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7 Benefits of Chia Seeds for Your Healthy Pregnancy
Chia seeds, the super-food that looks strangely similar to birdseed, have benefits for everyone, but consuming chia seeds during pregnancy and breastfeeding is especially beneficial! If you’re trying to have a natural, healthy, and fit pregnancy, you’ll want to give chia seeds a frequent guest appearance in your diet.
Why Pregnant Women Should Eat Chia Seeds?
1. Chia seeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids! They contain the omega-3 fatty acid ALA, which converts to DHA and EPA. These two fatty acids are excellent for baby’s brain and eye development. To get the recommended amount of omega-3 that you need during pregnancy, consume about 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, or another seed of your choice, each day.
2. They also contain an impressive amount of protein! Protein during pregnancy is important since it contains the building blocks needed when the baby is developing. Chia seeds actually have 18 out of 22 essential amino acids. 4.5 g of protein per ounce is pretty impressive for a tiny little seed like chia!
3. There’s a heavy antioxidant load in chia seeds, too! Antioxidants help strengthen the immune system and fight certain cancers. Consuming chia seeds during pregnancy can also help flight inflammation in aching joints and muscles that pregnancy might be causing.
4. 40% of your daily fiber need can be met with just 1 oz of chia seeds! Fiber, which can help ease any constipation you might be having, is important for maintaining a healthy weight, lowering cholesterol levels, and controlling blood sugar. Anything that stabilizes blood sugar is helpful during pregnancy, since it can help decrease the chances of developing gestational diabetes.
5. Since your baby has claim to the calcium in your bones, if you’re not getting enough in your diet, calcium will be pulled from your bones! This can lead to brittle, weak bones later in life. Chia has 18% of your calcium needs in 1 oz., to help you AND baby maintain strong bones and teeth.
6. Chia seeds during pregnancy have a lot of iron, which increases the blood blood cell supply to make sure both you and baby have enough! Your body is pumping out a lot more blood during pregnancy to provide for your little one, so getting iron is even more important than it normally is. 1 oz. of chia has 8% of the iron you need in a given day.
7. If you’re feeling especially fatigued during your pregnancy, chia seeds (with their high nutrient content and antioxidant load) can help replenish lost nutrients and can give you an energy boost. This is especially helpful when trying to maintain an active pregnancy. Throw a tablespoon or two into your smoothie or yogurt before your workout to feel more energized!
Seeds (all kinds – chia, pumpkin, sesame, and many more) all contain these nutrients, with many more benefits than what are listed here. Since chia is a high fiber food, you’ll want to take it slow! If you didn’t consume chia before pregnancy, it’s best to start out with 1/3-1/2 tablespoon per day to go easy on your digestive system, and work your way up to the recommended 1-2 tablespoons!