Chia seeds are considered one of the healthiest foods. I’ll admit. I used to completely ignore chia seeds. That was before I understood all their great health benefits. They may be small, but they’re some of the healthiest foods you’ll ever find. They have great benefits for your brain and body. They’re also versatile. You can use them as an egg substitute for cookies, cakes, breads, and other goodies or sprinkle them on yogurt, in drinks, on ice cream and more to keep you feeling full longer. Many people don’t know that this plant grows natively in South America. Sometimes healthy good-for-you foods come with an unhealthy price tag, but not chia seeds. You can buy a pound for around $8. Not only that here are other great health benefits:

 

Benefits of Chia Seeds

Good Source Of Fiber – Most people consume less than 50% of the daily recommended amount of fiber. The best to way to eat more fiber is through plant based foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Chia seeds have approx. 10 grams of fiber per ounce. The Food And Nutrition Board of the National Institute of Medicine recommends men under 50 eat 38 grams of fiber a day, while women under 50 should eat 25 grams of fiber per day. Most people consume less than half of that. One ounce of chia seeds a day could take care of your almost half the daily recommendation of fiber (10 grams) for women over 50.

Help With Digestion And Weight Loss – High fiber foods help you feel full longer. Chia seeds pack a lot of nutrients (including those 10 grams of fiber) with low calories. Their high fiber and protein content may help reduce hunger pains. There’s more fiber in a serving of Chia Seeds than in other grains or rice. Chia Seeds are a great choice to not only keep your digestive system running smoothly, but to keep your weight down.

Benefits of Chia Seeds

Lots of Omega-3 Fatty Acids – An amazing 60% of chia seeds lipid profile is made up of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Omega-3s have long been known for improving brain development, lowering blood pressure, and reducing inflammation caused by arthritis and other diseases and also lowering cholesterol (in other words it helps to raise the HDL cholesterol it’s known as good cholesterol which helps protects against heart attack), Chia seeds are one of the best plant-based sources of ALA fatty acids around.

Here is the nutritional value of chia seeds per 100g which clearly shows the great benefits of chia seeds :

Energy 486 Kcal Iron 7.72 mg
Calcium 631 mg Magnesium 335 mg
Dietary Fiber 34.4 g Niacin 8.830 mg
Carbohydrate 42.12 g Potassium 407 mg
Vitamin A 54 IU Protein 16.54 g
Vitamin B-12 0.00 µg Riboflavin 0.170 mg
Vitamin C 1.6 mg Sodium 16 mg
Vitamin E 0.50mg Thiamin 0.620 mg
Phosphorus 860 mg Total lipid (fat) 30.74 g
Cholesterol 0 mg Zinc 4.58 mg

Source: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture National Nutrient Database

Benefits of chia seeds don’t stop here, if we eat 1 ounce (approx. 28 grams which is around 2 tablespoons) of chia seeds per day it will provide:

27% of daily phosphorus needs
30% of daily manganese needs
18% of daily calcium needs

In addition, it will also fulfill in small amount, the daily need of zinc, potassium and copper etc…

 

Video – A Few More Benefits of Chia Seeds


 

Reduce Belly Fat – Chia Seeds may help keep your blood sugar level which, in turn, combats insulin resistance – the number one cause of stubborn, annoying belly fat. For me, that reason alone is enough to start incorporating chia seeds into my diet more!

Rich In Antioxidants – There’s a reason Chia Seeds are called a “superfood”. Personally, I consider this one of the greatest benefits of chia seeds : Antioxidants help keep your skin young looking and may even reduce or eliminate your risk of certain cancers. This is also an area where you can’t get the same benefits by taking a supplement versus getting your antioxidants from plant-based foods. Enjoy the many ways you can add Chia Seeds to your meals instead of swallowing a pill if you want to get the maximum effect. It’s not a good idea to go for an antioxidant supplements especially when you can easily get antioxidants from natural foods which also lead positive effects on health. As we mentioned in other posts the benefits of antioxidants they actually fight the production of free radicals which damage molecules in cells, and expedite the aging process.

Chia Seeds are a versatile addition to your meals. You can always take benefits of chia seeds no matter how you use it, you can use them in recipes, drinks, baking, or eat them raw. I never get bored with the variety of ways to include them in my food. Why not give them a try?

References:
http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/99/10/742.full

http://www.pnas.org/content/90/17/7915.short

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/53/1/373S.short