The Amazing Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

Written by Eli Ben-Yehuda

On July 26, 2022

We are always searching for natural ways to help keep you happy and healthy. Have you ever heard of the tiny “Chia Seed”?

Chia seeds, also known as salvia hispanica, are known to have several health benefits due to the presence of important minerals and nutrients in them.

Their role in assisting weight loss, improving bone health, and improving cardiovascular health, has prompted experts to deem this whole grain option a superfood.

High in fiber

A diet with adequate fiber helps prevent constipation and keeps the digestive tract healthy, but many Americans do not eat enough.

Chia seeds can help people to meet dietary requirements for fiber. One serving of 28 grams (g), or 2 1/2 tablespoons (tbsp), provides just under 10 g of fiber. The daily recommendation for adults is 25–30 g, so a serving of chia seeds can fulfill 30% of this.

May help with weight loss

In addition to helping with digestive health, fiber may help people feel fuller for longer. This can make high fiber foods useful for those trying to reach a moderate weight.

However, there is little evidence to support the claim that chia seeds in particular can promote weight loss. An older 2011 review concluded that there was limited data to suggest this, but a small 2014 study involving 26 people found chia seeds did not improve weight loss compared with a placebo.

More robust research is necessary to determine if chia seeds are especially useful for reaching a moderate weight.

May help increase HDL cholesterol

A 2021 review of 10 clinical trials found that chia seeds increased the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and lowered low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is also known as “good” cholesterol, while LDL is known as “bad” cholesterol.

The authors concluded that chia seeds have a protective effect on the balance of lipids in the blood and a neutral or beneficial effect on other markers of cardiovascular health.

These findings may mean chia seeds could be a good addition to the diet of those who want to lower LDL cholesterol or raise HDL cholesterol. However, it is important to note that no single food can treat high cholesterol.

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May reduce spikes in blood sugar

A very small 2017 study involving 15 participants found that compared with flax seeds, chia seeds slowed down how quickly the body released glucose, reducing the spike in blood sugar that comes after eating carbohydrates.

This could prove useful to people with type 2 diabetes, but there are no studies that specifically prove chia seeds can help with managing blood sugar levels in those with the condition.

High in Omega-3 and Omega-6

Chia seeds contain 6.72 g of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) per serving. This includes Omega-3 and Omega-6.

Researchers are still learning about how PUFAs affect health, but a 2020 review of 86 clinical trials found that higher Omega-3 intakes could reduce the risk of heart attacks and their associated risk factors. This may mean chia seeds are a good addition to a heart-healthy diet.

However, the authors highlighted that the evidence was only low to medium quality. No studies have proven that consuming chia seeds in particular can reduce the chance of heart disease.

Conclusion

I recently added chia seeds to my daily nourishment regimen. I soak them in organic apple juice and after they have soaked it up I add Greek yogurt, blueberries and wheatgerm. It really is a very healthy filling treat you will really enjoy.

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