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7 Negative Side Effects of Healthy Drinks with Seeds

Sep 27, 2018
As the health food craze for juices and cleanses continues, more and more people are starting to try out healthy drinks with seeds. These healthy beverages use seeds as an ingredient because they claim that the seeds offer high levels of nutrition.

As the health food craze for juices and cleanses continues, more and more people are starting to try out healthy drinks with seeds. These healthy beverages use seeds as an ingredient because they claim that the seeds offer high levels of nutrition. There might be some truth to these claims, but the healthiness of seed drinks is not quite as cut and dry as it might seem. Supposedly healthy seed drinks can come with some unpleasant side effects. If you enjoy drinking healthy smoothies and juices with seeds, keep an eye out for these seven issues.

Sudden Drops in Blood Sugar

If your drink has chia seeds or other seeds that help to regulate your glucose levels, you need to exercise a bit of caution before drinking it. Past research has found that these types of seeds contain compounds that keep blood glucose at a lower level. For most people, this is a good thing that helps to keep their blood sugar from spiking. However, those who have hypoglycemia, a disorder that results in sudden drops in blood sugar, an even more reduced blood sugar response can mean that a person ends up with dangerously low blood sugar. There is also the risk of these types of seeds interacting with blood sugar medications. If you are a diabetic on medication to lower your blood sugar, be sure to talk to your doctor before trying these drinks.

Seeds Get Stuck in Teeth

All the tiny seed particles in healthy drinks can have a negative impact on your dental health too. Each time you drink one of these beverages, you may end up with seeds stuck between your teeth. This is not just a problem because it can make your smile look strange. Seeds stuck in your teeth can create a tiny spot for oral bacteria to flourish, and all these growing bacteria may produce byproducts that cause tooth decay. If you want to maintain your oral hygiene while drinking healthy seed drinks, be sure to brush and floss right after drinking one.

Potential Bacterial Infections

This side effect will only be an issue if you are drinking beverages made with freshly sprouted seeds instead of dried seeds, but it is quite concerning. Sprouted seeds are made by repeatedly moistening seeds over the course of several days, and this warm and damp climate can cause bacteria to flourish. Many of the recent outbreaks of listeria and e. coli have been among sprouted seeds. Bacterial infections like listeria are particularly dangerous for pregnant women because they could impair the development of the fetus. These types of infections are also more likely to occur in immunocompromised people, such as seniors or those on immunosuppressive drugs.

Reduced Blood Pressure

Most types of seeds are a high source of omega 3 fatty acids. When you regularly consume omega 3 fatty acids, your blood will thin out a little and your blood pressure will lower. For most people, this is a good thing that reduces their risk for heart attack or strokes. However, those who already have low blood pressure end up having problems if they regularly drink seed drinks. It can also be an issue for patients who are taking blood thinning medications as part of their health regimen because the reaction between the omega 3 fatty acids and blood thinners can cause abnormally low blood pressure.


If your healthy drink has chia seeds, you might find it hard to go to the bathroom in the next few days. This side effect occurs because chia seeds absorb a lot of water. When they get into your digestive tract, they can take all the water from your digesting food, resulting in hard, uncomfortable stool. This can be fixed by soaking chia seeds in water for at least 15 minutes before using them in a beverage, but not every producer of seed drinks takes the time for this step.

Allergic Reactions

A healthy seed drink is often one of the only ways that you are encountering foods like chia seeds before. If it is your first time trying a seed, you should proceed with caution. Though rare, it is possible for people to be allergic to certain types of seeds. If someone drinks a seed drink that they are allergic to, they might end up with a rash, swelling, trouble breathing, or even toxic shock. The risk of an allergic reaction is particularly high among those who already have an allergy to some other type of grain or plant. Many seeds are cross-reacted which means that they can trigger an allergic attack in a person who has other sorts of allergies. If you are allergic to oregano, thyme, mustard, or sesame, the proteins in seeds are similar enough to these substances to confuse your immune system and cause a reaction.

Gastrointestinal Discomfort

Seeds are very high in fiber, a type of material that cannot be digested by the human body. In moderate amounts, fiber is a good thing that helps to ease digestion and push other foods through the intestines. However, if you suddenly increase your fiber intake by a large amount, it can take the gut a while to adjust. You might experience stomach pain, gas, or bloating. Fortunately, these symptoms go away eventually, and if you regularly eat a lot of fiber you will not experience them. It can just be a little unsettling the first time you start getting a lot of fiber from your drinks.

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