I was eating them for the Omega 3 before I realized they were ALA which has a very low conversion rate to DHA and EPA. Essentially making my consumption of them moot, so I stopped eating them personally.
Mark Sisson says they are ok as a condiment. Just don't expect them to be your Omega 3 source.
Robb Wolf says there is "nothing really wrong with them" but their Omega 3 ALA is no where near the Omega 3 benefits of DHA/EPA.
Nuts and seeds are paleo. They aren't ideal if you are overweight and trying to lose. Chia and flax aren't really great sources of omega-3s since the form they contain is not readily converted to EPA and DHA which are what we need. For those you'll want some fatty fish like salmon or sardines, pastured eggs or pastured beef (small amounts.)
I've never tried the drink. Are you also eating/drinking the seeds or just the slippery outside stuff?
Mark Sisson @ marksdailyapple does a pretty good review of chia seeds. Unless you really chew em or grind em or blend em up, its pretty hard to get any of the nutrition out of em, but I've found that if you add em to a smoothie before blending, it can be awesome. I don't think you need to cut them out by any means, if you enjoy them, there's no harm and quite possibly a bit of benefit from the omega 3's.
No. I don't eat them. I was reading somewhere about how they can really take a toll on the digestive system (don't know about that when ground up though). But, here's a test. Knock them out for a couple of weeks. Then add them back in. If you feel crappy, or if you feel better than your body is telling YOU what you need!
Nuts and seeds are in the paleo "grey zone" - 1) we probably couldn't be bothered to spend the time fiddling around for low returns 2) they are loaded with anti-nutrients as well as PUFA of shorter chain length (veg origin).
On this forum, have contributed comments relating to n3:n6 ratio, but in the end we tend to consume excessive PUFA if we consume more than a sparing amount of nuts/seeds. I know this is verging on hard line, but PUFA oxidise so rapidly in vivo that they are a problem in excess, irrespective of n3:n6.
I veer towards nuts rather than seeds, and I've reduced my overall intake to a handful max per day.
Paleolithic man must have had some seeds and fruits to eat as animals weren't always around. Accordingly, almost by instinct, paleo man must have saved seeds for harsh winters. If there were no animals around, seeds were an easy, portable food source that would keep their stomachs busy until the seasons changed. And finally, almost all the carbs in chia and flax are fiber so if not paleo, at least it's low carb. To help your body digest chia and its probably a good idea to eat them with plain full-fat yogurt. (Note: I've tried it and it tastes great!)