Friday, August 13, 2010

Ch-Ch-Chia! Seeds that is!

 *Pic borrowed from

I first became interested in Chia seeds during a break I was taking from the SCD.  I was looking for ways to increase the nutrient density of my meals.  As almost everyone with some form of IBD knows, getting proper nutrition can be a challenge.  Around that time I stumbled on this post from Kelly at  I had never considered some of those ingredients she mentions.  Mostly, since they're not considered SCD legal.

Chia seeds are SCD illegal because they are mucilaginous.  What that means is that they form a gel consistency when they come into contact with water.  And this gel can feed those little bacteria in the gut that we're trying to starve by adhering to the SCD.

And while I will never suggest that someone incorporate an illegal ingredient into their healing process, I'm a big proponent of doing what's right for you.  And for me, Chia seeds bring a lot to the table.  Enough, in fact, that I've embraced them as part of my nutritional strategy.

What are they good for?  Well, for starters, they are massively nutritious for something so small.  Just 2 tablespoons of the seeds have 6 g of fiber and 3 g of protein.  Not to mention calcium, iron, and vitamin C.  But the real magic is that mucilaginous texture.  Ground Chia seeds are excellent thickeners in smoothies and soups.  And because they absorb moisture and hold on to it, they are ideal for adding to your coconut flour baked goods.  Since some of the alternative flours that SCDers use can be on the dry side (coconut flour, banana/plantain flour, bean flours) adding 1 tablespoon of ground Chia seeds can be the difference between a crumbly muffin and one that's moist and delightful.

But I do try to remind myself that's it's not SCD legal.  And as such I never ingest more than 1 tablespoon of Chia seeds in a single day.  And usually far less than that.

So where can you get it?  Chia seeds are becoming widely available everywhere.  I've seen them at Whole Foods.  I've bought the Navitas Naturals brand from  You can also get it from Amazon.  But so far, the best price I've found is at Nuts Online.  I've not ordered the Chia seeds from them before.  But I'm a big fan of their company, products, and service.  So I'll be getting my next order of Chia from them.

I hope that sheds a little light on the Chia seed.  Let me know if any of you have tried it and what you think!


Unknown said...

thanks for this post particularly reminder of "what's good for you" and use in small doses and not daily.

debbikay said...

I have mild Crohn's and pretty bad IBS. I just heard about the SCD today and I am looking into it. I have suffered gut pain for many years. About 6 months ago a friend of mine said she lost weight on the chia seed diet by drinking 2 tablespoons chia seed in a glass of water twice a day. So I decided to try it. I didn't lose any weight but after a day or two realized My gut pain was gone and BM's were normal for the first time in years! When I ran out of seeds and for a few days the pain quickly returned. I have been doing this for 6 months now and the IBS is gone. The crohns is still there I believe as I still have some bleeding. So I am going to try the SCD to address that issue but I don't think I will ever give up My Chia seeds!

Lala said...

My son just started the scd diet for crohns about a month ago and said he feels so much better. He has severe crohns and was told not to deviate from the legal/illegal list even one little bit because you are trying to suffocate those bad bacteria and you will be defeating your cause. He said he could live on this diet forever. Recipes are easy. There are alternatives to what we are used to using in our cooking and they are so good and healthy for you! Good luck

Unknown said...

I found that when my gut was sore, actually chia porridge (chia seeds soaked in coconut milk for one hour, then boiled for five mins, with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top) was most soothing, and filled me up.

Carrie Gibbs said...

Took a wake up call for me to find the SCD list and I see things that I question. Chia seeds Oh kay. I get it do not have those anymore..