How Do I Grind Chia Seeds?

Grind Chia Seeds with a Coffee Grinder

chia seeds in bowl with wooden spoon
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A coffee grinder will grind chia seeds, according to Wayne Coates, Professor Emeritus in the Office of Arid Land Studies at the University of Arizona, in his book Chia. 

Eaten by the Aztecs, these tiny seeds are now a health food craze, even though the evidence for health benefits is scant, according to a review in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology.

How To Grind Chia Seeds 

Coates recommends grinding chia seeds for only a few seconds.

An oilseed, chia boasts a high fat content and if you grind the seeds too long it turns into chia "butter."

Do not wash your chia seeds before grinding. They're hydrophilic, which means these seeds absorb water up to 9 times their weight when soaked. This water-absorbing quality may help chia seeds work as a weight-loss tool since so-called "water-rich foods," those with a high water content, keep you full and satisfied longer, making it less likely you'll overeat.

A problem you might run into with the coffee grinder method is that your chia seeds will pick up the taste and smell of coffee. Since you can't throw the grinder in the dishwasher, try grinding some rice first to "clean" the grinder.

Chia Seeds Are Nutritious

Why are so many people trying to get healthier by adding chia to their diet? These seeds are now in over a hundred products, including kombucha and cereal because they are nutritious.

Chia seeds are:

  • high in fiber
  • high in protein
  • antioxidant-rich
  • packed with omega-3 fatty acids

Chia Seeds Have 60 Calories Per Tbsp.

The abundance of good fats in chia seeds makes it 60 calories per tablespoon. If you're counting calories and have begun to sprinkle them on your low-fat yogurt and into smoothies, you might have to eliminate other foods to keep your caloric intake under budget.

Do Chia Seeds Really Have Health Benefits?

The clinical evidence on the health benefits of chia seeds is limited, but several studies do exist.

A study on rats fed chia seeds found:

  • a significant reduction in low-density lipoprotein, a.k.a. "bad cholesterol"
  • a significant reduction in triglycerides
  • increased levels of high-density lipoprotein, a.k.a. "good cholesterol"
  • increased levels of omega-3 fatty acids

The review from the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology examined the data from four clinical trials in humans. Here is a summary of what the reviewers found:

  • Eating 25 grams of chia seeds per day for 12 weeks did not produce significant weight loss or reduce disease risk. However, the participants' blood levels of omega-3s increased.
  • Drinking a beverage containing chia seeds for two months improved the participants blood sugar and triglyceride levels. The participants, patients diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, lost weight too.
  • Two additional trials found consuming chia seeds, method of ingestion was not specified, lowered post-meal glucose and increased omega-3s.


Chia: The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Superfood. Wayne Coates, PhD. Sterling Publishing. (2012)

Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter: Should You Jump on the Chia Seeds Bandwagon? (2013)

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