Natural Foods Guides/ Nutrition

Chia Seeds: Frequently Asked Questions

Flaxseeds

Chia seeds are known as a great plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to a host of other nutrients, and an abundance of calcium, protein, and fiber.  These frequently asked questions are excerpted from Chia: The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Superfood* by Wayne Coates, PhD.

Chia Green SmoothieIf you like chia seeds, you’ll love 6 Fabulous Recipes for Chia Seeds here on VegKitchen.

Q. Can I eat too much chia?

A. Not really. If you eat more than your body can handle, you may find yourself feeling a bit bloated, or you may experience mild diarrhea, though this is rare.

Q. Is it possible to be allergic to chia?

A. It is very rare, but the possibility does exist. Those most likely to have a reaction to chia are individuals who areallergic to sesame or mustard seed, or to other members of the salvia family, such as sage.

Q. What else does chia contain?

A. The main vitamins are: A, B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), C (ascorbic acid), E, choline, and Folate (folic acid). Chia also contains vitamins B3, B5, B6, B15, B17, D, K, inositol and PABA. The main Minerals are Boron, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, silicon, sodium, strontium, sulfur, and zinc. It also has amylose and plenty of electrolytes. And they also contain 18 of the 22 amino acids, including all nine essential amino acids.

 

Q. I’m on medication. Can I take chia?

A. It depends on the medication. Your best bet is to talk with your healthcare provider before taking chia.

Q. My personal trainer said I should have chia daily between weight lifting workouts. Why?

A. Chia is believed to decrease recovery time and fatigue in cardiovascular workouts by encouraging muscle tissue repair.

Chia-Crusted Tofu CutletsQ. What happens after I’ve swallowed chia?

A. When chia reaches the digestive liquids of your stomach, it swells and forms a gel. This gel slows down the rate at which digestive enzymes turn carbohydrates into sugar.

Q. I understand I should drink plenty of liquids when eating chia. Why?

A. Since chia absorbs a lot of liquid, it can lead to stomach cramps. Hence the need to consume sufficient liquid when consuming chia.

Q. I’ve heard chia can make my nails healthier and grow faster. Is it true?

A. Chia is rich in omega-3, as well as calcium, boron, and many antioxidants that help create healthy, moist, disease-free skin.

Q. Is it necessary to grind the seed?

A. Chia seeds do not need to be ground for absorption, unlike flax, which must be ground before eating it.

Chia Pudding with blackberriesQ. Should chia seeds be washed?

A. Chia seeds do not need to be washed.

Q. How should chia seeds be stored?

A. Whole chia seeds will stay in good condition at room temperature for several years. There is no need to keep the seeds in the refrigerator, whether it’s kept in sealed bags or not. The seed’s natural antioxidants provide this stability. Storing chia in a closed container will help extend its shelf life.

Q. What’s the difference between the colors of chia seed.

A. There are two chia seed colors, white and black. The difference between the two colors, however, is negligible. Both contain essentially the same amount of omega-3, protein, fiber, and other nutrients.

Here are two recipes from Chia: The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Superfood:

*This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, VegKitchen receives a modest commission, which helps maintain our site and helps it to continue growing!

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154 Comments

  • Reply
    kathie
    September 3, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Are chia seeds okay to eat if I occasionally suffer from diverticulitis?

  • Reply
    Nava
    September 3, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Kathie, my gut tells me that you need to proceed with real caution on using chia if you have diverticulitis — I just loaned the book out yesterday, and so can’t look up the answer for you — but I may be able to find out what the author fo this book thinks, so stay tuned!

  • Reply
    kathie
    September 3, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Thank you Nava, I appreciate your reply and look forward to hearing any answers that you may find!

  • Reply
    Shaun
    February 7, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Kathie. i too have diverticulitis and chia seeds are great for helping with it. According to my chia seeds .com Helping with Diverticulitis is the #3 reason to take chia seeds.
    3. Help Prevent Diverticulitis / Diverticulosis
    With the abundance of over-processed foods and white flour on the market today, rich sources of fiber are harder to come by. These foods of convenience have contributed to the rise of diverticulitis. Irregularity is a

    big factor in this risky condition. To help ensure regularity, you need plenty of soluble and insoluble fiber in your diet. If you don’t want to eat celery, and whole-grain everything…or piles of bran flakes, the Chia Seed is here to help. Each seed is coated with soluble fibers which aid its gelling action. The exterior of the seed is protected by insoluble fiber. The insoluble fiber is unable to be digested (it does not contribute any calories, or break down) so instead, it helps keep food moving smoothly through the digestive process. Soluble fiber, and the gel coating of the seed keeps the colon hydrated and ensures the easy movement of food.

    • Reply
      Nava
      February 7, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      Thanks for this valuable input, Shaun — much appreciated!

  • Reply
    ~Joshua
    May 8, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Yay, I was fine taking chia for a few weeks and then I started getting stomach cramps something awful. I think my appendix was having a negative reaction to them as well. Tests at the doctor take so long though that by the time they got around to doing them I was pretty much fine. Happened to me three times before I concluded it was the chia. Ate a little bit by itself for breakfast and that’s when I knew.

  • Reply
    diverticulitis diet
    December 4, 2013 at 6:29 am

    Shaun, Thanks for this valuable input — much appreciated!!!!

  • Reply
    Vanessa
    January 20, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    A possible side effect of too many chia seeds is low blood pressure (feeling faint, dizzy) and be careful eating before bed as they are super stimulating similar to caffeine. The incas used them to hike the Andes. These are both from first hand experience 🙂

  • Reply
    Baylee
    January 31, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Can I put chia seeds in fruit smoothies or perhaps put them in something I would bake or do I have to put them in water or should I just eat them plain?

    • Reply
      Nava
      January 31, 2014 at 2:33 pm

      Baylee, you can do all of the above. When using in a smoothie, you need to drink up quickly, as they make liquid thicken up quite a bit. And you can use whole or ground seeds in baking.

  • Reply
    Pat
    February 8, 2014 at 9:41 am

    How can it be consumed? Just dry? In a glass of water (which is what I do regularly)

    Thanks

    • Reply
      Nava
      February 8, 2014 at 9:44 am

      Pat, lots of people like to add chia seeds to smoothies. You can mix them into water or juice, too, but the most important thing is to use them with a lot of fluid, as they expand greatly in the stomach.

  • Reply
    Norma Ramos
    February 8, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    I was born and raced in Mexico City, so that, I grew up with Chia and Lemon mixted with sugar,, I drink that as a regular drinking water all my life,,. I never had or have any blotting problems in my Stomach, I think is better to eat just a little bit to bigin, if you are not familiar with what Chia really is,, I just love the flavor and I like to play with them in my mouth, (kind of, like I am trying to bite the little tiny seeds.) Good luck and enjoy.. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jason
    February 13, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    What’s the difference between chia seeds for planting and for eating? Can I eat the seeds sold for planting all the same?

  • Reply
    Maria
    February 15, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Since I eat peanut butter on a daily basis, I mix chia seeds into my jar of peanut butter. I uses a food processor to make sure they are evenly distributed. Delicious!

    • Reply
      Nava
      February 15, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      That’s a really good idea. I just did something very similar, and also included hemp seeds and maca powder. Made them into small rounds, and take one or two a day to get my omegas!

  • Reply
    fran allen
    February 15, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    I put chia in with a small amount of bircher museli,flax seeds, and top with small amount of natural yoghurt and milk. Delicious

  • Reply
    Sue
    March 2, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Folate and folic acid are not the same thing. Just ask someone with the MTHFR gene mutation.

  • Reply
    Meemee
    March 3, 2014 at 7:18 am

    Joshua, the cramps may have been a usual side affect of Chia. You have to drink more water than you usually do to avoid the cramps. Also, lessen the amount of seeds that you consume until you can figure the water to Chia ratio to avoid cramps.

  • Reply
    Jay
    March 13, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    When I put chia seeds in my water to drink , as we all know they form a gel, so when I do drink them, in my experience they pass right through me. So I’m wondering, that means I’m not getting any of the chia seeds nutrients, right?

    • Reply
      Nava
      March 13, 2014 at 9:32 pm

      Jay, I do believe that the chia seeds are digested, they don’t pass right through you as do, say, whole flaxseeds. Otherwise, you wouldn’t reap their benefits.

  • Reply
    Monica
    March 26, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    Is there a major difference in organic and non-organic when it comes to chia seeds?

    • Reply
      Nava
      March 27, 2014 at 9:47 am

      Monica, this is a great question! I’ve heard various things about this; lots of sources say that chia is not a heavily sprayed (if at all) crop; most major brands like Nutiva are certified organic in any case. So while I can’t say that my search is definitive, it may be best to err on the side of caution and support the organic variety. That said, if you already have a batch of non-organic seeds, it probably wouldn’t do much harm to use them.

  • Reply
    Jessica
    March 27, 2014 at 10:27 am

    I’ve been taking chia seeds daily for a few weeks and have had horrible headaches! Like 3-6 a day and pretty severe. I never have headaches like this. The only thing I can attribute it to is the Chia seeds?! Has anyone else noticed this?

    • Reply
      Nava
      March 27, 2014 at 10:34 am

      Jessica, I’ve never heard of this, but if the only change you’ve made over the last few weeks is taking chia seeds, stop using them at once! To get your omegas, switch to flax or hemp seeds, or eat 3 or 4 walnut halves a day.

  • Reply
    yangsheng
    April 24, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Can i eat chia seeds with black sesame at same time? i would add honey too.

    • Reply
      Nava
      April 24, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      I don’t see why not … but be sure to drink plenty of liquid, too, as the chia seeds swell up in your stomach!

  • Reply
    Vicky Lahkar
    April 28, 2014 at 4:21 am

    Regarding headache, Chia seeds slow down the absorption of nutrients in intestine-> including carbohydarates-> you get hypoglycemic-> and Boom comes the headache.
    The next time you get a headache after gulping down the chia, slurp down a teaspoon of sugar in your tongue, you will have a feeling-good-head, minus the ache!

  • Reply
    Sophia
    May 9, 2014 at 9:22 am

    HI ! I’ve just bought some chia seed from my local market but i believe the chia seed is not “clean” (first time I’ve tried, I found some random stuff in it that weren’t seeds). If I can’t wash it, how can I clean my seeds?
    Thank you !

    • Reply
      Nava
      May 9, 2014 at 9:28 am

      Sophia, I’m not sure there’s a way to clean them. If I were you, I’d return them to the market and seek a different source!

  • Reply
    loy
    May 20, 2014 at 9:13 am

    i also headache, is that normal can i continue taking chia seed??

  • Reply
    Kazza
    May 25, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    For thé First time yesterday I bought some black chia seeds and promptly added a tablespoon to my bottle of water. I liked them so much I ate another tablespoon on its own. I went to bed feeling extremely bloated and thought nothing of it until during the night I woke up with debilitating stomach cramps and headaches. Absolute agony for hours it came in 5 minute waves of cramping. I kept drinking bottles of warm water to try and soothe aching plus a hot water bottle on my stomach and i noticed the more i drank the pain moved from the top of my stomach down towards my lower abdomen and now it has almost disappeared. I should’ve read about the side effects and how to correctly ease into chia seeds before going crazy on the stuff! Lesson learnt!

  • Reply
    Marwa
    May 27, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    I take vitamins supplement and minerals.. I was wondering if adding chia seeds to water/food will lead to negative results such as an overdose?

  • Reply
    Ron
    May 28, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    How should I begin taking the chia seeds? I’m so glad I found this page. I’m having a very negative experience right now. Fever, chills, no energy been in bed 2 days now. The only thing different that I have eaten was the chia seeds. I just had a triple bypass done 2 1/2 months ago. I am on a no cholesterol, no (bad) fats diet which is a heart disease reversal diet. We r learning so much about plant based eating n Mon on my walk I was doing great but my allergies were the worst they had been in quite a while. When we got in n I had my quick oats n cinnamon n strawberries I added a teaspoon of chia seeds. (My wife had just gotten them). She just put a couple of pinches of Chua seeds on hers. I rested most of the day. Before supper I was chomping at the bit to be able to get out n help in the garden etc. She told me that the chia seeds were good for an energy boost. Well, apparently they were. I put another teaspoon of seeds on my salad. I went out n worked til dark. I am so excited about that. But 3:30 am tues morning I went to the bathroom I was in excruciating pain. I thought maybe appendix or kidney stone was the problem. The severe pain is gone but it looks like my body is fighting an infection. Whatever the problem is I hope the worst is passed. What I don’t want to give up is the chia seeds. It sounds like I started off w/too much n maybe didn’t drink enough water. As soon as the infection is over I want to get started taking the chia seeds again.

    • Reply
      Nava
      May 30, 2014 at 11:36 am

      Ron, sorry for your health troubles. We are not qualified to give medical advice. It would be a good idea for you to consult with a Registered Dietician to get these and other questions answered so you can move forward with improving your health!

  • Reply
    Ron
    May 31, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Ok, I got through that alright. What I would like to know is how much or how often I should take it so I can work up to 2 tablespoons a day? I started again yesterday w/just a pinch.

  • Reply
    Mel
    June 21, 2014 at 1:42 am

    I love this stuff I put a teaspoon of chia in my lemonade
    So delicious..it’s like having boba but easier to drink…
    My mom got me into chia.. But I am also reading about the health benefits just now , now I know to not give up on my chia

  • Reply
    Ricky
    June 26, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    I am just learning about chia seeds. I have been plagued by irritable bowel syndrome for many years, with mostly diarrhea. Based on a nutritionist guidance I began using Metamucil as a fiber supplement several times a day to control the diarrhea, and for the past several years it has worked great. However, within the past couple of months I began having issues with it which I believe is a sensitivity to the psyllium seeds, so, I have had to stop using psyllium fiber. My BIG question is, does anyone know, or has anyone experienced the use of chia seeds, a soluble fiber, which has been used to control diarrhea? The way the psyllium works is it essentially binds the gastric acids, make for a firmer BM, and just makes life more comfortable. On top of this, I should say, I have no gallbladder, so bile salts play havoc on the system if I have too much fat, without the psyllium. I am hoping some may offer any guidance or advice on the use of chia in this regard, or any other similar healthy alternative which they may know of. Thanks

  • Reply
    Penny Carrier
    July 11, 2014 at 8:03 am

    If you have trouble digesting them, then don’t take them dry. I add almond milk to a couple of spoonfuls of seeds and keep stirring occasionally for 10mins to half an hour while they swell up and make a pudding consistency. You can add a little bit of powdered vanilla and sweetening (I use a pinch of stevia) and even raw cacao to turn it into chocolate chia pudding.

  • Reply
    iz
    July 12, 2014 at 10:58 am

    I absolutely love Chia seeds! How ever today someone made me laugh while in was drinking water with the seeds mixed in and some came out my nose ! I am quite scared that if there are any seeds in the back of my nose they will sprout? Could this happen ?

  • Reply
    Brandy
    July 12, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    I started taking chia seeds about 6 days ago and first few days went fine but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t drinking enough liquids because it’s been a couple days since my last bowl movement. the first day I didn’t even realize i hadn’t gotn enough water and went ahead and took another tsp. dry with water, unaware it wasn’t enough. today i have been drinking water cup after cup, and I feel light headed a little but mostly bloated!! Anyone know how long it takes to finally pass these threw?

  • Reply
    Colleen
    July 19, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Can I keep chia in my fridge after it has been mixed with water and becomes a gel?

    • Reply
      Nava
      July 19, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      Definitely, Colleen. It keeps for several days in this way.

  • Reply
    felicia
    July 20, 2014 at 11:06 am

    I too think I have taken to many chia seeds.Drank down a bunch with water befor bed, after feel good guilty about eating potato chips,now I have felt lathargic with a headache, bloated and thirsty. I’m Drinking tons of water not that hungry. When should this pass?

  • Reply
    Kathy
    July 23, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    I was putting two tablespoons in my coffee every morning. felt like i was losing by belly weight. felt full and good. then for weeks i was having the worst head aches all day long, woke up during the night with the pain and my head just felt numb. i went to doctors, eye doctor, neurologist and they found nothing.i stopped using the Chia seed and i no longer have the headaches. not sure if it was from that but i will start with only teaspoon in the coffee only a couple times a week.

  • Reply
    meghan
    July 23, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    Will they bloat my stomach since they absorb and expand?

  • Reply
    Chris
    July 25, 2014 at 10:06 am

    My niece has inflammatory bowel with diarrhea and frequent stools. Has anyone ever filled empty capsules with chia seeds to get it further down the digestive track to help with absorption of excess fluid of diarrhea?

  • Reply
    Adelina Ocampo
    August 1, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    I am getting interested on the health value of chia seeds. I want to grow chia seeds at our backyard. For how many months, after planting the seed, will the chia seeds be harvested? This is to plan a calendar date for planting to avoid harvesting during rainy days. Thank you, from Mama Dals

  • Reply
    Dave Maker
    August 2, 2014 at 10:09 am

    When mixed with water, can chia seeds be kept at room temperature in Tupperware?

  • Reply
    Kelly
    August 7, 2014 at 3:40 am

    Can chia seeds lower the bad cholesterol level?If yes, is it good enough to take 2 tablespoon of chia seeds a day for lowering the bad cholesterol? Thank you.

  • Reply
    Dottie
    August 10, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    This site has really been helpful. My daughter and I just started using Chia seeds and I have been reading everything I can get my hands on about the Chia seeds. Reading this site I now know why my daughters stomach has been hurting. I soak two tablespoons of Chia seeds in 1/2 to 3/4 cups water water, stir well cover and put in the refrigerator, I get ready for work about 30 min. I add a cup or more yogurt mix well. I asked my daughter if she soaked her seeds and she did not which I know now that the seeds are absorbing most of the water in her system which is giving her stomach cramps. Soaking the seeds first is the way to go for me and my daughter. I hope this can help anyone reading this.

  • Reply
    Gabrielle Nickerson
    September 3, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Thank you, your post helped a lot. My daughter and have just started using Chia seeds as well, and didn’t know what to expect. Your post helped very much. Good luck to you.

  • Reply
    Beverly Paige
    September 20, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    I found out that I Love chia seed and I eat more that two table spoons a day along with liquids. is that alright.

    • Reply
      Nava
      September 24, 2014 at 11:24 am

      Beverly, that’s probably a fine dosage as long as you consume them with plenty of liquid.

  • Reply
    marisol san miguel
    September 24, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Is chia safe to consume if you have diverticulitis. My doctor said I should avoid seed like sesami seed corn ect.

    • Reply
      Nava
      September 24, 2014 at 11:24 am

      Marisol, that’s an excellent question, but we’re not qualified to answer those that are medical, like yours. If your MD doesn’t know much about chia, you might consult a Registed Dietician who can guide you on this. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Mary
    September 27, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    I mix sugar free jello with Chia seeds and let it set up over night it’s very good. How much is the amount of seeds should I have daily? Is there a risk of over dosing?

  • Reply
    Darlene
    September 29, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    I make a jam by mashing 1C of fresh or frozen organic fruit, with 2T chia seeds and 2T Xylitol (a natural sugar made from Birch trees) You will have to adjust the sweetened according to taste. No boiling! Just put it in a jar and refrigerate. It tastes so fresh!

  • Reply
    AtlantaJJ
    October 1, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    I just connected the dots today. When I eat them with Greek yogurt, I am fine, no symptoms. When I mix them in water and drink, no problems. BUT when I mix them in oatmeal, oh.my.goodness. I thought it was a fluke, until today, I had the oatmeal, with blueberries and chia seeds. Tummy ache city. Oh my. Glad I found this post.

  • Reply
    Barbara
    October 5, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Darlene, xylitol can cause diarrhea in sensitive individuals. Found that out the hard way chewing sugar free gum that contained the stuff…I’ve heard of chia seed jam and would love to make it. Would other sweeteners work?

  • Reply
    Marie
    October 12, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    I blend strawberries with a bit of coconut water, then add 2 tablespoons of Chia. I put it in a container until lunch time and add vanilla/natural yoghurt. Makes a great afternoon snack!

  • Reply
    Sree Talluri
    October 21, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    I have been experiencing bloating and diarrhea lately immediately after dring my berry-chia smoothie. I stopped taking it jsut to find the reason and this article proves that taking 3 teaspoons of chia in my case is not good!
    Thanks,
    Sree

  • Reply
    zeb
    October 25, 2014 at 8:39 am

    I love the question & answer section on your site. One question/answer I didn’t see in “What is the optimum amount a 300# male should consume?” I would appreciate any answers.
    Zeb

  • Reply
    RoseMary
    October 28, 2014 at 10:18 am

    I am on a strict 500 calorie diet I need a natural appetite suppressor; how much Chia Seeds do I take and how often, do I take in between meals or before a meal. Also can I combine Chia Seeds with Flax Seeds. Please Help!

  • Reply
    Kathy
    October 30, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Should a person with diverticulitis take chia seed?

    • Reply
      Nava
      November 5, 2014 at 10:56 am

      Kathy, that’s a medical issue and we’re not qualified to answer that … it might be good to ask a Registered Dietician this very good question.

  • Reply
    sally
    November 5, 2014 at 10:55 am

    I put about 2 tablespoons of chia seed in container with milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract and dash of sugar overnight in refrigerator and the chia seeds haven’t gelled up any. Do you think the seeds aren’t any good? I just purchased them at Trader Joe’s.

    • Reply
      Nava
      November 5, 2014 at 10:58 am

      Sally, it’s odd that your chia seeds didn’t gel up at all overnight in the fridge. I’d say give it one more shot with less liquid (stir up an hour or two after you’ve combined them with the liquid; maybe try nondairy milk instead) and if they still do nothing, return them to the store.

  • Reply
    tara
    November 5, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    I’ve been thinking about getting some Chia seeds. I want to improve my health. I haven’t had them before, so this is really useful! I’ll have to try and put in in some shakes. http://getchia.com

  • Reply
    S.J.
    November 10, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Hi there,

    I have just started the chia diet. And I realized that after soaking the chia seeds with warm water, it kinda had some funny smell coming out? Has it gone bad since many said that chia seeds do not have smell or its normal?

  • Reply
    Ulla
    November 21, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    I had a bad reaction to eating chia seeds.
    I bought a bag of the seeds and added some to my morning ooatmeal bowl.
    Have not had them in two days. Am still bloated and have diarrhea every hour. Painful cramps.
    Can’t leave my house. I will not try to eat them again.
    Chica seeds are not for everybody.

  • Reply
    Gloria
    November 22, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Sally – it could be the ratio of liquid to chia seeds. 1 cup liquid to 1/4 cup chia seeds is about right.

  • Reply
    Gloria
    November 22, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Also, I would use chia seeds with organic coconut milk or almond milk. If you’re eating chia seeds because they’re healthy, might as well go all the way.

  • Reply
    houda Aldifai
    November 30, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    Do the chia seeds can be affected by hight temperature of the oven?

    Are chia seeds useful for patient with hypertension or diabetic?

    Thank you

  • Reply
    Ilja sidoti
    January 1, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    I’ve been getting bad stomach cramps and could not work it out! I think it’s in part due to not drinking fluid whilst eating chia!
    Thanks so much

  • Reply
    Ravenwolven
    January 1, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    I’ve started eating chia almost 2 weeks ago. I’ve seen a significant drop in my blood sugar! I’ve gone from the 180’s to the 130’s! I’m really amazed as this is working better than the Metformin was and I don’t have the “Metformin Moments” to deal with anymore. I swear by chia now.

    I got a recipe from Whole Foods, but in my haste to try it out, I didn’t measure accurately and now I don’t have any idea what the nutrition information is to enter in my tracker. I need to figure out how many tablespoons wet chia is compared to dry chia. I’ve been guessing based on the calories in a chia pod.

    The recipe, in case anyone is interested, is thus:

    CHIA PARFAIT
    White chia
    Coconut water
    Vanilla Soymilk
    Vanilla extract
    Cinnamon

    Combine above ingredients and allow to soak overnight in the fridge. Add more liquid to seed for wetter results and vice versa for dryer.

    When ready to eat layer chia “pudding” in a skinny glass with unsweetened shredded coconut and chopped fresh fruit of your choice. The recipe in the store contained blueberries and kiwi. I had strawberries and grapes on hand and it was delicious!

    Next time I’m going to make it with dark chocolate almond milk and coco powder. Maybe layered with slivered almonds and cherries?

  • Reply
    Michelle
    January 16, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    The answers to these questions are someones opinion. The answers seem to be from someone who, apparently, can tolerate chia seeds well. Not everyone can. I cannot. I was sick for 2 weeks from eating these. Major intestinal issues, bloating, along with infection and fever. On antibiotics for 10 days then another 2 different antibiotics for another 10 days! Also, had to have a cat scan. If you are prone to any sort of diverticulitis, I would not risk it. But that is just my opinion and what my DR’s have recently talked about with me.

  • Reply
    Michelle
    January 16, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    To the question “can you eat too much chia seeds?” The correct answer should be “yes, yes you can eat to much”

  • Reply
    minnie
    January 17, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    I noticed that when I start drinking my chia seeds I start getting a really bad cough is that normal

  • Reply
    Barbie
    January 23, 2015 at 1:21 am

    Is chia bad for the appendix?

  • Reply
    pseudonym
    January 25, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    I couldn’t tolerate chia until I found this method: I soak 2 tablespoons overnight in 8 oz of homemade kombucha. n the morning I drink it as-is, add a little fruit juice and drink, or use it as the liquid in a breakfast smoothie. Delicious! I found that any acidic liquid (fresh lemon juice in water, fresh orange juice, even cider vinegar water) works the best, if left overnight. The seeds are larger, more gelatinous and softer. I have mild diverticulitis, drinking 2 tablespoons a day soaked overnight this way made a huge improvement in ‘normalcy’ and regularity for me. My gastro gave me two thumbs up on my last exam!

  • Reply
    Chef Javi
    January 27, 2015 at 5:15 am

    I use 1 to 3 Tablespoons daily. In the past I would eat them raw, just chew them up, crunchy, never had a problem. Though this year I eat them with liquid.
    Have noticed an extreme price increase in the last 5 years.Thank you for the great info!

  • Reply
    Isabel
    February 10, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    How long can I Leave the seeds in water?

  • Reply
    Kc chhan
    February 20, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    I grew up drinking chia and basil seeds all my life. And it was commonplace to always soak your seeds first before drinking or consuming them..must be a cultural thing.

  • Reply
    Kathy
    March 1, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    I love my smoothies with Chia seeds.I put 1 Tablespoon in with my fruit…but like others i would sometimes get cramping. So now I’m trying the gelled Chia. the back of the bag said to use 2 tablespoons to 6 oz. of water and let soak for a least 10 minute..I did 20 minutes….when it was ready there was probably over a cup of gelled chia..is it safe to drink that whole cup of gelled chia at one time?
    I drank half and I’m already full…Can I save the other half for the next day?
    I appreciate any answers…thanks

  • Reply
    Jayme
    March 4, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    I opened my bag of Chia seeds and it looks like there is some spider webs in it or something like that with the seeds. Is that normal or was there a spider in my bag?

  • Reply
    Connie
    March 15, 2015 at 2:54 am

    Jayme…that sounds like you got a bag with pantry moths in it.

  • Reply
    Jo
    March 16, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Jayme, I too, just opened my first bag of Chia and all gung ho to jump in and try it, noticed the web issue, as well as a pupa stage moth, I have not searched for more, but where there is one, certainly there are more. I don’t really want to eat the seed now. I didn’t read an answer to Jayme’s question; is this common? The chia seed was expensive, and it is a 50 mile drive to take it back to the store where I purchased it. This is a real pain to deal with! Now what?

  • Reply
    Lisa
    March 18, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    I love chia seeds. Thanks for listing all of the vitamins they contain, I didn’t know there were so many! It definitely makes sense that you need to drink a lot when you eat chia seeds. As the article said, they absorb liquid. You definitely don’t want to get cramps from eating too many chia seeds and not drinking enough. The good news is, it’s totally avoidable!
    Lisa

  • Reply
    Jen
    March 19, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Two quick recipes, for the morning rush, and the any time drink:

    1-2 tsp chia (can build up over time)
    Scope of whey-free protein powder
    Frozen fruit
    Plain yogurt

    Stir tonight, the fruit will thaw in the fridge, and the chia changes the consistency of the yogurt to almost a mousse. Tasty and filling.

    Ginger
    Lemon juice
    Honey
    Lots of Water
    (All measurements to your taste)

    Blend in blender or “Nutri Bullet” appliance. Pour your serving into a glass, stir in chia seeds, enjoy, Keep remaining ginger drink covered in the fridge for later in the day or tomorrow. For consistency in serving size, I only add the chia to the serving I’m about to drink. The chia gels quickly. I don’t find it necessary to soak them for hours. They do their magic in minutes.

  • Reply
    lena santana
    March 29, 2015 at 9:35 am

    good Morning.

    My lither brother has Type 1 diabetes because of it he has chronic renal failure( Kidney problem) and failure heart. I was doing my research and found about that black sesame seeds are good for the Kidney. My only worry is sesame seeds has any phosphorus and potassium in it? as it is prohibited in his diet. The doctor in Brazil has said that he will need to do
    hemodialysis if he doe not get any better, it is breaking his and our hearts.. can you please help clarified as it seams to be a great seed for the kidney.

    I really appreciated your help
    Many thanks

    lena Santana

  • Reply
    Joanna
    March 31, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    I’ve been noticing lately that when I make homemade chia puddings with coconut milk that sometimes they come out super acidic and awful. Why is that?

    • Reply
      Nava
      April 1, 2015 at 9:05 am

      Joanna, I never heard this before, but I wonder if there is some chemical reaction going on? Readers, can anyone answer this?

  • Reply
    kris
    April 2, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    I had a bad allergic reaction to chia which no one mentions on any site and it’s frustrating. It gave me rosacea-like symptoms. Itching, burning, dry skin on my face but no redness. Stopped the chia a week ago and the skin problems still bad. How long does chia stay in your system? This happened to someone else I know but this isn’t in any site that lists side effects. I want to claw off my face. Can anyone help with an answer??

  • Reply
    Mags
    April 7, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    kris I have been having the same problem as you, I can’t be sure it is the Chia seeds but it’s the only new food in my diet. My face is so hot and itchy as are my forearms very strange. I have stopped eating them I really hope this problem disappears quickly!!

  • Reply
    Rajendran
    April 8, 2015 at 4:36 am

    I take 10 gms of Chia seeds and 15 gms of Flax seed with breakfast cereal daily.
    It is not necessary to grind Shia unlike Flax seeds

  • Reply
    Adrien
    April 8, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    I’ve just bought a bag of seeds but am scared to try them after reading some of these reviews… 🙁

  • Reply
    kris
    April 9, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Mags – I arrived at the chia conclusion by process of elimination. I was taking it every day for months and have been suffering the allergic reaction for 4 weeks – two weeks ago today I stopped taking it and am praying my skin heals. I hope yours clears up soon, too. This really is hellish.

  • Reply
    Nancy
    April 15, 2015 at 11:56 am

    I made pancakes which had two tablespoons of ground chia seeds in them. I ate two pancakes and felt gassy, bloated, and had stomach pain. It took me two meals (and a bit of googling) to figure out what it was. Maybe I am allergic to sesame seeds too? Anyway, my point is that I ate a small amount and still had this reaction.

  • Reply
    Jon
    April 15, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    I just ate 1 full cup of chia seeds that had soaked in 4-5 cups of almond milk with honey and cinnamon. Yum! I will repost if the quantity presents any challenges. A bit excessive… yes.

  • Reply
    TARA
    April 20, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    IS THERE ANYTHING IN CHIA SEEDS THAT MIGHT MAKE YOU FEEL “WIERD” LIKE JITTERY OR SHAKEY OR LIKE YOU FEEL WHEN YOU HAVE TO MUCH CAFFEINE.

  • Reply
    Shelly Vegas
    May 14, 2015 at 10:23 am

    I felt that way too. It felt like I was shaky and my heart beat rate went faster and also dizziness. I stopped using them altogether.

  • Reply
    Shawn
    June 12, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    Same here! Weird feeling maybe took way too much will lower the amount next time and see how I feel, WOW feels like I had 3 espressos!

  • Reply
    Felicia
    June 29, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    I accidentally poured about half a cup for 1 person smoothie and I don’t jittery. But have a slight stomach ache.

    • Reply
      Nava
      June 29, 2015 at 7:39 pm

      Yikes, that is way too much chia for a single serving! Drink a lot of water so that you don’t get sick to your stomach!

  • Reply
    Heather
    July 3, 2015 at 11:12 am

    I was reading elsewhere that some people have reactions to GLAs (omega 6s). I wonder if there are sometimes reactions to LNA (omega 3s) as well. They are abundant in chia seed.

  • Reply
    Kristrn
    August 14, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    I swallowed about a tablespoon and a half dry but drank a lot of water afterward now I’m freaking out though cause I read an article about them swelling in your esophagus. Anyone ever have issues?

  • Reply
    Val
    August 31, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Chia seeds have plenty of nutrients including calcium, protein, vitamins A, B, D, E, copper, iodine, iron, sulphur, potassium, sodium, zinc, manganese, thiamine, niacin, anti-oxidants and silicon.
    Adults may consume 15-20 grams of chia seeds per day.
    Those between the ages of 10-18 may consume about 10 grams of chia seeds each day.
    Children under 10 should not consume more than 1 tablespoon of chia seeds.
    Since chia seeds can hold up to 12 times its weight in water, they are wonderful to prevent dehydration. However, if you choose not to soak them, then they can also absorb water from you during digestion.
    So make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated.
    Adding chia seeds to your diet may cause some gastrointestinal symptoms, such as gas or bloating, if it means a sudden increase in your daily fiber intake. Drink plenty of water and increase your fiber intake gradually to limit this risk.

  • Reply
    Stacey
    September 2, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    I eat about a cup or more of chia seeds a day but always in some kind of fluid, usually in water with lime juice a la chia fresca or even in my iced coffee. I’ve never had any issues with jittery-ness, indigestion, stomach issues, or anything like that. I love them!

    • Reply
      Nava
      September 7, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      Stacey, you are lucky that you’ve not had any negative effects from that much chia! Most people would not be able to tolerate a cup of chia seeds per day.

  • Reply
    Kaitlin
    September 10, 2015 at 9:53 am

    I eat 1/3 cup of chia seed “pudding” that i make for breakfast everyday. Sometimes I add a 1/3 cup to my protein shake at night. Nava some of us work out a lot and are hungry all the time… hence chia seeds being called “runner’s food.” It really helps me keep hydrated too.

  • Reply
    Dennis
    September 12, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    I read that too much Maganese can cause shaking, “parkinson like symtoms”. I too have become more shaky from eating it.

  • Reply
    TC
    September 25, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Not sure if someone had already said this to you guys bc i didnt feel like reading all of the comments, but the reason you feel shaky is bc you are dehyrated…Chia seeds absorb a CRAZY amount of liquid which can lead to dehydration. When i started drinking more water that feeling went away….

  • Reply
    Lara
    October 22, 2015 at 7:08 am

    Just my 2 cents but always start with small quantities eg with 1 tbsp n then increase it slowly as too much of anything isn’t good for. As a person with chronic constipation or has helped a lot even though i eat 2tbsp or even less a day. I haven’t felt increase in energy yet maybe i need to eat more seeds? I have a 3 month old who takes up a lot of my energy add shes full of life so i need more energy n ill stay taking 3tbsp n see how that goes. I have noticed my skin being more clearer n my eyes with a sparkle so far so very good. I berm using it for 10 days now

  • Reply
    Nicole Gabriel
    December 30, 2015 at 11:22 pm

    I had my entire large intestine removed 2 years ago and a j-pouch put in. Is it ok to eat chia seeds if you do not have a colon?

    • Reply
      Nava
      January 2, 2016 at 5:40 pm

      Nicole, it’s best to ask your medical practitioner this kind of question; we’d hate to give you the wrong advice~

  • Reply
    Cory
    February 4, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    Okay so what should you do if you take to much and I’m going through the gas and irration right now and don’t know what to do

    • Reply
      Nava
      February 5, 2016 at 10:35 am

      Cory, just keep drinking water! that’s very important. Readers, please be aware — too much chia is way too much of a good thing!

  • Reply
    Tammy
    February 13, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Just ate a small 5.3 oz Greek Yogurt that had Chia seeds already in it,started feeling flush in face.Looked up side affects.I’m allergic to black cohash,and take plavix.Could this be a allergic reaction.?Thank You

  • Reply
    Nicole
    February 15, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    I just tried chia seeds for the first time today and i only had two sips. Almost instantly my heart started racing and I felt the energy. It was very intense!

  • Reply
    Lynn
    February 29, 2016 at 8:26 am

    What is the recommended daily amount of chia? I put approx. 1 tsp. in my smoothie every morning. Also, should I soak them first?

  • Reply
    laura m.
    March 23, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    I got some ground chia seed and only used a rounded Tblsp. in a smoothie. several hours later, I got bloating and gas. I kept eating it several days, and stopped. Is is common?

  • Reply
    JV
    May 19, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    I love chia seeds but stop with the OMEGA 3 mumbo jumbo. Chia contains the OMEGA ALA not DHA which is what a human body needs. The human body is terrible at converting ALA to DHA. So the rich in omega 3 label it’s been given is nothing but advertising

  • Reply
    snowyh
    July 16, 2016 at 6:06 am

    OK, so you made me look up the difference between DHA (fish-based) and ALA (plant-based) Omega-e fatty acids and here’s what I found: “The clinical/interventional trials to date with increasing ALA intakes in relation to fatal coronary heart disease… suggest that increasing the intake of ALA by 1.2 g/day may decrease the risk of fatal coronary heart disease by approximately 20%.”

    Lots more to read–didn’t feel the need to post the entire article here, as you can google it yourself.

  • Reply
    Tyler
    August 10, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    I’ve been using chia for awhile now.
    I’m seeing a lot of negative comments which makes me worry.
    Usually put them in my water and sip.
    My friend tried a few dry as soon as I purchased them.
    She has diverticulitis and had problems in the past, now I’m worried that these will get stuck in her stomach/intestine? Please let me know more about the digestion of these,
    She ate some dry? Will they stick to her stomach or intestines?

    • Reply
      Nava
      August 11, 2016 at 2:02 pm

      Hi Tyler, thanks for your concern for your friend. This is definitely a medical/nutrition issue, and your friend should consult with her practitioner.

  • Reply
    Nicky
    August 13, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    I’ve been eating 2 tblsp of chia in my yogurt/oatmeal mix and I haventered noticed anyything, good or bad. How long before you read the benefits of chia?

  • Reply
    Mary Alice Dominguez
    August 30, 2016 at 12:48 am

    I had heard about chia about 2 years ago.
    I bought a bag of chia, I remember that when I first had about 1 teaspoon of chia in a glass of water, stir and let sit a few minutes, stir and drink. I had no reaction from it.
    Recently my dietitian gave me the recipe for Chia Pudding. Delicious!
    1 cup unsweetened almond milk/coconut milk
    /soy milk/chocolate soy milk
    chocolate almond milk/vanilla almond
    milk of your choice
    1/4 cup chia seeds
    1-2 Tablespoons of pure maple syrup, to
    taste
    Directions:
    1.Whisk the almond milk, chia seeds and sweetner together in a bowl or glass mason jar. [Frothy gray/green on top.]

    2. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for
    2 1/2 hours, or overnight. It helps to
    stir the mixture every so often during
    this time, but do not worry if you can
    not.
    3. Stir well before serving. Portion into
    bowl(s), add your desired toppings.
    Leftovers will keep in an air-tight
    container in the refrigerator for 3-5
    days.
    Toppings:
    Granola
    Fresh fruit: berries, banana, mango,
    kiwi, etc.
    Coconut flakes [sweetened is OK, too]
    Pure maple syrup
    Cinnamon
    Nuts & seeds
    Serving size: 1/2 cup Yields about 3
    servings.
    There are also fillers you can put in.
    [I do not have that info at this time.]
    Enjoy! We did.

  • Reply
    Allison Jones
    September 13, 2016 at 1:46 am

    Can I use chia seeds if I’m taking HRT

    • Reply
      Nava
      October 2, 2016 at 6:19 pm

      Allison, so sorry for the delayed response. Sometimes these queries get buried. I don’t know of any interaction between chia and HRT, but this is the kind of question you need to ask a Registered Dietician.

  • Reply
    Ralph Purget
    October 2, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    My cardiologist told me to avoid caffine. Do chia seeds have caffine?

    • Reply
      Nava
      October 2, 2016 at 6:18 pm

      Ralph, I don’t believe chia seeds have caffeine, but some people report feeling jittery or shaky if they take too much at once (too much is also hard on the stomach). Consult your practitioner, and start with small quantities!

  • Reply
    Susan M
    October 3, 2016 at 10:11 am

    I’ve never used Chia before and am now considering taking them to help lower blood pressure. I do not take any prescription medication currently. I’m wondering if this is a good idea; how do I start; and how long (estimated) until one could expect to see results?

    • Reply
      Nava
      October 3, 2016 at 11:20 am

      Hi Susan, this is the kind of question we’re not qualified to answer, if there’s a medical component to it. If your MD is unfamiliar with chia and its effects, you’ll want to consult a Registered Dietician, who will be more knowledgable on the subject. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Hamish
    November 10, 2016 at 6:36 am

    Hi, Does consuming Chia increase the risk of getting prostate cancer?

  • Reply
    Lang
    November 15, 2016 at 4:01 am

    Chia seeds seem to make my gas and bowel movements smell atrocious. I’m currently using them whole about two tablespoons a day, one morning and one at night. I noticed this when I tried them a few years ago as well.
    Has anyone else experienced this?
    Any idea on why this would happen?
    Doesn’t seem worth consuming regularly for me. Maybe I should try grinding them.

  • Reply
    Rachel
    November 28, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    I just ate 2 tablespoons of chia seed dry, and chased it with a couple glasses of water. I heard it was good for hair and nails. Now I just read a couple of articles saying it can expand in your throat and block things up. Should I freak out? I wish I’d actually done the research ahead of time.

    • Reply
      Nava
      November 28, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      Rachel, I don’t think you should freak out. Next time, do less chia seeds all at once, and eat them with food, not dry. If they’re already in your stomach you’ll be OK. Sip on some water over the next couple of hours.

  • Reply
    za
    December 2, 2016 at 2:08 am

    i always take chia seed as a snack (i didnt put in water or food). will there be bad effect? i munch on it almost whole day while working . reading all the comments made me terrified of the side effects.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    December 18, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    I just sprinkle the seeds over my salad and eat them mid day.

  • Reply
    Deedee
    December 27, 2016 at 10:47 am

    What if you’ve had gastric bypass surgery. I know this will be good for me. Just wandering about the amount I should take. My stomach is the size of a large egg. I’m over a year out with no problems.

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    December 31, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Do chia seeds contain caffeine? I am allergic, but just came across a lot of healthy recipes that contain these seeds. I would like to know if it is safe for me to consume.

  • Reply
    daphne
    February 16, 2017 at 1:21 am

    There are quite a few online reports I have read about allergic reactions to the seeds. I think more people are allergic than we realize.

    If I eat too many, my heart races a bit. I have to be careful. I am very careful to pulverize them in my smoothies and to go easy on the dosage.

  • Reply
    Chia
    March 18, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Is there any relation between chia seeds and chia butter?

  • Reply
    Sameer
    March 21, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Until recently, chia seeds were much unheard of and no one could have guessed that they would obtain such a significant position in our health and kitchens. There are definitely many good reasons as to why these tiny little seeds have gained so much prominence in order maintain a healthy lifestyle. Nutty, mild and multi-coloured, chia seeds are native to Mexico, belong to the mint family, and are power-packed with nutrients and minerals. They are rich in omega-3s, fiber, and protein, which all aid in sustaining energy levels naturally while helping you stay fuller longer

  • Reply
    Richard Robinson
    June 14, 2017 at 2:20 am

    Chia seeds are one of the healthiest food in the world. Many nutritionists claim that chia seeds can promote weight loss as a part of a balanced diet. Thank you for the article, I enjoy reading your posts.

    http://beautyandhealthlife.com/chia-seeds-for-weight-loss/

  • Reply
    Jesus
    July 1, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    Hi, I’m currently consuming about 8 tablespoons of chia seeds and they have done wonders to my digestion. I have been battleling constipation for quite sometime and nothing I tryed really helped me a lot until I came across this wonderful seeds. I really don’t have any negative side effects despise eating such a large amount of seeds. On the contrary they helped me improve mu digestion a lot.

  • Reply
    Roni
    August 3, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Been on the chia for few months now,I take 1-2 tbl spoons of chia by soaking in water per day depending how hydrated I am,I feel more energetic plus with a Healthy-ish life style i have lost lost 10kg.They helped me with digestion,hydration,energy levels and there’s more I’m sure.These seeds are a v good edition your diet i would recommend these to anyone.

  • Reply
    Shivika jain
    August 21, 2017 at 5:29 pm

    Can we take soaked chia with milk like falooda for weight loss?

  • Reply
    Gut
    September 6, 2017 at 2:33 am

    I have tried a few times with chia seed soaked in milk overnight, but for some reason they do not swell / expand. Does it mean that this is not real chia seed?

  • Reply
    Nora G
    November 19, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    You missed my FAQ 🙂
    How to clean the blender after chia seeds?!!!

  • Reply
    Dima Al Mahsiri
    February 4, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    Chia seeds are famous for their huge fiber content, can I add them to my daily meals, maybe once a day and not get stomach problems? And how much chia can I consume every day?

  • Reply
    Daisy
    March 7, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Chia seeds pass through the digestive system & out the body intact. How can you get nutrients from an intact, therefore undigested product?

    I understand the idea of them providing bulk in the stomach, therefore aiding in weight loss. But a more complete description of how fats bind to this seed with a solid exterior needs to be provided.

    And citing your own book as a source – cheesy.

  • Reply
    Iqra
    March 19, 2018 at 10:43 am

    My chia seeds are not swelling at all. Like no gel forming. I have experimented with differnt amounts of water, keep it long/ over night.. nothing works! I got mine from Sainsbury .. white chai seeds. Now I am like if I should actually be using it or not. Should I throw these out and get a new one! It’s not even expired or anything . Just doent swell.

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