Last year, chia seed water caused a stir on social media for allegedly helping to lose weight. Now the drink is doing the rounds again, but for a different reason: it’s supposed to help with constipation.
Chia seed water can be prepared quickly. Simply measure out a tablespoon or two of chia seeds and stir them into a glass of water. Then let the mixture stand for a few minutes. Chia seeds can absorb up to 12 times their weight when wet.
And they are super healthy. “Research is still in its infancy, but its potential digestive benefits include improving gut tissue health, promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, altering the absorption of some dietary components, and relieving constipation,” explains Czerwony.
chia seed water really help against constipation?
The fiber in chia seeds is mostly insoluble fiber that does not dissolve in liquids. Instead, they absorb liquids and help create bulky, soft stools.
So yes, chia seeds have the right kind of fiber to loosen up your stool and give you some relief from constipation. “Chia seeds have not been studied for constipation,” Czerwony notes, “but due to their fiber content, they are believed to have a laxative effect.”
But it is important to be moderate. Too much fiber can also cause symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, cramps and diarrhea.
It is also important to remember that high insoluble fiber intake can dehydrate the gastrointestinal tract and cause constipation if not consumed at the same time.
Staying hydrated is always important, but when you’re purposefully consuming extra fiber, including chia seed water, it’s especially important.
And if you have inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis), eating too much fiber can lead to symptoms like diarrhea and cramps.