- Chef Kate
Benefits of Chia Seeds
You might have heard that chia seeds – those small, innocent-looking grains you sprinkle on top of your smoothies – are a superfood. But what does that mean?
Let’s take a look at the health benefits of chia seeds.
Chia Seeds are a Nutrient-Dense Superfood
For their small size, these little seeds pack a huge nutrition punch. A one-ounce serving of chia seeds contains significant amounts of several key nutrients. In just one ounce of chia seeds, you’ll find fibre, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, potassium, antioxidants, and multiple B vitamins. Plus chia seeds are naturally gluten-free, non-GMO, and typically grown organic.
All of that in two tablespoons – and in only 136 calories! That’s what we call a powerfood!
So what do all of those vitamins and minerals do to your body? Here’s some of the benefits you’ll get from including chia seeds in your diet:
Better Digestive Health and Management
Chia seeds are loaded with soluble fibre. This means they soak up a lot of water in your body and expand into a gel-like substance, helping them pass easily through your digestive tract.
They also digest slowly – slowing down digestion for the other foods in your system as well. This leads to better regulated blood sugar, and fewer food cravings, because you feel fuller for longer after eating.
One study showed that in obese people with type-2 diabetes, regularly consuming chia seeds led to greater weight loss when compared with a placebo.
Antioxidants and Electrolytes
Free radicals are unstable chemicals that can damage the cells in your body and cause disease. Antioxidants, found in foods like chia seeds, help neutralize free radicals and are linked to lower rates of heart disease, neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, inflammatory diseases like arthritis, and even cancers.
Chia seeds, due to their water-absorbing superpower, also help your body hold on to electrolytes. This keeps you hydrated and helps your muscles recover faster after exercise. A good electrolyte balance also helps you regulate your energy levels even during exercise, which makes chia seeds a great choice for athletes.
Cardiovascular and Bone Health
Studies suggest chia seeds may be of benefit in improving cardiovascular health. The high fibre content helps to regulate cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and antioxidants help to lower your risk of developing heart disease. The antioxidants also help to lower inflammation, another heart disease risk.
In addition, chia seeds are very high in calcium – one tablespoon of chia seeds contains as much calcium as two glasses of milk. Chia seeds also contain high levels of magnesium and phosphorous. These minerals play an important role in keeping your bones, muscles and nerves healthy and strong.
How Do I Use Chia Seeds?
Part of what makes chia seeds so great is how simple they are to eat. Because they’re small and don’t have much flavour on their own, they are easy to add to many different types of dishes.
Some of the most popular ways to enjoy chia seeds are to mix them into smoothies, puddings, yogurt, or oatmeal, or incorporate them into a salad dressing. You can put them in baked goods like cookies or breads, or mix them into stir-frys or casseroles.
Our favourite way to eat chia seeds is to incorporate them into gummies! Our DIY gummies shop offers chia seeds as an add-in so you can make your own DIY gummies at home, and enjoy all of the many benefits of this great little seed.