Chia seeds could also be small, but they’re extremely rich in nutrients. A staple in the traditional Aztec and Maya diets, these seeds have been touted for his or her health advantages for hundreds of years.
The nutrients in chia seeds might promote heart health, help strong bones, and improve blood sugar management (1Trusted Source).
What’s extra, chia seeds are versatile and can be utilized in many recipes. Personally, I embrace their gel-like consistency by mixing them with liquid and making chia pudding.
Here are 7 health advantages of chia seeds, all supported by science.
1. Highly nutritious
Chia seeds are tiny black or white seeds from the plant Salvia hispanica L. They’re believed to be native to Central America (1Trusted Source).
Historically, Aztec and Mayan civilizations used the seeds in their diets, in addition to for medicinal functions, spiritual rituals, and cosmetics. Today, people all around the world get pleasure from chia seeds (2Trusted Source).
Ancient civilizations considered chia seeds as extremely nutritious — a perception that’s backed by fashionable science. In truth, simply 1 ounce (28 grams or 2 tablespoons) of chia seeds contains (3Trusted Source):
- calories: 138
- protein: 4.7 grams
- fats: 8.7 grams
- alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): 5 grams
- carbs: 11.9 grams
- fiber: 9.8 grams
- calcium: 14% of the Daily Value (DV)
- iron: 12% of the DV
- magnesium: 23% of the DV
- phosphorus: 20% of the DV
- zinc: 12% of the DV
- vitamin B1 (thiamine): 15% of the DV
- vitamin B3 (niacin): 16% of the DV
This nutritional profile is especially spectacular contemplating that it’s for only a single serving of about two tablespoons.
Despite their tiny size, chia seeds are extremely nutritious. They’re full of fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and numerous micronutrients.
2. Loaded with antioxidants
Antioxidants not solely defend the delicate fat in chia seeds from going rancid but additionally profit human health by neutralizing reactive molecules often known as free radicals, which may injury cell compounds in the event that they construct up in your body (1Trusted Source).
The particular antioxidants in chia seeds include chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol. These might all have protecting results in your heart and liver, in addition to anticancer properties (1Trusted Source).
Chia seeds are excessive in antioxidants. These compounds assist defend the seed’s delicate fat whereas additionally providing health advantages to people.
3. May help weight loss
The fiber and protein in chia seeds might profit these attempting to lose weight.
Although analysis on this subject is blended, some research counsel that eating fiber might play a role in stopping overweight and weight problems (11).
Additionally, the protein in chia seeds may assist reduce urge for food and meals intake.
One research in 24 members discovered that eating 0.33 ounces (7 grams) or 0.5 ounces (14 grams) of chia seeds blended with yogurt for breakfast increased emotions of fullness and reduced meals intake in the brief time period compared with eating chia-free yogurt (12Trusted Source).
Even so, research inspecting the effectiveness of chia seeds for weight loss have noticed blended outcomes.
In an older research from 2009 involving 90 people with overweight, consuming 50 grams of chia seed dietary supplements per day for 12 weeks didn’t have an effect on body weight or health markers like blood pressure and inflammation markers (13Trusted Source).
In distinction, a 6-month research involving 77 people with overweight or weight problems and sort 2 diabetes eating a reduced-calorie diet discovered that those that took chia seeds day by day skilled considerably larger weight loss than those that obtained a placebo (14Trusted Source).
Though including chia seeds to your diet is unlikely to trigger weight loss by itself, it might be a helpful addition to a balanced, nutritious diet should you’re attempting to lose weight.
Chia seeds are excessive in protein and fiber, each of which have been proven to help weight loss. However, research on chia seeds and weight loss have supplied blended outcomes.
4. May decrease your threat of heart disease
Given that chia seeds are excessive in fiber and omega-3s, consuming them might reduce your threat of heart disease.
Soluble fiber, the sort primarily discovered in chia seeds, may also help decrease complete and LDL (unhealthy) cholesterol in your blood. In flip, this may reduce your threat of heart disease (15Trusted Source).
Still, research particularly inspecting the connection between chia seeds and heart health have had inconclusive outcomes.
A few human research discovered that chia seed dietary supplements considerably reduced blood pressure in people with hypertension, or excessive blood pressure, which is a strong threat issue for heart disease (19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source).
Overall, chia seeds might profit heart health, but extra analysis is required.
Chia seeds might reduce the danger of heart disease, doubtless because of the fiber and ALA they include. However, extra human analysis is required.
5. Contain many essential bone nutrients
Chia seeds are excessive in a number of nutrients which can be essential for bone health, together with:
In addition, ALA in chia seeds might play a role in bone health. Observational research have discovered that consuming this nutrient may be related to increased bone mineral density (23Trusted Source).
Therefore, it’s doable that recurrently eating chia seeds may assist maintain your bones strong.
One animal research discovered that rats who obtained chia seeds day by day for about 13 months had increased bone mineral content material compared with a management group. The authors concluded that ALA might have contributed to this profit (24Trusted Source).
However, apart from animal research, a restricted quantity of research have explored this subject, particularly. Ultimately, extra human analysis is required.
Chia seeds are excessive in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and ALA. All of these nutrients have been linked to improved bone mineral density.
6. May reduce blood sugar levels
Consuming chia seeds might assist with blood sugar regulation, probably as a consequence of their fiber content material and different useful compounds.
People with diabetes might expertise excessive blood sugar levels. Consistently excessive fasting blood sugar levels are related to an increased threat of a number of issues, together with heart disease (25Trusted Source).
Research in people is sparse, but some older research have proven promising outcomes.
In specific, older analysis from 2010 and 2013 means that eating bread containing chia seeds helps decrease post-meal rises in blood sugar amongst healthy adults, compared with eating bread with out chia seeds (27Trusted Source, 28Trusted Source).
Nevertheless, extra analysis is required to be taught extra in regards to the connection between these nutritious seeds and blood sugar regulation.
Animal research counsel that chia seeds might assist with blood sugar management, but extra human analysis is required.
7. Easy to include into your diet
Chia seeds are extremely easy to include into your diet. They style quite bland, so you may add them to fairly much something.
You don’t must grind, prepare dinner, or in any other case put together them, making them a useful addition to recipes.
They will be eaten raw, soaked in juice, or added to oatmeal, pudding, smoothies, and baked items. You may also sprinkle them on high of cereal, yogurt, vegetables, or rice dishes. Plus, they work wonders in home made fritters as a binding agent.
Given their skill to soak up water and fats, you should use them to thicken sauces and as an egg substitute. They may also be blended with water and changed into a gel.
The seeds seem like properly tolerated. Still, should you’re not used to eating quite a bit of fiber, you may expertise digestive side effects like bloating or diarrhea should you eat too many seeds in one sitting.
A widespread dosage suggestion is 0.7 ounces (20 grams or about 1.5 tablespoons) of chia seeds twice per day. Remember to drink lots of water to stop any digestive side results.
Chia seeds are easy to arrange and usually used as an egg substitute and added to oatmeal or smoothies.
The bottom line
Chia seeds usually are not solely rich in minerals, omega-3 fats, antioxidants, and fiber but additionally easy to arrange.
Studies counsel that they’ve numerous health advantages, starting from weight loss to a reduced threat of heart disease. However, extra analysis involving people is required earlier than any agency conclusions will be made.
If you wish to reap the doable advantages of chia seeds, contemplate incorporating them into your diet. They’re a terrific addition to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, baked items, and extra.