Chia seeds may be soaked before consumption, which causes the seeds to release a gelatinous substance that makes them easier to swallow and move through the digestion tract. Another option is to grind the seeds and blend them in smoothies or yogurt.
Overall, scientists have found limited evidence citing one method that is optimal for nutrient absorption, according to Popsugar. The body is able to digest chia seeds whole, soaked or ground but it is much easier to put the seeds in a vehicle for easier consumption. According to Popsugar, a man in a case study had intense dysphagia when attempting to swallow a tablespoon of whole chia seeds even after drinking water afterward. Popsugar suggests a few recipes like chia pudding, which is made from coconut milk and chia seeds pre-mixed and allowed to sit in the refrigerator overnight. The result has the consistency of pudding, which is nutritious as well as tasty.
Mind Body Green suggests a raspberry lemonade chia drink with 2 cups of coconut water, 1/2 a juiced lemon, 3/4 of blended raspberries, 3 tablespoons of chia seeds and an additional sweetener like coconut sugar. Let the concoction sit for 30 minutes until it reaches a "gel-like consistency."