Chia Seeds: Ought to You Eat Them Complete or Floor?


Chia seeds are tremendous nutritious and make an incredible plant-based pantry staple. Must you eat them complete or floor? Does it make a distinction? Let’s discover out. 

Am I displaying my age once I discuss how I bear in mind seeing chia pet commercials on tv? Whereas the eye is on the chia seeds right this moment, they bought their begin as these quirky character crops you can purchase on QVC. However I digress.

In the present day, chia seeds are finest identified for his or her vitamin. Chia seeds are the edible, grey and black seeds of the Salvia hispanica flowering plant. Of their complete type, they’re oval-shaped and tiny, at solely round 2 millimeters lengthy every. 

And many individuals – together with myself – love to make use of chia regularly. Plant-based or not, these little seeds have rather a lot to supply.

Advantages of chia seeds

Whereas chia seeds could also be small, they’re an incredible supply of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, B nutritional vitamins, calcium, and iron. 

Plus, analysis exhibits that chia seeds supply the next well being advantages:

Chia vs. flax

Many members of the chia seed fan membership additionally love flax seeds. Personally, I are likely to maintain each in my kitchen at any given time. However you could be questioning, is yet one more nutritious than the opposite?

Whereas each are nice sources of fiber, chia seeds really include about twice as a lot as flax seeds. Each are additionally wealthy within the omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), however chia seeds include barely extra. Flax and chia supply round 1.6 and 1.8 grams of ALA per tablespoon, respectively. 

Moreover, chia seeds include barely extra protein and iron per serving. In addition they have round 60 mg extra calcium per tablespoon in comparison with flax. 

However again to chia seeds. How do you have to eat them?

Must you eat chia seeds complete or floor?

You might have heard that it’s higher to grind or roll flax seeds earlier than consuming them due to their robust outer hull. This makes them simpler to digest, and their vitamins develop into rather more accessible. Complete flax seeds are likely to cross proper by way of the physique, undigested.

Does the identical rule apply to chia?

It depends upon the vitamins you’re hoping to get from them. Chia seeds of their complete type are simpler to digest than complete flax seeds as a result of they don’t have that very same robust outer hull. There’s not a ton of analysis on this matter but, however it does seem that sure vitamins, like ALA, develop into extra bioavailable when chia seeds are floor.

In a single 2012 randomized managed trial, 62 chubby grownup ladies got 25 grams per day of both floor or complete chia seeds for 10 weeks to see if there was a distinction in how processing influenced illness threat elements. The authors discovered that the bottom chia considerably elevated the individuals’ blood ranges of ALA and EPA, in comparison with complete chia or placebo. However in any other case there have been no main variations in how chia preparation influenced irritation or illness threat elements. The identical outcomes have been seen in one other comparable examine

And in a 2020 examine, researchers examined the influence of processing on the digestibility of chia seeds. They discovered that grinding did enhance the digestibility and uptake of antioxidants, protein, and omega-3 fat in comparison with complete seeds as they cross by way of the intestines.

What’s the underside line right here? Chia seeds could supply extra ALA and EPA when floor, however they’re definitely not devoid of vitamins if left complete. Take into account that whereas ALA is necessary, its conversion price to DHA – one other important omega-3 fatty acid that’s usually extra missing on plant-based diets – stays low, so I wouldn’t be relying completely on chia seeds to fulfill your entire omega-3 wants anyway. 

Must you resolve to grind chia seeds, you may simply do that utilizing a espresso grinder, a excessive velocity blender, or a meals processor. Retailer them within the fridge or freezer to protect their omega-3s and optimize their shelf life. 

How one can eat chia seeds

I really like utilizing chia seeds! Under are a few of my favourite methods to incorporate them in my eating regimen:  

How one can make chia eggs

Like floor flax seeds, complete (or floor) chia seeds can be utilized to make a vegan egg used for many baking functions. Chia seeds have an identical potential to thicken liquids and maintain batters collectively as they bake.

In truth, chia seeds can soak up as much as 12 occasions their weight in water.

To make 1 chia “egg”, gently stir collectively 1 tablespoon of chia with 2.5 tablespoons of water. Let the combination sit for five minutes to gel, after which add it to your batter. To make two eggs, merely double this recipe.

Chia seeds are extremely nutritious regardless of the way you select to make use of them. Whether or not you select to eat them complete or floor, you may take pleasure in lots of the advantages they’ve to supply. 


Weigh in: How do you want to make use of chia seeds? Do you normally eat them complete or floor?

For extra vitamin ideas and plant-based fundamentals, learn these different posts:

– Whitney