No one enjoys discussing poop – however, studies indicate that 15% of the human population suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a condition that affects horses as well. Linkages between recurring colic and laminitis in association with IBS in horses have even become recent topics of importance within the equine community. There is no known cure for IBS, but there may be hope in store.
According to No-IBS – an organization dedicated to finding holistic approaches to relieving digestion issues – chia is a great food for those suffering from IBS. First and foremost, chia seeds are very high in soluble fiber, with 10.3 grams in every two tablespoons (for the record, that’s 41% of a humans daily requirement). It’s important to note, that there are two varieties of fiber – soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fibers can be found in foods like apples and bran, and are actually associated with worsening IBS symptoms. Soluble fibers on the other hand, are more soothing for the stomach, and are a critical component to the diet of IBS sufferers. Chia is also rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium and most importantly – Omega-3. For regulating gut function, these essential nutrients can do wonders.
The hydrophilic properties of chia further improve IBS related symptoms, by replenishing water and electrolytes lost as a result, thus promoting proper cell function. This high absorptive capacity not only rehydrates the body, it allows the chia to continue absorbing water and excess acid through the digestion process, which creates more bulk and betters stool consistency.
IBS can be a result of many factors, from psychological imbalances to dietary reactions. For horses, IBS is often triggered by high grain diets or a stressful environment. Regardless of where it stems from, poor gastrointestinal function is a huge roadblock to normal life for horses and humans alike. Quality chia seeds from US Chia can help you and your horse get back on track to feeling and performing your best. Learn more about the many other benefits of chia and visit our online store to get started!