Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, is a common condition characterized by the regurgitation of acid from the stomach up into the esophagus, which causes a burning pain. If you frequently suffer from acid reflux, you may seek alternative forms of treatment to help you manage the discomfort. While chia seeds offer their own health benefits, there's no link between the seeds and acid reflux, and they may make your acid reflux worse. Consult your doctor about how best to treat your reflux.
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About Chia Seeds
Chia seeds come from Mexico and are a member of the mint family. The seeds are loaded with a number of nutrients that promote good health, including protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, magnesium and selenium. One ounce of chia seeds, which is a little less than 3 tablespoons, has 136 calories, 9 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbs, 10 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein. One ounce also meets more than 10 percent of the daily value for iron, magnesium and selenium.
Chia Seeds and Acid Reflux
Food choices can affect your acid reflux symptoms. Due to the impact of fat on stomach emptying, it's recommended that you limit your fat intake. With almost 60 percent of calories from fat, chia seeds are a high-fat food and may increase your acid reflux. Also, the fiber in the seeds forms a gel when combined with water, which may also affect stomach emptying and increase risk of acid reflux.
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
While chia seeds may not be helpful in managing your acid reflux, they do offer other health benefits. As a source of omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds may reduce inflammation and promote heart health. The Cleveland Clinic reports that chia seeds may help reduce blood pressure in people with diabetes and may lower bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels while improving good cholesterol. Also, due to their gelling fiber, the seeds may help control appetite.
Tips and Warnings
To get the health benefits of chia seeds without any ill effects, consider using the seeds in small amounts. For example, you can add 1 tablespoon to your yogurt or hot cereal or sprinkle a small amount on your salad for a little flavor and texture. The seeds also mix well in baked goods such as muffins and quick breads.
If you're taking blood thinners or blood pressure medication, talk to your doctor before adding chia seeds to your diet due to their potential interaction.
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in Adults
- Cleveland Clinic Wellness: Chia Seeds Supplement Review
- McKinley Health Center: GERD Diet
- HealthAliciousNess.com: Nutrition Facts Comparison Tool: Chia Seeds
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Omega-3 Fatty Acids