15 Health Benefits of Chia Seeds, According to Science (+8 Chia Seed Recipes)
Chia seeds are a versatile superfood. They are rich in vitamins and minerals the support good health in many ways.
These low calorie, high nutrient grains of goodness are important for both the body and the brain.
In this review, we’ll explain 15 amazing health benefits of chia seeds, and give you 8 recipes to try. It’s easier than ever to add this superfood to your diet!
1. Chia Seeds are nutrient-rich yet low calorie
Chia seeds are rich in nutrition but low in calories, making them superior for anyone looking to cut calories but still keep nutritional value high.
With slightly more than a hundred calories per serving, these healthful little seeds pack quite a nutritional punch for their calorie count.
Chia seeds are high in fiber, antioxidants, protein, and low in carbs and saturated fat.
Chia is high in omega-3 fatty acids (the same good fat found in foods like salmon and avocados), making them a great food for anyone looking to get more Omega-3s but doesn’t like seafood.
They’re also perfect for low-carb diets, and won’t put you over your daily calorie limit. (1)
The nutritional profile of Chia seeds (per one ounce serving) breaks down like this: (2)
- 138 calories
- 9 grams of fat
- 0.9 grams of saturated fat
- 7 grams of polyunsaturated fat
- 0.7 grams of monounsaturated fat
- 0 grams of trans fat
- 0 grams of cholesterol
- 5 grams of sodium
- 115 milligrams of potassium
- 12 grams of carbohydrates
- 10 grams of dietary fiber
- 4.7 grams of protein
- Vitamins including calcium, iron, and magnesium
Bottom line: Chia seeds are called a superfood for a reason! They are low in calorie count but pack serious nutritional value.
2. Chia seeds are high in fiber and help keep you full
With 11 grams of fiber per serving, chia seeds provide almost half of the daily recommended amount of fiber. This is fantastic news for anyone looking for high nutrient foods that keep you full for a long time.
Doctors recommend you should get between 38 grams and 50 grams of fiber daily, depending on your age and gender.
The fiber found in chia seeds is largely soluble, meaning they’re a great food for anyone with stomach issues. Soluble fiber also binds with cholesterol to help effectively flush it out of the body, adding to its many health benefits. (3)
Bottom line: Fiber helps keep you full, meaning if you’re counting calories, it’s a smart addition to your diet. Chia has tons of fiber per serving, helping you stay fuller, longer.
3. Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are little free radical fighting miracles that help fight signs of aging and fight harmful, cancer-causing cells.
Free radicals comes from all the environmental stressors our body faces daily — everything from shampoo to processed food, even the air we breathe — is full of free radicals. Chia seeds are a simple way to help combat disease in the body. (6)
Chia seeds high level of antioxidants also gives them a longer shelf life, helping Chia last up to two years without refrigeration.
4. Chia seeds are a good source of protein
Approximately two tablespoons of Chia seeds provide four healthy grams of protein, making them a packed source of this important nutrient! (9)
Protein not only adds to feelings of satiety, but helps rebuild muscle and provides essential amino acids needed to keep every cell healthy.
According to WebMD, It is generally recommended that women get at least 50 grams of protein daily, while men should get 60 grams.
Adding chia seeds to your diet is an excellent way to ensure you are getting enough protein every day.
High protein foods like Chia seeds are great for weight loss because it helps the body burn fat quicker and more efficiently. (10)
Bottom line: Protein is a necessary nutrient and key to good health. Adding Chia seeds to your diet helps you get more of this needed nutrient and is a healthy, low-calorie way to do that.
5. Chia seeds are high in Omega-3s
There are several kinds of fat found in everyday foods. Saturated fat is generally considered “bad” fat, meaning it should be limited in daily intake. Saturated fat is thought to be a main contributor to weight gain over time.
Chia seeds are low in these harmful saturated fats, but are high in “good” polyunsaturated fats, specifically, Omega-3 fatty acids. This is the same kind of fat found in other superfoods like salmon (and lots of other seafoods), avocados, and flax seed.
For some people who don’t like seafood, or live in places where it is in limited supply (non-coastal areas) it can be hard to get the recommended eight servings per week of foods high in Omega-3s. (11)
However, plant based sources of Omega-3s are still not as effective at being absorbed and used by the body as sources from fatty fish or supplements like fish oil.
It is recommended that everyone get at least 250 milligrams a day of Omega-3s. Omega-3 acids not only raise good cholesterol (HDL) while helping lower bad cholesterol (LDL), but they support healthy hearts and brains, as well.
Omega-3 sources provide EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), too. (12)
Bottom line: You probably aren’t getting enough Omega-3s in your diet. While you shouldn’t rely on Chia seeds alone to get this nutrient, adding Chia seeds can help you get more of this beneficial fatty acid. (13)
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