Learn About the Benefits of Chia During Pregnancy
If you’re at the beginning of your pregnancy, chia will be like a blessing from heaven. The amount of nutrients and components that each seed contains makes it a superfood . The chia seed is one of those foods that’s always been with us, but for many, it’s something totally new. The point is that you must incorporate this grain as soon as possible into your family’s diet. Keep reading to discover all about the benefits of chia during pregnancy.
We’re not just talking about having a good diet. It’s proven that chia is recommended for pregnant women , especially during the first months.
What are chia seeds?
Although today this food is present in many countries and there’s a lot of talk about it, it can also be unknown to a large number of people.
Chia seeds come from the Salvia hispanica L plant, native to Guatemala and Mexico, where it’s been cultivated for food for 3,500 years.
It’s a very small product, around 1 millimeter in diameter. The seeds are usually black in color, although some white varieties can also be found.
They’re highly valued at a nutritional level thanks to a dense nutritional composition. The presence of fiber, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and proteins is also noteworthy. It also contains remarkable amounts of iron, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc. You’ll see below how they can provide benefits in pregnancy thanks to these nutrients.
Benefits of chia during pregnancy
1. Fetal Brain Development
Chia will provide you with a part of the Omega 3 that contributes to building the baby’s brain. There are numerous scientific studies that link the brain progress of your little one in formation with the amount of Omega 3 present in the mother’s body.
The brain is formed from Omega 3 fatty acids, a component that promotes the growth of brain molecules while you’re pregnant. This in turn means lower risks of the little one suffering from a neurological problem, according to a study published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.
It’s not only about the physical composition of your child’s brain, but also about the child’s visual abilities, intellectual processes, and the possible decrease in the incidence of some diseases, such as autism.
Keep in mind that most studies on omega-3 and fetal development have been conducted with sources of EPA and DHA. These two types of fatty acids are found in oily fish, but not in chia, which instead contains a precursor that the body can convert into EPA and DHA.
For this reason, it’s best not to stop eating oily fish and to use chia as a supplement for the necessary amounts of omega-3.
Chia during pregnancy prevents constipation
Thanks to the presence of fiber, chia seeds are an ideal food to regulate intestinal transit and prevent constipation and the appearance of hemorrhoids.
Both problems are usually common in pregnancy and, although they don’t have serious consequences, they can become annoying and generate a significant feeling of discomfort.
Chia as a nutritional supplement
The best thing during the gestation period is to be well-fed, while at the same time maintaining healthy levels in all body indicators. The good thing about this seed is that it’s high in nutrients, but low in unhealthy fats .
In fact, the most amazing thing about this is that it will allow you to have additional calories and proteins, which are necessary to obtain during pregnancy. But at the same time, its properties will regulate cholesterol values and glucose peaks after meals.
It’s a food supplement that keeps cholesterol levels low
Iron and calcium
These two minerals are present to a large extent in chia seeds and are considered key during pregnancy.
On the one hand, they contain iron that will help increase the volumes of blood that circulates through the body during pregnancy. They also help to reduce the risk of iron deficiency and anemia, a common condition in many pregnant women.
At the same time, the consumption of calcium is vital for the formation of bones and tissues of the child. But it also has an impact on the health of the mother.
Contraindications of chia during pregnancy
Besides its innumerable benefits for the body, there are certain contraindications regarding the consumption of this food .
For example, if you’re allergic to peanuts or tree nuts, it’s likely that chia will also cause this type of reaction. Also, if you’ve never tried these seeds, it’s best not to introduce them during pregnancy, or do so with great caution.
People who take medications for blood pressure should also avoid its use, as it could cause a lack of control in your blood pressure that may not be positive. Also, if other medications or supplements are taken, it’s preferable to separate them from the intake of chia, as it could interfere with their absorption.
In addition, it must be borne in mind that despite its benefits, more is not synonymous with better. Two tablespoons of chia seeds are enough to allow you to take advantage of all its properties. In excess, the seeds could cause diarrhea and flatulence, as well as displacing other equally important foods.
Tips for introducing chia during pregnancy
Chia seeds are present in many products (bread, toast, yogurt, bars, etc.) but it’s best to consume them naturally. A serving of one or two teaspoons a day is enough.
In order to digest them well and take advantage of all their nutrients, it’s advisable to buy them in powder form or grind them at home. It’s also important to let them soak for about 15 minutes or mix them with some wet food (soups, smoothies, yogurts).
Some of the best ways they can be incorporated are as follows:
- Mixed with yogurt
- In fruit or vegetable smoothies along with milk or vegetable drinks
- Soaked with milk or a vegetable drink, it takes on the form of a pudding or jelly
- Sprinkled on legume dishes, soups, salads, pasta, etc
- Along with oatmeal or breakfast cereals
Consume chia during pregnancy
In any case, it’s ideal for pregnant women to ingest this type of natural product in moderate amounts. The recommendation is to always consult your doctor before you consider this product as a food supplement. Include it in your diet to take advantage of all its properties.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Agostoni C, Nobile M, Ciappolino V, Delvecchio G, Tesei A, Turolo S, Crippa A, Mazzocchi A, Altamura CA, Brambilla P. The Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Developmental Psychopathology: A Systematic Review on Early Psychosis, Autism, and ADHD. Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Dec 4;18(12):2608.
- Food Data Central. Seeds, Chia seeds, dry. Abril 2019. U. S Department of Agriculture.
- Hacker A. N, Fung E. B, King J. C. Role of calcium during pregnancy: maternal and fetal needs. Nutrition Reviews. Julio 2012. 70 (7): 397-409.
- Harvard T. H. Chan. Chia seeds. Harvard School of Public Health.
- Martins BP, Bandarra NM, Figueiredo-Braga M. The role of marine omega-3 in human neurodevelopment, including Autism Spectrum Disorders and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder – a review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2020;60(9):1431-1446.
- Servicio Nacional de Salud del Reino Unido. Weight gain in pregnancy. Octubre 2018.