For optimal health, it is best to get your most of your nutrition from food rather than supplements. That’s why superfoods are gaining in popularity. Chia seeds are one of them. What are the benefits of chia seeds? Are Chia seeds benefits real? And how can you make sure to enjoy them?
Chia Seeds Benefits
Chia is the edible seed of Salvia
1- Chia seeds are nutrient-dense:
I mentioned superfoods. Superfoods, less commonly known as functional foods, are foods that are extremely nutrient-dense.
Aside from their Omega-3 content, chia seeds are a potential source of antioxidants, dietary fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Since you are reading this, you are obviously curious about Chia seeds benefits. I recommend you check out the book The Aztec Diet by Dr. Bob Arnot. In it, you will learn that Chia has:
- 8 times more Omega-3s than Atlantic farmed salmon, the most in any whole food
- 6 times more calcium than milk
- 3 times more iron than spinach
- 2 times more fiber than bran flakes
- 15 times more magnesium than broccoli
- 4 times more selenium than flax.
Now you know why Chia seeds are considered a superfood!
Omega-3 has been associated with a large number of physiological functions. Its main benefits are reducing inflammation, helping with mood issues. The dietary fiber in chia seeds is useful for improving your digestive system’s health, weight loss and controlling diabetes. The antioxidants may aid in lowering risks of cancer, infections as well as supporting heart health.
Lastly, a quick note about their protein content: An ounce of chia seeds contains about 5 grams of protein. It’s pretty impressive for plant food.
2- Chia Seeds Help Balance your Body and Reduce Inflammation
You may have heard about how our modern diet creates an imbalance between Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and how it creates inflammation in your body. Increasing your consumption of Omega-3 helps restore balance and reduce inflammation. Compared to fish, Chia seeds are a superior source of EPA and DHA (both are Omega-3 fatty acids), since fish sources may be contaminated (e.g., mercury).
3- Chia Seeds May Reduce your Risk of Heart Disease
With their high content of antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats, chia seeds help support cardiovascular health. Omega-3 fatty acids help raise HDL cholesterol, the good cholesterol that protects you against heart attack and stroke. A large Chinese study found that those who consumed the most Omega-3 fatty acids from plant sources had a 17% reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality.
4- Chia Seeds May Reduce Blood Sugar Level
Several studies suggest that Chia seeds help maintain normal blood sugar because of their Omega-3 and fiber content. A study from the National Institute of Medicine found that about 28 g of fiber a day for the average adult (with a diet of 2,000 calories a day) reduced both the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
5- Chia Seeds Help Support Bone Health
Chia seeds are loaded with calcium and manganese, which help support bone health. About 99 percent of the calcium in your body is stored in your bones, and it serves an important role in maintaining bone density and strength. Manganese is also a key nutrient that helps build stronger bones. However, keep in mind that Chia seeds contain phytic acid, which may reduce nutrient absoroption.
6- Chia Seeds Support Weight Loss
Foods high in fiber help keep you full longer, and they have been shown to help with weight loss. Although some studies have shown that eating Chia seeds did not affect body weight, others seem to demonstrate that they promote satiety and consequently weight loss.
In his book, The Azteck Diet, Dr. Arnot tells about his impressive weight loss testimony. Each of us is very unique, but if you are struggling to lose weight, it’s worth trying it.
Quick tip: if you feel hungry and it isn’t mealtime yet, put one tablespoon of Chia seeds in a glass of almond milk, mix and drink.
7- Chia Seeds Promote Digestive Health
Again, the main component that helps with digestive health is fiber. Just one ounce of Chia can provide 44 percent of your daily fiber requirement.
Chia seeds’ fiber content promote regularity and acts as a prebiotic (food for the good bacteria in your gut). Gut health is the one single most important aspect of your health. Learn what else you can do to support your gut health naturally.
Make sure you enjoy these benefits
Unlike flax seeds, which need to be ground to release its pulp and beneficial oils, you may eat your Chia seeds whole and reap the benefits.
Mix chia seeds to your smoothies or your baked goods. They are a nutrition powerhouse and won’t change the taste of your foods.