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Hi! within the past year and through watching Dr. Oz, I started adding chia seeds that I buy from a healthfood store. A friend of mine recently started selling…mila seeds for a company. He says there is a difference because thiers are cold split and much like flax seeds…need this process so one would get the ultimate benefits from the seed. Is there really a difference that it’s worth buying this much more expensive mila seed?

  • 227 David Mendosa // Dec 3, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Dear Christine,

    I think that the Mila brand of chia seeds is just marketing hype!

    David

  • 228 Gerri // Dec 16, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Can you use them in making bread as I do but use ground flax seed?

  • 229 Wayne Coates // Dec 16, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Gerri

    Definitely can use chia the same way, you may need to adjust liquid levels a bit.

    Wayne

  • 230 Tido // Jan 23, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Hi every one, great aticle and comments, I have been taking chia ,( two teaspoons in 8oz glass of water) for 2 weeks now, and I have lost 3pounds, i stay full longer and being a sugar addict, I have noticed a decrease in the amount of sugary snacks I crave inbetween meals. I must add, the full feeling happens about 1 hr after taking the seeds, so try to take them at least an hr or 1/2 hr before a meal.
    I also notice steady energy thru the day, no energy slump around 10am or 3pm. I usually have low blood sugars, usually around 45-65 on the diabitic meter, this week my blood sugar has been better regulated.
    I have been able to maintain a low carb diet without feeling the need to cheat(usually chocolate chip cookies, pound cake,) or snack in between meals. so give it try, but drink lots, lots lots of water, those little seeds are feisty water suckers, Lol, in a good way.
    Cheers.

  • 231 susie // Jan 24, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Thank you David for a wonderful site so that I can understand about Chia… Thank you also Dr. Coates for your site and all of your help with questions. Hugs to you both..

  • 232 franklin // Jan 30, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Does anyone know how much chia an adult would need to take to get enough omega 3 etc? Is this info documented anywhere?

  • 233 Wayne Coates // Jan 30, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Our website discusses this and the answer is found on the Q & A page. Basically 2 to 3 teaspoons will supply, more details are on the website.

    Wayne

  • 234 Willow // Feb 1, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    I’ve been eating chia seeds this week and noticed a vast increase in IBS symptoms. Is it possible that chia seeds are a trigger food? This is the only dietary change I have made.

    I’ve had the same issue with eating flax seeds.

  • 235 Wayne Coates // Feb 2, 2012 at 7:28 am

    If that happens you could have increased your consumption of fiber dramatically from what you were consuming. Cut back and slowly increase until your body adapts to a higher fiber load.

  • 236 Jill // Feb 4, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Is it safe to take a prenatal vitamin with 250 mg of DHA from fish oil and also add chia seeds to your diet when breastfeeding?

    I have been adding 1 tbsp of chia seeds to my oatmeal every morning…

  • 237 RG // Feb 11, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Does chia interfere with prescription medication? I take synthroid for hypothyroidism. Do I need to take them at different times, to be safe?
    Any issues for nursing mothers?
    Finally, any suggestions whether to take in the morning, afternoon, evening- with food or before food?
    Thanks!

  • 238 Corby // Mar 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    I first heard about chia in the book, “Born to Run”. As a diabetic and a runner, they sounded great. My first bag was a $60 bag of Mila (took me a while to live that one down with my wife). I can’t say that the chia alone made a huge difference, but the anti-inflamatory properties were very appealing.

    Then out of nowhere last week, I started getting the GI distress others have described. I always hydrate well when I take it and have been on it for a while.

    I do take Victoza, so I wonder if that had anything to do with it, but I have been on that med for over a year.

    Any thoughts not already shared on this thread? Also, other than drinking more water, has anyone found a way to abate the cramping?

  • 239 Donna // Mar 26, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Just wondering how chia seeds and probiotics might work (or not work) together. Is there any reason to not take them at the same time? Thanks!

  • 240 Sean // Mar 27, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    I think chia seed is altogether great stuff, but I’d advise to measure it by tablespoons and go easy when starting to eat it. I should know – today I made the mistake of pouring a generous amount of chia seeds straight from the bag into my yogurt this morning, and just spent the better part of the afternoon and evening experiencing intestinal Armageddon.

    Just puttin’ that out there.

  • 241 Kerry // Mar 30, 2012 at 12:48 am

    I gave my mom a fruit smoothie with some chia seeds in it and she said she got quite bloated afterward. I wonder if I put too much chia in it?

  • 242 David Mendosa // Mar 30, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Yes, either that or too little liquid. Chia seeds do expand, which is one of the good things about them. Especially at first you need to go slow.

  • 243 Lily // Mar 30, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    I wish I would have found this thread BEFORE using Chia.

    I read about a Chia pudding, made it, ate it. It was a bowl full. I did grind the seeds first and let them soak for 20 minutes before eating. I have sensitive intestines and am now worried that I had WAY too much for my first time. Should I be worried? So far I just feel really full and a tiny bit bloated. I am trying to drink lots of water…. please let me know if that amount is okay or not.

  • 244 David Mendosa // Mar 30, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    If you are just a bit bloated, you are doing okay. But next time eat less or drink even more water. No point in being bloated at all.

  • 245 Merrilyn // Apr 2, 2012 at 4:11 am

    In each packet of chia seeds I buy, there are some tiny black spherical things that might be some other sort of seed. Does anyone know what these are?

  • 246 David Mendosa // Apr 2, 2012 at 6:12 am

    Dear Merrilyn,

    Those tiny black specks are just black chia seeds — essentially the same except for the color.

    David

  • 247 Wayne Coates // Apr 2, 2012 at 7:09 am

    David

    Sorry to disagree but those are most likely wild amaranth seeds. This indicates to me that the seed has not been cleaned properly and could contain other weed seeds, immatures, etc.

    Try ordering from http://www.azchia.com/sales and you will not see those weed seeds.

    Wayne

  • 248 Merrilyn // Apr 2, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Thank you for your replies, Wayne and David.
    I expect they must be weed seeds as Wayne says. They are not the same shape or size as chia seeds, being spherical and quite tiny.
    Merrilyn

  • 249 Kim // Apr 24, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Oh my goodness, after 3 weeks of misery I have finally figured out that chia seeds are causing my terrible abdominal pain. I have been consuming 2 Tablespoons of soaked chia seeds ground up in a smoothie every morning for a few months now. A few weeks ago I got some kind of tummy bug but the pain would just not go away and I would be debilitated by the pain at times. I cut the smoothie out for 2 days and then tried it again today and instant pain! I don’t know why it seems to have some kind of cumulative effect, but it sure does. Also, I would have to urinate tons in the mornings after my smoothie. Very interesting. I’m going to take a break for a while and then try to reintroduce very slowly. I am really bummed because they are such a great source of Omega 3.

  • 250 Cassandra // Apr 25, 2012 at 5:27 am

    Kim you can re introduce them but I’d take them separate to your smoothie. I too like you had severe abdominal pains. I had ultrasounds and tests!
    I take one tablespoon then drink a big glass of water directly after. I have this after my breakfast but I make sure I finish that big glass of water directly afterwards. Chia absorbs 8 times its own weight in water.

  • 251 Rita // Apr 26, 2012 at 4:01 am

    There is definitely a cumulative effect. Ingesting chia seeds in even small daily quantities can cause constipation after about 3 weeks. My guess is that there is some change in gut flora occurring.

  • 252 Wayne Coates // Apr 26, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Rita

    Not sure this is correct, actually should be the opposite since fiber is the way to increase bowel movements, not decrease. I believe it is a liquid issue, you need to consume sufficient liquid with chia as it absorbs 7 to 9 times its weight in water.

    Wayne

  • 253 Jill // Apr 26, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Ground chia are a great regulator…been using them over three years and they have solved a couple of bowel issues forme…lots of liquids a necessity and figuring the amount for your body and your diet…the anti-oxidant benefits are a plus…

  • 254 Tara // Apr 29, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I think I’m allergic to Chia seeds!
    I had them for the first time on Thursday night and by Friday morning I was experiencing EXTREME diarrhea, about every 30 minutes for OVER 24 HOURS STRAIGHT. It was horrible. At first I thought I had gotten food poisoning but the others in my family were fine – except for my three year old who had had a sip of the liquid. He had a bit of diarrhea and broke out in hives on his back. I still can’t eat without feeling nauseous, followed by horrible gas and it’s Sunday night. There is no liquid left in me at this time for BMs, but I have to pee constantly. Has anyone else experienced this? I googled it and apparently you CAN be allergic to Chia. I’m not allergic to mustard or sesame, though, two things they say to watch out for so I’m confused!!! Help, my husband wants to take me to the hospital but all they’re going to do is pump me full of antibiotics.

  • 255 Wayne Coates // Apr 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    There is no documented evidence of chia causing an allergic reaction. Diarrhea is usually the result of someone being on a low fiber diet and increasing the fiber content by eating too much chia when they start out.
    The other thing that could have caused this is contaminants in the chia. Today there are too many people selling chia containing other material such a weed seeds, etc. So the chia source is critical.

  • 256 Tara // Apr 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    @Dr. Coates: This is what I found online:
    “Chia seeds can also cause allergy in some people. The chia proteins can cause adverse reactions. Those who are susceptible to allergic reactions by mustard seeds should also stay away from chia seeds as they can cause the same type of reactions. Chia seeds allergic reactions can cause watery eyes, vomiting, diarrhea, hives, skin rashes, and swelling of the tongue, mouth, and throat. They can also cause trouble in breathing.”
    My source for the seeds was questionable, however, I bought them at Whole Foods in the bulk food section. I can’t be sure that they were not contaminated. I am not on a low fiber diet, but even if I was, I ingested less than 1/2 a tsp. of the chia seeds. The violent and uncontrollable diarrhea and nausea I experienced were not the result of having too much fiber. Neither were the hives on my son’s back. I have never had a reaction to any food like this before.
    I have also never knowingly had chia seeds before in my life. Is it not possible that I am allergic to them? They contain proteins. I am allergic to wheat protein.

  • 257 Wayne Coates // Apr 30, 2012 at 6:32 am

    Tara

    You need to remember that anyone can put anything on the web they want, no one checks if it is true. All true studies have never shown any allergic response.

    Chia contains a very high quality protein, meaning all the amino acids are present and in good amounts. The rating is over 100.

    Do you mean you are alergic to gluten? Chia has been approved for consumption by celiacs. If you are allergic to wheat proteins, what is the name?

    I truly wish I could help you but as far as I know there is no issues.

    Wayne

  • 258 Tara // May 4, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Dr. Coates,
    Perhaps “allergy” was not the right word to use. I should have said “intolerance.” I put out a call on Twitter and on Paleohacks for personal accounts of bad reactions to chia and have had several people contact me, all with the same reaction I had. One has Celiac, two don’t. One other also has very bad reactions to sesame, the others don’t. I am also fine with sesame, I have done an isolated test since our last discussion.
    It has taken me over a week to recover from my bout with chia. I have been constantly on the mend with improving conditions, but there is no doubt in my mind that the reaction I experienced was due to chia seeds. You said that there is no documented evidence of chia causing a reaction; I would submit to you that this is no longer the case.
    My symptoms were severe and acute, as were the symptoms of the other people I spoke to. They immediately improved with the removal of chia from the diet.
    To answer your question, I am intolerant to gluten and to the protein gliaden, which is also found in wheat. I also have fructose malabsorption.
    It doesn’t matter if chia contains a “high quality” protein, it is still a protein and people can be affected adversely by it. Thankfully, the number of people seem to be very low, but we still exist. Perhaps the “true” studies you are quoting did not happen to test anyone with a chia intolerance.

  • 259 Kim // May 4, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Just wanted to add, since I didn’t mention it before~that I have gluten intolerance as well. But I was able to tolerate the chia for about 2 months before the pain started. I had a bout with the stomach flu and after that was unable to eat the chia without extreme pain. It took me several days to recover as well, after stopping the chia.

  • 260 Bob // May 4, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Tara, after reading all of your posts it would appear that you have more than adequately made whatever point you believe you have concerning your use of Chia. If Chia does not work for you, or if you believe it does not work for you, there is a simple solution. Don’t take it! And, if you possibly can, get on with your life without Chia.

  • 261 Wayne Coates // May 6, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Tara

    There are a number of issues here. First are you consuming whole or milled seeds? If milled could easily be contaminated in the milling handling process with gluten, and since you are allergic that could be the problem.

    Also it is possible that whole seed was cross contaminated with gluten depending on how and where it was cleaned, stored, etc. Chia itself is gluten free and has been certified as such.

    Thirdly other contaminants of various natures could be the issue. Weed seeds, plant parts, insects, fumigants, insect repellents during storage, etc. could be the issue.

    As for gliaden which you have issues with. This is found in cereals and grasses. Chia is not a cereal or grain, it is a seed, technically an oilseed so although I have not tested for it, would seem impossible to be in chia.

    So my bottom line is I do not think it is the chia per se, rather something else that is present.

    Wayne

  • 262 designer clothing // May 15, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    This is the first time I’ve ever heard of Chia seeds and find it interesting to try out considering your compliments for its taste and texture. It also is beneficial for the health which I realized when you explained the natural chemicals it is composed of. It’s also good for any type of servings to make it more new and interesting.

  • 263 Pat Chiappa // Jun 4, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    I was looking for an update on the Chia vs. Mila debate.

  • 264 Wayne Coates // Jun 4, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Did not realize there was any debate. Chia is chia, quality is the key. We guarantee ours

  • 265 Bob // Jun 4, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Actually Wayne is being way too kind. I, on the other hand, am not inclined to be so. Wayne very succinctly said, “Chia is chia, quality is the key. We guarantee ours”.

    I hava a concern about innocent appearing questions or statements which appear here, e.g. like the one posted byPat Chiappa. Hopefully his was an innocent inquiry and he is not a Mila “stooge”.

    So what is Mila exactly? Well, let’s take a quick peek. You can find this here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/supplemental-health-programs/mila/mila-lifemax-the-miracle-seed-56698.htm

    Mila, marketed by Lifemax, is priced at $50. for a 1lb bag. The exact same product is available from a variety if in-store and online sites for roughly $13.00. No wonder the Lifemax consultants are working so hard to get other sales people to join the “team” and sell. The profit margin to them in this Ponzi scheme must be great.

    Why would a “friend” want to hook you on something that costs you $37.00 more than what you could get down the street or online elsewhere – because your friend is lining her / his pocket at your expense.

    Take a look at the material behind the website and it is ALL about how much money you can make as a consultant – nothing about the health benefits of the product. Mila is no different that the Cha seed sold by other retailers, and the others provide lots more information and support for 1/4 the cost.

    Don’t be ripped-off, fooled, sucked in or taken advantage of by high pressure, manipulative sales tactics employed by your “friends” who seem to have morphed into snake oil selling cult members.

  • 266 joann // Jun 21, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Love this site. Was searching about chia/Mila and learned a lot. Chia is chia.

    What I did find interesting is the difference in consuming seed verses ground, and soaked verses raw. A person’s individual system will dictate what is right for that one person. Chai in one form is not universally acceptable for all individuals.

    Chia slows down a person’s digestive process which shows benefits of glucose maintenance and increase energy because of the availability of glucose to be utilized by the body.

    BE AWARE if you already have a slow digestive process, or slight food allergies; it will make your symptoms worse because you will be exposed to your allergen for a longer time. This is what I believe is the problem that people have experienced with adverse reactions. I have slight lactose intolerance and when I mixed my ground chia in greek natural yogurt, I thought I was going to die with the bloating and pain. If you experienced bloating, you maybe have slow pipes that need greasing with chia, or an allergy with what you ate it with. With the continuation of chia, your system should start being more regular. Don’t forget to increase your water intake, your body will crave it.
    If you have acid reflux, I think taking it without soaking would be best so it absorbs all the acid fluid in the stomach, but follow again with fluids so your system doesn’t plug up.

  • 267 oldie // Jul 31, 2012 at 1:15 am

    I’ve heard about chia recently and immediately went about purchasing it. I take one and a half tbspn and gulp it down with water everyday. My joints are slowly loosing gel and I’m taking all kinds of supplements to help my joints. I hope that this chia would help with my ankle pain and possibly increase my dancing years.

  • 268 Daisy // Aug 20, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    I am so thankful I found Chia seeds. I have been putting them in some blueberry/pomegranate juice and letting them hydrate in the frige for a few minutes and it is such a refreshing and fun drink.

    I noticed a four pound weight loss within a week from doing nothing differently other than including my chia drink on a daily basis. My appetite has diminished and I feel a new vitality and energy that I hadn’t felt before. I have had no adverse side effects, thank goodness.

    I am keeping a journal of my intake of Chia and the affects/effects to my body just to conduct my own non scientific longitudinal study. It will be interesting to see what effects Chia has long term.

  • 269 Dave // Sep 11, 2012 at 8:38 am

    I’m interested in the adverse reactions to Chia. I started using it a couple of months ago, mostly as a gel I mix with some yogurt, cook with or used in a broth. In the past couple of weeks I’ve been experiencing severe stomach pains similar to those others on this site have described which at first I put down to a radical change of diet.
    I’m back to a more “normal” diet but had some Chia today and I feel terrible again – stomach cramps and nausea.
    Maybe I’m just using too much Chia in one go. Like anything there’s a tendency to start off small then add more and more as you get a taste for it. Using the gel makes it difficult to judge how much Chia is in each portion I eat – I would estimate 20g of seed in each portion of gel I use, usually once a day.
    I’m not sure these unpleasant side-effects warrant too much experimentation on myself, I just find it interesting that I was fine when I first started using it – I may try some smaller portions!

  • 270 Dave // Sep 11, 2012 at 8:38 am

    I’m interested in the adverse reactions to Chia. I started using it a couple of months ago, mostly as a gel I mix with some yogurt, cook with or used in a broth. In the past couple of weeks I’ve been experiencing severe stomach pains similar to those others on this site have described which at first I put down to a radical change of diet.
    I’m back to a more “normal” diet but had some Chia today and I feel terrible again – stomach cramps and nausea.
    Maybe I’m just using too much Chia in one go. Like anything there’s a tendency to start off small then add more and more as you get a taste for it. Using the gel makes it difficult to judge how much Chia is in each portion I eat – I would estimate 20g of seed in each portion of gel I use, usually once a day.
    I’m not sure these unpleasant side-effects warrant too much experimentation on myself, I just find it interesting that I was fine when I first started using it – I may try some smaller portions!

  • 271 Jill // Sep 11, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    I use the ground chia seed every morning in a vitamin c drink …about 3 years now….I only use about 2 teaspoons …I am not going for the Omega 3 benefits, but have found it to be an effective lower GI regulator…I have much less gas than before…don’t eat much red meat…some chicken and fish and a lot of vegetables…think it is a combination of factors that leads to success…best of luck.

  • 272 Suzanne Holt // Sep 28, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I recently incorporated chia into my daily diet and love it. I even have my two (very picky) kids drinking it in their juice every morning. Yeah chia!

  • 273 Bhatt // Oct 9, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Well – I was completely ignorant of this chia phenomenon until recently. I picked up a small packet of chia from Trade Joes this past friday, and gave it a shot. It has been only 3 days since – and I am completely blown away by this chha chha chha chia! My BS has been 70-78 – most of the day this past weekend for the first time in 10 years – and I have no hunger pangs! In fact, I feel full most even when it dipped to 66! Maybe, I need to reduce the consumption…..Thanks for suggesting and writing up on this wonderful thing!

  • 274 Claudio // Mar 27, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Been using chia daily for four years now. Take it in the morning first thing. Smoothie about 30grs, one red apple,piece of ginger and about a liter of water. Incredible. Energy all day long, no GI problems, evacuations at least twice a day from being chronically constipated, and a whole lot more benefits. The down side used to pay about 4dlls a kilo at the local market, now it’s often scarce and running in the region of 20 dlls/kg. the sad part is that it’s due to increased demand outside of Mexico and the people here still remain ignorant to their past and buy into the industrialized models of nutrition. How sad

  • 275 Sophie // May 2, 2013 at 5:48 am

    I had been using Chia for about 4 weeks and gradually got more unpleasant side effects. I didn’t realize they were caused by the Chia until yesterday. I just wondered why I was feeling under the weather all the time. I have had severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, was feeling light headed and had irritated eyes. Yesterday I started thinking about what I had changed in my diet, and why it was that I felt better during my long weekend off recently (when I didn’t have any Chia). By the way I don’t have any other food intolerance. I also eat a lot of fiber and drink a lot of water normally, so that’s not it either. No more Chia for me, that’s for sure. I just chucked it in the bin. I think it’s strange that people on this site don’t seem to want to hear about these negative effects, but I’m writing it down anyway to help others who wonder what’s wrong with them. I still feel a bit queasy (had my last Chia yesterday) but I’m convinced that I’ll start to feel better soon, now that I’ve identified the culprit.

  • 276 David Mendosa // May 2, 2013 at 8:12 am

    Dear Sophie,

    Wayne Coates asked me to reply to your comments, because, as he wrote me, “Trying to respond to the post by Sophie but cannot get it to work on either Mozilla or IE.” Dr. Coates wrote the definitive book on the subject, Chia: Rediscovering a Forgotten Crop of the Aztecs (The University of Arizona Press, 2005).

    Here is what he asked me to pass on:

    Sophie

    That is really strange since chia itself has never been shown to have such effects. I suggest it could be something else in the chia. Cramps are something that people haves seen if they do not consume sufficient liquid when they eat chia. Diarrhea is comment when increasing your fiber intake substantially.

    I always want to hear about negative effects, but also do not want to jump to conclusions that it is the chia per se……….rather what else is in the chia you bought. The problem today is many people are selling low quality, unclean chia.

  • 277 Tara // May 2, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I left the original comment in this thread about having a chia intolerance. Once I got told that that’s “not possible” (see above), I did some research into it. According to Dr. Loren Cordain, it is completely possible to have an intolerance to chia. Chia contains saponins and other antinutrients, which can pass through the gut wall, bringing bacteria, toxins, fragments and proteins with it. This can INCREASE the reaction of the things you eat it with, making you react to a food that you normally don’t react to. For me, it was the yeast in my kombucha. For others, it’s the milk in their pudding or the soy in their protein bars. The symptoms are always the same: diarrhea, vomiting, severe stomach cramps, fatigue, gas and bloating.
    Since my original comment, I have reached out on the Internet and have had dozens of replies from people who are also intolerant to chia. You can read about it here: http://paleohacks.com/questions/115745/allergic-reaction-to-chia-seeds#axzz2S9uQegxO
    There’s great information from other people who have also had reactions to chia, and some information about preparing it traditionally to disable the antinutrients in it (which today’s industries do NOT do).
    I appreciate Dr. Coates bringing information about chia to the public, but I don’t like the attitude that it’s impossible to be allergic or intolerant to something. Everyone is different and everyone reacts differently to different foods. Something that is niche, unknown and fairly new on the Western food scene is invariably going to cause problems in SOME people. I’m happy for people that are able to consume chia without side effects, but it needs to be known that not everyone can do that safely.

  • 278 David Mendosa // May 2, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Dear Tara,

    Wayne Coates asked me to reply to your comments because he is still having trouble posting here:

    Tara

    A couple of points. There are no Saponins in chia, nor other antinutrients that have been scientifically documented. Dr. Cordain has a diet he promotes. If he has documented research studies and analyses to show these statements to be true I will be happy to review them.

    Again why is everyone so sure it is the chia, not contaminants in the chia?

  • 279 Tara // May 2, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    I’m not going to bother Dr. Cordain about this. He is not trying to promote anything, I came across his research on the topic while I was searching for something completely different. He has been right on the money with all his other research, so I have absolutely no reason to doubt him when he says that chia seeds are a source of saponins. However, besides reactionary YouTube videos and personal testimonials, I was able to find the following studies in a couple of minutes:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23472485 (minor adverse effects noted with chia)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23240604 (chia protein shows homology to sesame proteins)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20028328 (chia safe for consumption by NON-ALLERGIC individuals)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21339125
    (chia contains high amounts of glutamic acid, arginine and aspartic acid, which can all be problematic, especially for people who suffer from migraine.)

    Chia seeds contain high amounts of proteins. Perhaps some people are reacting to contaminants in the chia, and others are reacting to the chia protein itself. The protein and fat profile of chia grown in different regions of the world is wildly different, as well. If something has proteins in it, there will be someone somewhere that reacts to that protein. We’re intolerant to all kinds of things these days.

    I am certainly not saying that everyone reacts to chia, or that it is bad for you if you are tolerant to it but there have been enough people reporting getting very sick from it that you have to admit something is going on. If all the chia that is entering our food supply is contaminated, everyone would be getting sick. But only certain people are. People that are also sensitive to other proteins, like sesame or wheat. Is it not possible that chia is a cross-reactant for some of these other proteins? I’m seriously not trying to be a troll, I am asking a legitimate question. The chia that made me very sick also made my one son ill, but my other son (his identical twin) was perfectly fine. So, if that chia was contaminated, shouldn’t we ALL have gotten sick?

  • 280 David Mendosa // May 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Dr. Coates tells me that he does not want to go on with this discussion, but said that I could post his rejoinder below, which he still cannot do directly:

    “The papers that deal strictly with chia that you are talking about are all on our website so we are fully aware of them.

    “Again if people are getting sick it is not necessarily from the chia, since what is being sold in the US is coming from many places, so simply lumping all chia together is not correct. All chia is NOT the same.

    “Of course chia is high in protein, that is one of its great properties, and it is a high quality protein with a rating over 100. Not sure I know of people being allergic to protein, however.

    “As for the saponins. To make a statement that chia is high in saponins without scientific proof through analyses is simply not ethical.”

    Wayne

  • 281 Trish // Jun 6, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Are chia seeds safe for someone who has had gastric bypass.

  • 282 David Mendosa // Jun 13, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Dear Trish,

    Dr. Coates has asked me to post his reply to your question on his behalf:

    “In response……….as far as I know there would be no issues. If a concern at all would be to use the milled rather than whole seeds.”

    Namaste,

    David

  • 283 rhonda // Jun 30, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    i would like to know more about the bladder issues. is their any reason chia could affect the bladder?

  • 284 David Mendosa // Jul 3, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    I haven’t heard that it does.

    Namaste,

    David

  • 285 David Mendosa // Jul 3, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Dear Rhonda,

    Dr. Wayne Coates, who pioneered the research and development of chia seeds in this country, tells me this about your question, “None that I am aware of either.”

    Namaste,

    David

  • 286 rhonda // Jul 3, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    has anyone tried the aztec diet? important doing it but i have not restricted myself to just smoothies 3 x a day as the diet recommends because i still need snacks

  • 287 Sandy // Jul 4, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    I looked up the aztec diet and came up with this web site http://chiaseeds2health.com. They call Chia seeds Mila and charge $55 for 16 oz. I’m assuming that Mila is just another name for Chia. Mila is also non-GMO! So is Chia seeds and its much cheaper.

  • 288 Rhonda // Jul 9, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Mila is a brand of milled chia. I am still wondering if anyone else is trying the Aztec Diet and how it is working for them. Dr. Bod Arnot’s book: Revoulutionary Weight Control Program has been more helpful to me than the actual book on the Aztec Diet.

  • 289 rhonda // Jul 10, 2013 at 8:15 am

    i need help with leg cramps during the night. i am on low carb.

  • 290 David Mendosa // Jul 10, 2013 at 10:27 am

    Dear Rhonda,

    I had the same problem and wrote about the solution at http://www.mendosa.com/blog/?p=1273

    Namaste,

    David

  • 291 kim // Nov 19, 2013 at 10:13 am

    i recently started incorporating chia into my diet over the past few months. i was talking to a friend who is now interested but she has diabetes and only one kidney. my question is if anyone knows if chia will have adverse effects on her digestion because of her limitations? will they make a problem with her liver because of this? any info would be greatly appreciated. i can’t seem to find info in this area in my research.

  • 292 David Mendosa // Nov 19, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Dear Kim,

    Dr. Wayne Coates asked me to post his reply to your comment:

    I do not believe there should be any negative aspects of her consuming chia. I would start slow and increase just to be safe, but since chia has been classified as a food by the FDA with no known limitations I think it should be fine. If there is an issue please do let me know.

    David

  • 293 Pone // Dec 8, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    Hi, I am starting to use ground up chia seed in Paleo bread recipes, and I find it gives a rich crunchy texture very much like a whole grain bread. My concern for both Chia and Flaxseed is that the heating during baking of the bread may cause the polyunsaturated oils to oxidize. Does Dr Coates have any graphs that would show how much oxidation takes place in Chia at different temperatures? I’m not talking about the smoking point for the oil. I’m assuming that oxidation is a separate process and would take place to different degrees at different temperatures. If such a graph does not exist, it would be a wonderful resource to add to his website.

  • 294 David Mendosa // Dec 9, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Dear Pone,

    I contacted Dr. Coates on your behalf because he is traveling in Ireland now and could not reply directly. This is what he wrote:

    “I do not have such a graph, not sure anyone has. Baking does not cause degradation (oxidation) since temperatures in baked products do not get high enough. Our website http://www.drcoateschia.com has a more detailed explanation.”

    Namaste,

    David

  • 295 Pone // Dec 9, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    David, at what *approximate* temperature would the polyunsaturated fats in Chia begin to oxidize? If – for example – that temperature is 370 degrees, and your baking recipe calls for 350 degrees, that is cutting it pretty close. That might give a reason to try to find the lowest temperature at which baking still works.

  • 296 David Mendosa // Dec 9, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Dear Pone,

    That’s an excellent question, precisely the one I am trying to answer in another article I am preparing about another seed (sacha inchi). I don’t know precisely, but I do know that you are right to minimize the heat as much as possible.

    Namaste,

    David

  • 297 deVries // Jan 4, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    I guess Pone is gone and can’t give an update.

    Baking bread & using a temperature probe is the best way to monitor “bake time”. Most breads are considered “baked” when the internal temp reaches 200 degrees F. You can bake bread at very high temp (500 F) for a short period of time (15 minutes or less) to help it to “bloom” and expand more volume and then drop the temp down to 350 F or 325 F to finish. The oven should have high moisture & the bread protected from the heat coils to prevent the bread crust from burning. Using a cast iron dutch oven for the bread dough is ideal to use inside your big oven, because it will protect the bread from direct “char heat” & keep it moist too.

    Using the temp probe with alarm is ideal. These are available for $30 with wireless alarm. You can also manually check with an inexpensive temp probe (still accurate) for $10 or less.

    Using a cast iron Dutch Oven (Lodge brand is made in USA) I bake my bread at 500 F for 15 minutes, turn off oven for 20 minutes, turn back on at 325 F until the bread is finished baking. Remove lid if necessary to finish baking to obtain desired color and crust.

    I’m definitely interested in anyone’s chia bread or pasta recipes. I’m experimenting myself to make these as high quality & delicious as possible with an eye on keeping BG lowered too.

  • 298 deVries // Jan 4, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    For those with bad reactions w/digestion & fiber concerns I would highly recommend using a VERY small sized coffee bean grinder (to grind one scoop of beans for one cup of coffee) to grind the Chia seed before ingesting it.

    You definitely will absorb and digest more of the ground nutrients, because it will be fully bio-available in this ground form -easier to digest completely. You should keep the seeds either frozen or in the frig before using, especially, after grinding a batch.

    Stir 1 teaspoon into 8 oz of water or other water-like juice fluid (not a thick smoothie) to drink starting out once a day for 2 weeks. Then, increase to 1 teaspoon in morning AND 1 tsp in evening for 2 weeks. Then, if ok, increase to 1 teaspoon with 8 oz of water three times for morning, noon, evening for 2 weeks.

    If you have any adverse reaction, then stop taking AND wait a week to clear-out your bowels. Then try a different brand of Chia from a different source to be certain your batch is not contaminated and re-start.

    I have experimented with various fiber drinks and foods, and you MUST be VERY CAREFUL when taking a new food with high fiber that includes a lot of soluble fiber too as Chia does.

    It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially, if you are sensitive to allergies, digestion, or have diabetes or other bowel movement or medical issues.

    Chia seems to be a super food worth experimenting with, but take it slowly to begin with as a “prevent defense” to protect your digestive health. Then you can easily “fall back” to a safe intake limit should you begin to have some problems or are taking too much.

    If you seem to be having some issues, then you should go slower with less Chia and more fluids AND don’t take every day. Maybe every other day or 3rd day is best for your digestion. Since this is an imported crop, then I would be certain you start out with high quality Chia to begin with, BUT do NOT buy from “this crazy” MLM scam with Chia priced anywhere close to $50 per pound -that’s a crazy sales/marketing MLM rip-off. You can cold micro-slice your Chia seeds with a small coffee bean or micro grinder at about $10 per pound. It will be healthier too with less oxidation, since you grind the seeds just before ingesting! Super fresh!

  • 299 David Mendosa // Jan 4, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Dear Dean,

    Dr. Wayne Coates, who introduced chia seeds to the United States and who now sells them (where I buy mine) asked me to post this response to your message:

    Please post my comment for me. Really need to straighten this person out as so much erroneous information.

    A couple of comments:

    1. It has never been scientifically proven that milling of chia seed makes them more “bio-available.”
    2. You do not need to refrigerate chia. Shelf life for whole seeds at ambient conditions is 5 years, for our milled it is one year.
    3. The one caveat to point 2 above is the grinding process can hasten degradation if heating is involved. That is why we use a special process to mill our seed.
    4. There have never been any scientifically based studies showing allergic reactions to eating chia, whole or milled. Testing has actually shown the opposite, even in nut sensitive people.
    5. Two things to consider. If on a low fiber diet, do not eat too much chia initially as diarrhea can result as with consumption of any fiber will do. Additionally drink sufficient liquid when eating chia as it is very hydrophillic (abosorbs a lot of water) so can lead to stomach cramps as it basically pulls liquid from your stomach. This is just another natural reaction that the body produces.

    So eat chia, it was classified as a food by the FDA in 2005 with no know issues.

    Wayne

  • 300 Pone // Jan 4, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    David and deVries, addressing the points above with my own opinions:

    Regarding 1: Common sense tells me that chia only partially digests in whole form because of the thick gelatin that forms around the seed. Milling it would make more surface area of the seed available to the gut for breakdown?

    deVries, do you have a glucometer? If yes, it would be a really interesting test to try a fasting challenge comparing:

    1a) 20 grams of dextrose (to establish a baseline)
    1b) 20 grams of whole chia
    1c) 20 grams of milled chia

    I would be absolutely amazed if milled chia produced the same glucose response curve as whole chia. If in fact it produced the identical curve, then I guess Dr Coates scores points on this point. If they produce different curves, then there would be no reason to assume that other nutrients absorb the same between 1b) and 1c).

    This is a simple test and doesn’t require us to read any studies.

    Regarding 2: one ounce of chia contains 6.5 grams of polyunsaturated fats. While these might be stable, personally I would refrigerate them too. No harm in slowing down the oxidation process? And, personally, I mill them at the same moment I use them. I don’t save milled anything. I’m conservative.

    Regarding 3: If you want to reduce the risk of oxidation from the heat of the milling process itself, you should chill the seed BEFORE you mill it at all. The milling will increase temperature of the seed maybe 35 degrees, so if you start from a seed that is 50 degrees, it never gets very hot after milling. I do NOT do this because I use a nut grinder and not a true grain mill. If I were using a high end grain mill I think I would chill *all* grains that I put into that mill, so that is not a comment about chia.

    Regarding 4: I don’t know if it is an allergic reaction, but every white chia seed I have ever ingested – buying from three different manufacturers – has resulted in a violent intestinal reaction. My body doesn’t even want to touch the stuff and it literally flushes right through me. There is no amount of exposure that would cure this reaction. I assume it is my personal biology and it is specific to white chia seed. Black chia seed digests extremely well for me. I have never had any issue with any black chia seed. P.S., I have started to buy Dr Coates chia seeds and like them a lot for the simple reason he is the only manufacturer who takes the time to make sure the product isn’t contaminated by other types of seeds.

    David, have you done any testing with a glucometer on Chia, particularly on larger quantities that represent many grams of carbs? It would be interesting to see a glucose response curve on this food over a six hour period. At a purely subjective level, the chia seems to absorb extremely slowly and seems to give a slow continuous trickle of glucose. It’s something I have a great interest in and want to do glucometer tests in the future.

  • 301 Pone // Jan 4, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    I’m sorry, but in the above message I meant:

    1a) dextrose with 20 grams of carbs
    1b) enough whole chia for 20 grams of carbs
    1c) enough milled chia for 20 grams of carbs

    The intent was to have 20 grams of carbs available in all scenarios, and directly compare absorption.

  • 302 John // Jan 5, 2014 at 12:42 am

    I currently take one Tbls of psyllium husks each day for its fiber content and blood sugar regulation for T2 diabetes. If I start taking chia seeds daily should I eliminate or reduce my intake of psyllium? If so, should this be a gradual switch to chia? Is it safe to take both daily? Thanks.

  • 303 deVries // Jan 5, 2014 at 9:48 am

    In response to Dr. Coates and Pone too:

    Dr. Coates wrote:
    1. It has never been scientifically proven that milling of chia seed makes them more “bio-available.”

    deVries replies:
    I agree with Pone that micro-slicing these tiny seeds does increase the surface area dramatically, and all seeds do have some form of protective coating on the outside to protect its inside, especially, since this seed has high amounts of Omega 3’s that are very perishable when exposed to air.

    Since many or most people will be eating these seeds with other food items, I do think it is very likely to get more complete absorption when the ground/milled particle size is smaller & surface area greater with many more smaller particles created for the stomach acid to dissolve or gut to absorb.

    I’m sure there is plenty of science about food absorption reference particle size, high fiber and/or seed coatings, surface areas, and number of particles to lend support for bio-availability “in general”. Maybe studies are needed ‘to prove’ some of this for Chia seeds, but we can extrapolate from “common logic” and likely be closer to the truth in the meantime.

    Dr. Coates wrote:
    2. You do not need to refrigerate chia. Shelf life for whole seeds at ambient conditions is 5 years, for our milled it is one year.

    deVries replies:
    I’ve frozen Chia seeds for several years, beyond 5 years, and I grind/mill from this frozen state just before ingesting. After grinding it is still very cold to touch, so I know for certain there is no damage to the fatty acid Omega 3’s.

    Also, freezing protects against outside contaminates that could damage the seed such as bacteria, mold, moisture, insects, and oxidation fatty acid damage, etc. (I use pint or quart glass jars that seal air out used in canning.)

    Dr. Coates wrote:
    3. The one caveat to point 2 above is the grinding process can hasten degradation if heating is involved. That is why we use a special process to mill our seed.

    deVries replies:
    Grinding or milling my Chia seeds from a frozen state just before ingesting or food-prep is most optimal, imo.

    Dr. Coates wrote:
    4. There have never been any scientifically based studies showing allergic reactions to eating chia, whole or milled. Testing has actually shown the opposite, even in nut sensitive people.

    deVries replies:
    Plenty of people have posted to this thread and elsewhere, including Pone, that describe very bad reactions when ingesting some forms or sources of Chia seeds. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that some forms of Chia seeds eaten from some sources produce very bad and “very sick” reactions with some people, whereas others ate the exact same seed and had no reaction or sickness. A rash does indicate a possible allergic reaction.

    Whether it is an allergen, toxin, or “outside poison” from some contamination makes no difference to the sick person. It still came from the Chia seed farming, harvest and transport, or storage involving this seed.

    I had an extremely violent reaction eating a so called “super protein” bio-engineered food that is still sold, but I will never eat it again. Don’t need any science study to know many other people also have very bad reactions to that “super protein” food. You can’t deny some people are having problems ingesting Chia seeds sometimes 1-2 months later.

    Dr. Coates wrote:
    5. Two things to consider. If on a low fiber diet, do not eat too much chia initially as diarrhea can result as with consumption of any fiber will do. Additionally drink sufficient liquid when eating chia as it is very hydrophillic (abosorbs a lot of water) so can lead to stomach cramps as it basically pulls liquid from your stomach. This is just another natural reaction that the body produces.

    deVries replies:
    It is also possible to get constipated and feel like a big hard rock is trying to come out that will not & be very painful, when changing the fiber content in your diet too. If you don’t take enough fluids with Chia and ramp-up slowly, then you can have this constipation problem too!

    Many people posting in this thread have found they are urinating much more often and in large quantity when ingesting Chia seeds. I would caution these people to be certain to take even more fluids that prevent constipation and go slow as I suggested in my previous post.

    To Pone:
    Thanks for your reply and ideas. Next week I will have time to do some initial BG tests with Chia, so I will post soon what I learn about it. I intend to do a lot of testing probably over several months using Chia in my bread/pasta, so I’ll keep you posted here about this progress.

    After grinding some Chia last night I put one heaping teaspoon thoroughly stirred into 8 oz. of water, and it did thicken the water. The Chia seeds I have do NOT completely gel the water w/1 tsp, so it’s not like Jello or more viscus than honey or too lumpy when ground-up & mixed well in enough water.

    I will try one tablespoon (3 teaspoons) and see what happens to 8 oz of water, but I think it is very safe to start out the way I suggested in my previous post if one is concerned or cautious about trying Chia.

    I read Chia is related to the Mint family of plants, and I can actually smell and/or taste this “mint idea” (very faint mild) in my Chia. This is sooo very faint that I would not have noticed it without that knowledge. The taste is very bland and neutral otherwise. I notice the very few seeds that didn’t get ground-up and remain whole get a thick gel coating around the seed after being immersed in water for some time, and I can bite into the inner hard surface to open and chew the seed. You can definitely feel the rather thick gel coating.

    IMO, I think grinding the seeds is better for digestion, especially, when mixed with other foods.

    Btw, Dr. Coates, I think it’s great you continue to post to this thread, and I’m truly grateful for your efforts to help spread “the good words” about Chia nutrition. I hope I’m able to use it in my diet long-term, as this really seems to be a “super food”.

  • 304 David Mendosa // Jan 5, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Dear Pone,

    I haven’t done that test and don’t advise anyone to do it. To test enough of anything to get a good indication of its glycemic index you need at least 25 grams. That would be a whole lot for our digestive system to handle.

    Namaste,

    David

  • 305 David Mendosa // Jan 5, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Dear John,

    I would make a gradual shift. If you take a lot more fiber at once, you are always setting yourself up for a digestive upset. However, I have never experienced that myself with chia seeds.

    Namaste,

    David

  • 306 David Mendosa // Jan 5, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Dear Dean,

    Dr. Coates read your message just before he left on a trip to South America to meet with growers. Consequently he asked me to summarize some of his thoughts on the recent correspondence here between you and Pone.

    He says that chia seed has a soft coat and its protection comes from the antioxidants it contains. I will add here that this is different from flax seeds, so don’t confuse the two.

    In terms of allergic reactions, sickness, etc., this just means that you were eating low quality uncleaned chia. The reactions coming from other stuff in the chia, not the chia itself.

    Namaste,

    David

  • 307 deVries // Jan 5, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Just to be clear, I’ve never had a “bad reaction” eating Chia, but I’m only just now slowly ramping-up to experiment with eating it in larger quantities in homemade bread and pasta.

    As I mentioned in a previous post, I did get very sick eating a bio-engineered protein food, not Chia, which I mentioned only to acknowledge that other people posted “here” anecdotally about getting sick after eating Chia. Some people have had “bad reactions” to Chia which is high in protein and Omega 3 fatty acids and fiber.

    To Pone:

    25 grams is only about 1 ounce, so I should be able to ingest that amount at some point soon. I’ll have to weigh-out that amount to see how much that is. I’m guessing it’s between 1-2 Tablespoons, but maybe it’s more “volume wise”. If it is more than 2 Tablespoons, then I will have to “go slow” for my bowel movements to make sure I don’t create some problem.

  • 308 Pone // Jan 6, 2014 at 3:04 am

    deVries, I take two tablespoons of whole – not ground – Chia together with a whey protein powder, and I have never had issues with the black chia seed that way.

    100 grams of chia seed – by weight – is 43.8 grams of carbohydrates. This is from the data sheet at:
    http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3061/2

    so *if* you were to target 20 grams of carbs, you would need 45.7 grams of chia by weight. I couldn’t resist the temptation to go weigh this out, and by volume this was a little less than 1/4 cup of black chia.

    I have never ingested that much in one sitting, and I think that is something you would have to build up to slowly to understand the water requirement and digestive effects. Maybe you start with 4 grams of carbs, then keep increasing in increments of 4 grams.

    If something goes wrong on that quantity of chia, it will be the amount of fiber and how you pass that. My hypothesis is that the glucose absorption curb will be very benign. After ingesting two tablespoons of chia and waiting an hour, I rarely see glucose readings over 85. Keep in mind I am not diabetic and started out with fasting glucose of 115. I have worked that down to 75 to 85 consistently.

  • 309 Pone // Jan 6, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    By the way, does anyone have any other “wonder foods” like Chia that release glucose slowly?

    David, could you ask Dr Coates what is the maximum amount of Chia he thinks is safe for daily ingestion? I have been taking it slowly so far.

  • 310 David Mendosa // Jan 6, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Dear Pone,

    Sure. He is in South America now, but I’m sure he will answer when he can.

    Namaste,

    David

  • 311 deVries // Jan 7, 2014 at 5:21 am

    Pone wrote:

    [...] so *if* you were to target 20 grams of carbs, you would need 45.7 grams of chia by weight. I couldn’t resist the temptation to go weigh this out, and by volume this was a little less than 1/4 cup of black chia.

    I have never ingested that much in one sitting, and I think that is something you would have to build up to slowly to understand the water requirement and digestive effects. Maybe you start with 4 grams of carbs, then keep increasing in increments of 4 grams.

    deVries replies:

    I agree with your thinking that I will have to build-up slowly to be able to take 4 Tablespoons = 1/4 Cup of Chia. Of course, for a test I would weigh it out on a gram scale that is accurate, but I will have to slowly scale-up to do that. Right now, I’m just testing to get to 1 Tablespoon of Chia in 12 oz of water soaked overnight, but I can’t even ingest that amount safely within 20 minutes until I have enough bowel movements to know what’s going on. Anyway, a 1/4 Cup within 30 minutes is at least 2-3 months away to test that amount IF possible for my digestion. I do think it’s possible, cause I think I can drink a quart of water with it after soaking it overnight, and then continue to drink more liquids to keep it moving.

    When I ingest a lot of Golden Flax that is ground and inside my baked bread, I can get really big diameter poops that are much longer than without flax. So, I think this will be possible to do with Chia too, since it does not seem to gel completely like “Jello” in one big blob. But, if it dries-out my digestive system absorbing too much water, then that won’t work… no one wants to crap-out an over-sized hard rock!

    Lastly, I’ve got to lose 20-lbs of body fat ASAP. I’ve decided to go very low-carb to do this, so this is going to slow down doing all my bread and pasta experiments to only one meal a week. I think higher carb meals have become a poison to my metabolism, so grains & beans & beer & breads are out but for one meal per week at most until that body fat is off & my BG levels are much lower.

    That’s really good news that you find Chia actually lowers your BG levels. That’s amazing.

  • 312 David Mendosa // Jan 7, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Dr. Coates just sent me this reply:

    “Really no set amount. Some of our customers have eaten a cup a day. Typically we recommend between 15 and 25 grams per day. But if on a low fiber diet ramp up slowly.”

    Namaste,

    David

  • 313 Pone // Jan 7, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    25 grams of Chia is only two tablespoons. It’s a very small quantity. What would he say about taking four tablespoons in the morning, and an additional four tablespoons in afternoon?

    Presumably most of the ALA that cannot convert to usable Omega-3 will just pass through? Is the main concern that this might cause constipation or other intestinal effects?

  • 314 deVries // Jan 8, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Pone wrote:
    Presumably most of the ALA that cannot convert to usable Omega-3 will just pass through? Is the main concern that this might cause constipation or other intestinal effects?

    deVries replies:
    A lot depends on how the ALA fatty acids are normally absorbed with Chia and whatever else is present with the ALA. It’s fat, so it won’t just pass through but digested.

    For me, the main concern is bowel movement and transit time and how any amount of Chia affects this. Soft stools with faster transit time are ideal for my “digestive health”, so I’ve got to figure out what amounts of Chia can optimize that goal. If Chia also helps to lower BG levels, then I would try ingesting higher amounts until there is no more benefit or negative side-effects by eating more.

    Your 1/2 Cup daily goal seems reasonable to me if you want to eat that amount as long as your digestive system handles it ok…

    Please let us know your experience as you ramp-up too. Thanks.

  • 315 deVries // Jan 8, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    FYI, this is about pooping and stools when taking Chia, so skip this post if that’s too much information “to ingest”. :)

    I ingested 6 rounded teaspoons of ground Chia over 2 days as follows: 1 tsp in 8 oz water drank within 8 hours, 2nd day 3 tsp in 8 oz water ingested over 14 hours, and 2 tsp sprinkled on food at 2 meals over 2 days, so 1 tsp/meal.

    Results: On 3rd day I had bowel movement that was 12-14″ inches long & 2″ inches in diameter in one long piece. The front 2″ inches of the stool that exited first was slightly “impacted” and dryer than the rest of stool, but it was not painful to eject. This stool was very well formed in one piece and large for me, and I had to break it up into several pieces before flushing to prevent toilet from blockage and overflowing.

    Over the 2 days I had 2 eggs & 3 bacon strips, about 8 oz or less of skinless chicken breast, 3/4 Cup of cooked durum-spinach pasta, 2/3 Cup fresh pineapple, 2/3 Cup homemade pasta sauce with cheese for 1 pasta serving, 2 white onions, 2 green bell peppers, one 4″ inch Portabella Mushroom, 2/3 Cup Brussels sprouts, 1-1/2 Cups Chopped Broccoli.

    All veggies were lightly cooked in Olive Oil in cast iron pan and some of this veggie mix was eaten with each meal over 2 days. 2 Tablespoons of Avocado. Plain tea and water.

    My “analysis” about those meals w/Chia:

    My Chia stool and transit time was very similar to when I eat a lot of ground golden flax in my homemade bread.

    I need faster transit time (not 2+ days to poop) and a less well formed smaller stool, so I’m going to up “the greens” (collards kale spinach, etc.) and see what happens drinking more fluids too.

    Too much Chia (or Ground Flax) may slow stool “transit time” beyond 24hrs and increase the size of stools. I think it’s healthier to poop everyday, so I will try to adjust my diet accordingly.

    Anyone have an idea how to speed-up stool transit time & create smaller sized (not one big) stools? Thanks.

  • 316 Pone // Jan 8, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    I suspect whole fruit will speed up transit time by moving more water into intestine. The problem I have is that fruit makes me feel bad. One in three people of European descent have fructose malabsorption, and most never get diagnosed. You need a hydrogen breath test for this. Assuming you don’t have that issue you might try one cup of fruit once or twice a day. You might want lower-carb fruits like berries.

    It might be worth trying Grapefruit Pectin as well, but this is also soluble fiber:

    http://www.amazon.com/Source-Naturals-Grapefruit-Pectin-Powder/dp/B000GFPCP2

    This stuff tastes HORRIBLE, but is a very good fiber.

  • 317 deVries // Jan 9, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Pone, thanks for the suggestions.

    This long-winded reply is Off-Topic to explain why I’m avoiding fruit and other grain/bean “fiber carbs” to take with Chia on a daily basis.

    I definitely have Metabolic Syndrome for the last 5+ years. I’m the typical middle aged (mesomorph body type) male with too much belly fat and sedentary life. After reading Taubes Good Calories Bad Calories the last several days I’ve “freaked-out” about all the carbs I’ve been eating. I wouldn’t say I’ve been addicted to grain carbs, but I’ve eaten far too many since bread, fast foods, and desserts were eaten over my lifetime.

    I was hoping to make my own bread and pasta low carb, but I’ve decided I’ve got to lose weight faster before embarking on that feat.

    You mention fruit, berries, but I’ve decided I can’t eat fruit on a daily basis until I lose 40 pounds. I’ll eat 2-3 servings of (lower fructose) fruit per week and one serving of homemade pasta or bread once a week. So, I’m going to have to get my “stool fiber” from lower carb veggies and not pasta/bread or fruit.

    I’m very serious about averaging only about 50-75 grams of carbs (200-300 calories) per day over a weekly time-frame. Unless I can keep my weight off, then that will have to be a permanent change. Maybe I will have to eat even less carbs per week??? I’m also going to try low dose Metformin now, because I’m borderline DT2 with the belly fat.

    Taubes book has really given me a 5am “wake-up” call. I think it is the best diet and nutrition book I’ve ever read even though he is a science writer that has written about other topics. I’ve always been interested in nutrition, so I’ve read a lot of various diet/nutrition books over the decades. If anyone is interested in why many of us become overweight with related “modern diseases” and wants to read the fascinating and very controversial history of nutrition and diet research, then this is required reading. I can’t imagine a better nutrition and diet book to start with, and it is a great reference to continue to learn from. I will soon devour Taubes more recent book.

    I’m a low-carb convert, because I’m certain it’s “the carbs” that are making me very sick. Thankfully, I will be in much better health on a low carb diet and will reverse my borderline DT2 I have now.

    Chia will be part of that diet, but I’ve got to modify my diet further to speed digestive transit time using Chia. I’m definitely going to increase my water intake to see if that helps…

  • 318 David Mendosa // Jan 9, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Dean,

    I appreciate your mentioning now important Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes has been in your journey to good health. This same book changed my life when I read it carefully in 2007. That’s when I began to eat low-carb, and I will never go back.

    Namaste,

    David

  • 319 deVries // Jan 12, 2014 at 12:11 am

    Bowel transit time experiment update and conclusion about my limits ingesting Chia:

    In order to “reset” my bowel movement testing for Chia I stopped taking Chia or any other high fiber foods, etc. for enough bowel movements to clear my system. Then I ate a T-bone steak, 1 large tomato, 1 Green Bell Pepper, and some fresh garlic. Normally, that meal does NOT provide enough fiber for soft stools that transit within 36hrs for me, so I took 1 dose of Miralax (a synthetic stool softener) after eating that meal. Well, less than 24hrs later I had a very watery stool without any formation or shape. Had I taken Chia or Flax instead of Miralax, then I would have not had a bowel movement within 48hrs based on past experience.

    I have learned that taking 6 rounded teaspoons of Chia slowly over 48hrs (see previous posts for details) will slow my digestive transit time to 48hrs+ or more to poop. This is the same result I get when ingesting ground golden flax too.

    I am only drinking about six 8 ounce glasses of water (including tea or coffee) per day, but I’m also not doing any activity to increase thirst. So, for me, just taking ground Chia or ground flax is not going to speed my digestive transit time. Also, my stool size is plenty big enough when ingesting 3 rounded teaspoons of Chia each day with a mostly green veggie diet and about 4-8 ounces of animal/fish proteins with very limited grain/bean carbs or fruits.

    I think the only way I can ingest more Chia is to drink more fluids of at least eight 8oz glasses (that’s 2 quarts) per day, and I would probably have to do some daily extra moving or walking exercises of 15-20 minutes beyond normal activities to stimulate more digestive function to speed-up transit time. When I was eating more grain/bean carbs and fruit I did often have a bowel movement within 24hrs, but that gives me too high BG levels to eat that way anymore.

    With my current fluid intake & activity level I doubt I can ingest more than 3 rounded teaspoons of Chia per day. In fact, only 1-2 rounded teaspoons will be my Chia limit for now, since my stool size gets too big & transit time too slow when ingesting more Chia without some other modification to my diet or exercise activity levels.

    Also, anecdotally, many people that have taken Chia regularly for 1-2 months have then had an onset of serious digestive problems when continuing to take Chia longer-term and had to stop taking it completely. This is probably a small percentage of people, but it is a caution one should take into consideration before eating large amounts of Chia.

    I’m hoping I can use Chia in my bread/pasta recipes to lower BG levels, but I can’t do those experiments until my BG levels and weight are much lower. I think I’m several months away from doing this, so I will report back here later once I learn something new worth reporting. In the meantime, only 1-2 rounded teaspoons of Chia per day seems to be my limit, otherwise my bowel movements slow down too much and become too large with my current diet, fluid intake, and activity level.

  • 320 Pone // Jan 12, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    David, did you ever have any luck finding a smoking point for Chia? I’m interested in using them in pancake recipes, but the temperatures get to and above 350F. Flax – another Omega-3 rich seed – starts to oxidize around 225F, so it is probably okay for baking bread but not okay for a hot skiddle and pancakes. I suspect Chia might be in a similar situation.

    Getting some idea of safe temperatures for the seed would help a lot in using it in the appropriate recipes.

  • 321 David Mendosa // Jan 12, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Dear Pone,

    I haven’t ever read what the smoke point of chia is. Maybe Dr. Coates can tell us. But since both flax and chia are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are polyunsaturated fats, and flax has a very low smoke point, my guess is that chia’s is also pretty low. That’s just a guess.

    Namaste,

    David

  • 322 Pone // Jan 12, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    devries, what symptoms have you heard of after one to two months on chia?

    Again, the way you speed up the stool is by getting more water into the gut. Fructose (without glucose) would be one way to do that, as it would draw water in by osmosis.

    You might want to research around osmosis and see if you can find other ways to get an osmotic effect in the intestine.

  • 323 David Mendosa // Jan 12, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Dear Pone,

    As I hoped, Dr. Coates just wrote:

    “You can bake with chia seeds, not a problem as the temp inside the goods never reaches oven temp. Additionally the antioxidants in chia make it much more stable than flax.”

    Namaste,

    David

  • 324 deVries // Jan 12, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    Pone wrote:
    devries, what symptoms have you heard of after one to two months on chia?

    Hi Pone, check-out Tara’s posts in this thread, then you can read at the link below the responses she got after posting about her problems with Chia. Most replies to her post had this “delayed sickness” response after eating Chia for 1-2 months. Strange indeed…

    http://paleohacks.com/questions/115745/allergic-reaction-to-chia-seeds#axzz2S9uQegxO

    I’m only going to eat 1-2 teaspoons of Chia for the next 2 months every day to see how I feel and react over time. I don’t want to eat more than one rounded Tablespoon per day, since my stools get too bulky unless I can have more bowel movements. I know it would be possible to change my diet, fluid intake, and activity level to eat more Chia, but I have no interest or reason to try and do that until my BG levels & weight is much lower than at present.

    Btw, don’t worry about using Chia to make pancakes, etc. You don’t heat the seeds long enough or high enough to do much damage at all. You only cook a pancake for just a few short minutes, so there is too little time to damage the fatty acids, imo.

  • 325 Pone // Jan 12, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    devries, I have this same violent reaction to white chia seeds, three different purchases from different suppliers all the same. I never have this reaction to black chia.

    The things I would say here:

    1) There is a possibility that they reacted to some other seed strain mixed in with Chia. Most chia seeds I have purchased are not cleaned well. Dr Coates’ seeds are really clean.

    2) There is possibility they reacted only to white seeds but failed to specify.

    In any case, this is not a reaction that sneaks up on you. You either have it or you do not, and believe me it is isn’t a subtle thing. With white chia, it feels like my body violently rejects any attempt to digest it and just flushes it out. I get nothing like that with black chia.

  • 326 Pone // Jan 12, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    devries, some thoughts on you to supplement your diet:

    1) Try green plantain, which has a lot of starch and fewer fructose carbs. You can make fantastic pancakes from the plantains. Look online for recipes and let me know if you need one. Obviously you have to test with glucometer to see if you tolerate those. Skip honey and sweeteners.

    2) You might want to consider testing with reactive starches. Most of the caloric value is for the benefit of your intestinal flora, and my guess is that this will speed up digestion. These are going to be foods like sweet potato.

  • 327 deVries // Jan 13, 2014 at 1:59 am

    My Chia Pancake Experiment:

    Well, I had some ground Chia soaking in the frig for a couple of days in water. It was 1 heaping tablespoon of ground Chia in 8 ounces of water.

    I decided to try using this Chia gel to add to a Hungry Man buttermilk pancake mix & see what happens. (Hungry Man is not very healthy ingredients but makes decent pancakes for a dry-mix.) It’s a left-over opened box of pancake mix that I will slowly finish and not buy again until I get my BG levels & weight lower.

    I was able to whip-in a lot of air into this gel thanks to the bubble-effect of the water soaked gelled Chia. The 2 pancakes I made cooked perfectly, and I’m certain I did very little damage, if any, to the Chia ALA fatty acids. (No strange or bad taste.) You can rapidly heat the first side of the pancake to “bake it off”, and then reduce the heat for the flip side.

    The soaked ground Chia air-whipped gel worked great in my pancake mix, but, unfortunately, I have to avoid eating pancakes except on rare occasions. I do think it will blunt my BG response, so I’m looking forward to testing that effect. Also, I was very satisfied and felt full after eating just 2 very large pancakes vs the 4-6 I would eat when high carb. In fact, I couldn’t eat the last 3 bites of the 2nd pancake thanks to the Chia effect.

    I bet you could wisk-in a lot of micro air-bubbles into your soaked ground Chia gel to add and fold-in to the pancake mix vs using un-soaked whole Chia seeds. This would make your pancakes super light and fluffy, so you will eat much less calories per pancake too! Whip and fold-in some whipped egg whites, and you might just float away on air. :)

    Btw, the taste of my Chia pancakes were excellent, so there was no damage to the Chia ALA fatty acids, imo.

  • 328 deVries // Jan 13, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    Update regarding the Chia “pancake experiment” I should add that I made enough pancake mix to make 6 large pancakes about 6-7″ inches in size. Also, that included 1 egg & about 2 heaping teaspoons of ground Chia that was in about 5 ounces of water soaked for 2 days in the Frig. (I did not use the other 1 heaping teaspoon of soaked Chia I had available in the remaining 3 ounces of water.)

    Had I soaked the Chia in whole organic dairy (or coconut or almond) milk instead of water, then I would have used all the Chia -one heaping Tablespoon to make the 6 pancakes.

    Finally, the pancake mix brand was Hungry Jack Buttermilk (not Hungry Man). I recommend finding a more healthier ingredient list than this brand, but it does make very well formed lighter pancakes that don’t come-out funky. The Chia did not harm the flavor of this pancake mix, imo, and I think it’s possible to use more Chia than I did.

    Pone wrote:

    You might want to consider testing with reactive starches. Most of the caloric value is for the benefit of your intestinal flora, and my guess is that this will speed up digestion. These are going to be foods like sweet potato.

    deVries replies:

    There are so many low-carb w/fiber processed foods “out there” now that it is overwhelming to know which ones might work vs marketing hype.

    Your “whole food” plantain and sweet potato ideas are worth trying too. My goal is to find the right food & fluid mix to speed-up my transit time to have a bowel movement within 24hrs on average. More walking and/or exercise may be necessary too. Maybe situps or stomach exercises?

  • 329 deVries // Jan 15, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Wow, today I wanted to use-up the soaked Chia seed I had in the frig, ao I made 2 pancakes again without any banana this time. (The first pancake test had one small banana sliced in each 6-7″ inch sized pancake.)

    Well, less than 10 hours later I had a runny unformed stool that required very quick access to the bathroom toilet. This is highly unusual for me to have this kind of fast and loose bowel movement. I did not eat anything raw or unusual in the meantime, so I know this too fast & loose bowel movement was caused by today’s Chia pancakes. I did not eat any Chia since my last pancake experiment noted above, nor did I eat any other high-fiber foods.

    Perhaps the ground Chia soaked too long in water, about 5 days, but it was chilled in the frig the entire time. Plus, the pancakes were heated enough to kill bacteria. The Chia was less than 2 teaspoons eaten in total.

  • 330 Pone // Jan 15, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    devries, what I suspect happens is that the Chia is so moist that it leaves the inside of the pancake uncooked. That might mean you are eating raw eggs if your batter includes eggs.

    I have had similar things happen when I develop a new pancake batter that doesn’t want to cook all the way through, and I end up with something very moist in the middle.

  • 331 deVries // Jan 15, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    I did use one organic free range egg in the pancake mix just as before in the exact same Chia slurry. I had already eaten 9 of these eggs “sunny side up” with runny yokes without issues. Also, today’s pancake batter was thin not making a thick pancake, and I slightly overcooked both pancakes. I use a heavy Lodge 12″ cast iron skillet that holds heat very well, so it tends to overcook pancakes.

    The cause is either the Chia or, less likely, bacteria “stomach upset”. I will be very cautious the next time I do pancakes to eliminate any possibility of bacteria contamination. I will try again next week, but, for now, no more Chia till the next test. My stomach is not yet back to normal tonight.

  • 332 Pone // Jan 15, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Eggs cooked sunny side up will kill all of the bacteria in the egg. I have gotten sick several times from eating *thin* pancakes with various flours that left the inside of the pancake moist and uncooked. I use Lodge cast iron as well.

    Chia has the unique characteristic that it carries water around in its gel and doesn’t let go of it easily. So in a pancake the middle tends to stay uncooked.

    The only test of chia I would trust would be consuming chia directly in water. Mixing it in with other ingredients is tricky.

  • 333 deVries // Jan 16, 2014 at 12:32 am

    Pone wrote:
    Chia has the unique characteristic that it carries water around in its gel and doesn’t let go of it easily. So in a pancake the middle tends to stay uncooked.

    deVries replies:
    I’ll use my temp probe to check the surface temp on the upside uncooked portion of the pancake. 180 F on the top surface will be hot enough to kill all bacteria inside, since the temp is hotter underneath that’s closer to the hotter pan surface. And, then, flip it to the down side to heat it beyond 200 F against the pan surface.

    The water soaked Chia should be fine though, as long as the temp gets to 180 F. Also, water soaked Chia will not absorb the other ingredients like eggs, since “the gel” is already at capacity with its water content absorbed in “equilibrium”.

    Btw, I’ve eaten 2 meals without Chia since the “bad” too fast & loose bowel movement. So far, so good, but my stomach is still a bit queasy.

  • 334 Pone // Jan 16, 2014 at 1:22 am

    Great idea to check surface temperature of pancake (with a laser probe would be perfect). But I do wonder would the surface temperature at 180 guarantee the temperature inside of the chia gel? Evaporative cooling around that gel might send temperature lower just around the seed.

    The general thought is that it makes no sense that chia by itself slows down your digestive system (as you reported), but speeds it up inside a pancake. Common sense tells you that some other ingredient in the pancake must have done this, but it could well be that the chia facilitated this because of the moisture issue.

    The other point to consider is that chia may have a low smoking point, because of the high polyunsaturated omega-3 content. No one has documented an exact smoking temperature. It’s easy to get a grill to above 350F, so I would worry about using Chia as an ingredient in pancakes unless the cooking temperature was very low.

  • 335 deVries // Jan 16, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Pone wrote:
    But I do wonder would the surface temperature at 180 guarantee the temperature inside of the chia gel? Evaporative cooling around that gel might send temperature lower just around the seed.

    deVries replies:
    I’m using *ground* Chia in a water slurry, and I’m certain everything is heating together with little temperature fluctuation. As you know, when cooking pancakes it is center of the pancake that finishes cooking last.

    I went ahead and made two more Chia pancakes today from the exact same pancake mix I used yesterday. I used the temp probe, and the surface of the center of the pancake was heated well above 185 F. I have no doubt the temperature was at least that hot inside the pancake. In fact, I’m certain the temp is above 200 F inside the pancake by the time I’m finished cooking both sides.

    The Chia gel actually helps to cook the pancakes more evenly, imo, because it actually drys out the inside of the pancake better IF you don’t have the heat too high. Cooking slower on lower temp makes excellent Chia pancakes, imo, and these are more evenly cooked inside the pancake *with* ground Chia water slurry vs regular pancakes.

    Seriously, you don’t need to worry about damaging the Omega 3 when making pancakes. The cooking time is less than 8-10 minutes per pancake, and the inside of the pancake is heated to less than 220 F remaining moist and not dry.

    Most bread is considered finished baking at 200 F. Remember, 212 F is the boiling point of water & causes rapid evaporation, so the pancake would dry-out if heated above that temp for very long. The fact your pancake is cooked in 8-10 minutes and remains moist protects the Omega 3’s from any temperature damage.

    My stomach upset was gone today, so I figured it’s best to try the Chia pancakes again asap to attempt to repeat the loose bowel “disaster” again.

    I’m certain there was no bacterial contamination today, and I will eat the same food I did yesterday later on today.

    Before doing the pancake tests I drank the ground Chia “water slurry” along with eating some food too, so I’ve taken Chia with food before too. Some people have posted getting “uncontrolled” runny bowel movements after taking Chia several times, so it’s possible that it has to be ingested often enough (or too much) for this to begin to happen.

  • 336 deVries // Jan 17, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    3rd Chia pancake test update:

    About 10-12 hours after eating the 2 Chia pancakes I felt a tiny bit weird “uneasy” about my digestion thinking I might have a problem developing, but it passed without any issue.

    Today I don’t feel like eating Chia for a few days, so I’m going to pass doing more Chia pancake tests. I think eating the Chia pancakes one meal every 2-3 weeks is the most I want to eat for now. I don’t think ingesting 2+ teaspoons of Chia everyday is best for my digestion, but this is just a subjective feeling I get.

    I’m going to try using just 1 heaping teaspoon of dry ground Chia on my food directly and see how that works out.

  • 337 deVries // Jan 17, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    After eating 2 small meals today 24hrs after the Chia pancakes I had 2 “rapid” loose & unformed bowl movements which did clear-out the Chia pancakes from yesterday. Obviously, this Chia pancake combination of food causes issues with too loose & “run to the bathroom” bowl movements for my digestion to handle normally.

    The first time I made Chia pancakes with bananas and this caused no problems, so I’ll try that again in a week or two.

  • 338 deVries // Jan 21, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Well, I tried using the dry ground Chia, and that solved the problem to a large extent. I’ve made pancakes twice now with dry ground Chia that was ‘not’ soaked in water. So far, I’ve had somewhat normal bowel movements that are soft but not as “whole” or one/two piece as usual but without the need to run to the bathroom.

    This is about 2 rounded teaspoons of Chia per 2 large pancake meal.

    I can definitely say even with this amount of Chia that I feel very full after eating just two pancakes.

    Also, I checked my blood glucose levels at one and two hours, and, surprisingly, my BG level is lower than eating 4-5oz of chicken with 2/3 Cup tomato pasta sauce (no pasta or sugar) with whole Parmesan cheese. I wonder what would happen to BG if I added a heaping teaspoon of Chia to this chicken meal?

    Chia does help blunt my BG response, and these pancakes had whole milk vs water and 3 Tablespoons of real maple syrup with a liberal topping of pecan nuts too. I’m quite pleased with this result, because it seems I can tolerate still eating pancakes occasionally even with real Maple syrup too!

    I have no interest in eating larger amounts of Chia, because I feel too full on larger amounts and my bowel movements become too urgent and loose. So far, I think I can use Chia in my diet in small amounts of 1-2 rounded teaspoons per day.

    I will be quite interested in how Chia can work for homemade pasta, because it seems you can feel very full on small amounts added to grain flours AND blunt your BG levels well below what refined flours typically do.

  • 339 Pone // Jan 26, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    deVries, you might want to look at using polydextrose as a fiber in your diet:
    http://www.medlabs.com/downloads/polydextrose.pdf

    One of the things that intrigues me about polydextrose is that it increases short chained fatty acid production in the large intestine.

  • 340 deVries // Jan 26, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Hi Pone, thanks for any and all ideas you can provide. I enjoy researching about nutrition, so this type of information is always welcome.

    I have learned one thing for certain regarding my digestion of Chia. I can eat more Chia if it is put in my food dry and not soaked.

    However, if I eat 4-6 rounded teaspoons of Chia that has soaked for 24 hours in one meal, then about 24 hrs later I can have multiple very runny bowel movements within one hour. Obviously, I have a limit to the amount of soaked Chia I can eat at one meal.

    At least I know it is a good laxative if I need to clear-out my bowels.

    I think ground Chia is an excellent pancake additive to add dry to a pancake mix. If someone wants to experiment doing this, then I highly recommend only ingesting 1-2 rounded teaspoons of Chia per person per pancake meal on one day. Test several times before adding more Chia per meal/day to prevent upset bowel movements that are too runny and require access to the bathroom immediately.

  • 341 Pone // Feb 13, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    devries, I have found something I think you will want to study. People are starting to experiment with raw potato starch, ingested at night before bed, used as a resistant starch. The body does not metabolize this starch to glucose. The starch is extremely nourishing to the microbes that live in your colon though, and it is thought to promote the metabolism of the starch to butyrate, which both heals the gut and potentially goes to the liver to create ketones.

    You can read a bit about it here:

    http://freetheanimal.com/2013/12/resistant-primer-newbies.html#comment-557615

    I want to be clear that:

    1) We are talking about potato STARCH NOT potato flour!! Potato starch is a totally different food. Potato flour your body would metabolize to glucose.

    2) Do NOT cook the potato starch, because that would cause the starch modules to burst and become absorbable by your gut. If you cook with potato starch above about 130 F, your body will start to absorb it and metabolize to glucose. That would completely undo the affects.

    What people are claiming about potato starch:

    1) It is reducing fasting glucose by 10 to 20 points in diabetics and prediabetics.

    2) It is creating very restful sleep, and some users are reporting vivid dreaming. I have a theory about this being due to the ketone production, but that’s a separate conversation.

    3) It greatly helps people with constipation. It creates a soft bulky stool that rapidly transports through the system.

    I started with one tablespoon of Bob Red Mill’s potato starch one hour after dinner, and I have worked up so far to three tablespoons. Somewhere around four tablespoons is thought to be the maximum useful dose, and I’ll probably test above that for a while.

    It does create some gas as the bacteria ferment the starch. I find that this is a morning-only phenomena because of the way I am taking it and is completely absent during the day.

    I would advise taking this with a probiotic on its own after a meal. There are reports that if you combine it with fermentable foods that the gas problem gets extreme.

    I have only taken it for less than a week now, but it has had pretty profound and noticeable positive effects on all of the points I made above. I would have to say it is a remarkable find, and it’s worth trying.

  • 342 deVries // Mar 26, 2014 at 9:43 am

    Hi Pone, thanks for the update about potato starch & not cooking it. I definitely will try this and report back too.

    Does it have to soak in liquid for very long to prevent any gritty mouth feel? I assume it should be a very soft food/mouth feel, but I haven’t used it yet.

    I’ve been grinding pearled barley to add some fiber bulk to my Chia pancakes, and I find this adds more bulk to my stool without the loose stool issue that taking too much Chia causes. I have to soak the ground barley before adding to pancake mix to prevent that gritty mouth feel though.

    Are you still using the potato starch?

  • 343 Pone // Mar 26, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    devries, potato starch is gritty but who cares. One or two tablespoons is not hard to swallow.

    Barley is a toxic grain, and in any case I cross react against my wheat intolerance.

    I stopped the chia seeds as I felt that they weren’t digesting that well.

    The potato starch leaves me feeling sedated the next day, so it is pretty powerful stuff. I am not taking it regularly yet.

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