Top 3 Health Benefits of Chia Seeds:
Chia seeds are an ancient fuel source used for centuries by some of the world’s healthiest people. These super seeds contain and abundance of life-enhancing nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and anti-oxidants. In this article, you will discover the top 3 health benefits of chia seeds and great recipes so you know how to use it.
Chia seeds are native to South America where they were revered by two of the most powerful tribes the Aztecs and Mayans. These tribes considered chia to be more valuable than gold. The Aztecs would traditionally consume chia before going into war or before a big hunt for extra energy and stamina.
Chia is easy to grow as it survives in very temperate environments and is quite self-sustaining. It is hardly bothered by insects and grows very efficiently. An individual could survive quite well on chia alone due to the rich blend of nutrients it provides (1).
Chia’s Nutritional Profile:
Chia boasts an impressive array of flavonoid and polyphenol anti-oxidants including quercetin, kaempferol, chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid. It has three times the amount of anti-oxidants as blueberries for equal volume (2, 3).
Chia is also loaded with the small chain omega-3 fatty acid ALA and soluble and insoluble fibers. These key nutrients make chia a powerful defense against everyday stress and chronic disease processes.
Improve Blood Sugar Sensitivity:
Chia seeds nutritional components include healthy fats, anti-oxidants clean proteins and fiber. Chia contains no sugar and very minimal amounts of non-fibrous carbohydrates. Chia also contains high levels of calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Healthy Gut Function:
The healthy gut bacteria that are digestive system depends upon thrive off of different forms of fiber. Sugar is the enemy of these life giving microorganisms because it feeds the parasitic organisms that are in competition. Chia’s makeup of essential fats, anti-parasitic anti-oxidants and rich array of fibers is a perfect nutritional blend to build a healthy gut.
The chia fibers are able to absorb ten times their weight in water which helps to hydrate the colon and move toxins out of the gut. The blend of insoluble and soluble fiber helps to sweep and sponge microorganisms and environmental toxins out of the colon and into the feces (7, 8).
Boosts Mental Function:
Chia is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids and nueroprotective anti-oxidants such as quercetin, caffeic and chlorogenic acid. These essential fats and anti-oxidants produce cell membranes that are more flexible and efficient (9, 10, 11).
Healthier cell membranes results in more efficient nutrient delivery systems and faster nerve transmission processes. This improves brain function including memory and concentration.
Using Chia in Everyday Life:
Chia seeds can be used in a wide variety of dishes including soups, no-grain cereals, smoothies and baked goods. They are also a great addition to any salad or veggie sauté. Many vegans are lacking healthy proteins and fats in their diet while many carnivores lack anti-oxidants and fibers in their diet. Chia is the perfect addition for both of these groups.
To optimize your health look to add two to four tablespoons of this superfood into your diet daily. Two tablespoons of chia give you seven grams of fiber, four grams of protein and five grams of omega 3 fatty acids. I like Navitas raw chia seeds here.
Sources For This Article Include:
- Mohd Ali N, Yeap SK, Ho WY, Beh BK, Tan SW, Tan SG. The Promising Future of Chia, Salvia hispanica L. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology. 2012;2012:
- Martínez-Cruz O, Paredes-López O. Phytochemical profile and nutraceutical potential of chia seeds (Salvia hispanica L.) by ultra high performance liquid chromatography. J Chromatogr A. 2014 Jun 13;1346:43-8. PMID: 24811150
- Ayerza R. The seed’s protein and oil content, fatty acid composition, and growing cycle length of a single genotype of chia (Salvia hispanica L.) as affected by environmental factors. J Oleo Sci. 2009;58(7):347-54. PMID: 19491529
- Vuksan V, Whitham D, Sievenpiper JL, Jenkins AL, Rogovik AL, Bazinet RP, Vidgen E, Hanna A. Supplementation of conventional therapy with the novel grain Salba (Salvia hispanica L.) improves major and emerging cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: results of a randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Care. 2007 Nov;30(11):2804-10. PMID: 17686832
- Vuksan V, Jenkins AL, Dias AG, Lee AS, Jovanovski E, Rogovik AL, Hanna A. Reduction in postprandial glucose excursion and prolongation of satiety: possible explanation of the long-term effects of whole grain Salba (Salvia Hispanica L.). Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Apr;64(4):436-8. PMID: 20087375
- Chicco AG, D’Alessandro ME, Hein GJ, Oliva ME, Lombardo YB. Dietary chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.) rich in alpha-linolenic acid improves adiposity and normalises hypertriacylglycerolaemia and insulin resistance in dyslipaemic rats. Br J Nutr. 2009 Jan;101(1):41-50. PMID: 18492301
- Rossi AS, Oliva ME, Ferreira MR, Chicco A, Lombardo YB. Dietary chia seed induced changes in hepatic transcription factors and their target lipogenic and oxidative enzyme activities in dyslipidaemic insulin-resistant rats. Br J Nutr. 2013 May;109(9):1617-27. PMID: 22947172
- Toscano LT, da Silva CS, Toscano LT, de Almeida AE, Santos Ada C, Silva AS. Chia flour supplementation reduces blood pressure in hypertensive subjects. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2014 Dec;69(4):392-8. PMID: 25403867
- Ayerza R, Coates W. Dietary levels of chia: influence on yolk cholesterol, lipid content and fatty acid composition for two strains of hens. Poult Sci. 2000 May;79(5):724-39. PMID: 10824962
- Ayerza R, Coates W, Lauria M. Chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.) as an omega-3 fatty acid source for broilers: influence on fatty acid composition, cholesterol and fat content of white and dark meats, growth performance, and sensory characteristics. Poult Sci. 2002 Jun;81(6):826-37. PMID: 12079050
- Ayerza R, Coates W. Dietary levels of chia: influence on hen weight, egg production and sensory quality, for two strains of hens. Br Poult Sci. 2002 May;43(2):283-90. PMID: 12047094