Chia seeds may be tiny, but these little seeds pack such a punch they are considered a superfood. Chia seeds are an inexpensive source of nutrients and energy. They are a popular natural remedy that can be used to reduce blood sugar, suppress appetite and relieve constipation.
What are the Nutritional Benefits of Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are high in fiber, fat and protein but low in carbohydrate, making them a suitable source of energy for those on low carb diets. Low carb diets are often lacking in fiber, which is something chia seeds have plenty of.
One ounce of chia seeds contain 10 grams of fiber (40% of the RDA), 12 grams of carbohydrate (4% of the RDA), 9 grams of fat (13% of the RDA) and almost 5 grams of protein (9% of the RDA.)
Chia seeds are high in calcium, magnesium, iron. They also contain potassium, niacin, thiamine, manganese, and zinc.
Chia seeds contain almost 5 grams of omega 3 fatty acids in a single ounce! These omega 3 fatty acids may be the most critical factor in the amazing health benefits of chia seeds. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Omega 3 fatty acids are important for reducing inflammation.1 The omega 3 fatty acids are thought to be responsible for reducing incidence of heart disease, high cholesterol, mental disorders, and arthritis. Common sources of omega 3 fatty acids are fish, like salmon. Chia seeds are a nice alternative for vegetarians, especially. They are also easier to keep on hand and prepare than fish.
Chia seeds are a wonderful way to let your food be your medicine.
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
1. Appetite Suppressant
Chia seeds can give you a “full feeling,” thereby reducing appetite and increasing weight loss potential. Adding a serving of chia seeds (2 tablespoons) to a cup of water will give you the benefit of hydration, the nutrition of the chia seeds and the feeling of fullness – all great for weight loss. Ideally, you will allow the chia seeds to sit in the water in the refrigerator for a few hours. This will allow the seeds to absorb the water.
The nutrients, fat and protein in chia seeds make them an excellent energy source. The electrolytes in chia seeds make “chia seed water” great for an after workout drink to replace fluids and nutrients.
The omega 3 fatty acids are beneficial to the brain, which means that chia seeds are useful for a variety of mood disorders, including anxiety, depression and ADHD.
4. Blood Sugar
Fat, protein, fiber and nutrients work together to make chia seeds useful to reduce blood sugar. Some find that chia seeds reduce sugar cravings as well. If you are using chia seeds for blood sugar, do monitor your blood sugar readings to make sure that chia seeds are not reducing your blood sugar too much.
Chia seeds’ fiber content make it an ideal remedy for constipation. The magnesium in chia seeds is a bonus for constipation sufferers. Interestingly, chia seeds seem to have a balancing effect and can also benefit those with diarrhea or those with irritable bowel syndrome.
Increased energy is a common effect of chia seed consumption. The ability to use up energy during the day often makes sleep more deep and sweet at night. Calcium and magnesium, contained in chia seeds also are helpful minerals to promote sleep.
The omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, calcium and other nutrients in chia may all contribute to the benefit to those who have arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
More than just an infamous novelty, chia seeds are an effective treatment that supports health in a variety of ways. Search on Instagram for recipes featuring chia seeds, or try our delicious pudding!
Earth Clinic’s Chia Pudding
3 tablespoons chia seeds
1 cup organic coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1 teaspoon organic raw honey
Blend together the chia seeds, coconut milk, vanilla and honey. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
For the compote:
½ cup diced fresh organic strawberries
3 dried organic figs, finely chopped
1 tablespoon organic almond butter
1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted lightly
1 tsp pistachio
2 organic fresh fig, cut in half
Have you tried Chia seeds for health? Please send us some feedback! Continue reading to see how our readers use chia seeds and the health benefits they experience.