Noooooo: This Salad Topping Could Be to Blame for Serious Bloating

But there's a fix!

On Sunday, one of my good friends who has turned her oven on, like, never, (she lives in Los Angeles and says things like, “Who needs to cook when you can just order Sugarfish delivery and enjoy life instead?”) called me and proudly announced that she’d gotten “one of those nutri-whatevers” and has been making green smoothies loaded with veggies, fruit and chia seeds every morning .

She was very proud. So it hurts my heart to know that I’ll probably give her a ring later today and inform her that, according to registered dietitian Tracy Lock, there’s a pretty good chance all those chia seeds thrown into her well-intentioned blender concoctions are actually backfiring on her and causing bloat.

As registered dietitian Tracy Lockwood told Well + Good in an interview posted earlier today, around half of the clients she sees are experiencing digestive stress (read: bloating) caused by — you guessed it — the ubiquitous chia seed. See, the problem is, chia seeds absorb a LOT of water. So when you eat ‘em, they first soak up water from your intestine area, which can kickstart bloating, then they expand in your stomach, which can lead to MORE bloating. NOOOOOO.

Now, I’ll bet you’re thinking twice about that handy to-go packet of seeds you sprinkled onto your lunch salad earlier today, huh? Well, don’t swear them off altogether: Chia seeds are still great for you, packed with omega-3s (healthy, flawless skin), fiber and protein. According to Lock, to avoid an uncomfortable “Will anyone notice if I unbutton my jeans?” afternoon at the office, you should simply soak chia seeds in water (one teaspoon of chia seeds to nine teaspoons of water) for five to 10 minutes before eating. This way, they’ve already expanded before they reach your digestive track, and you get the benefits minus the bloat.


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