The Health Benefits of Chia Seed

9 Big Benefits of Small Seeds

the health benefits of chia seed

When you think of chia seeds, you may remember the Chia Seed Pets from back-in-the-day? You spread the seeds on a clay pot and watch the little sprouts grow to form some kind of humorous fuzzy pet? But did you know these little seeds can give you enormous energy? This article will explore the health benefits of Chia Seed plus give you some creative ways to use them.

What Are Chia Seeds?

Chia seed is a tiny whole grain food that comes from a plant called Salvia Hispanica, which is in the mint family. They look like poppy seeds only they come in two colors – black and white – and both are tasteless.
“Chia” means “strength”. Legend has it that the seeds once provided energy and hydration for the Aztec culture. It grows in high desert climates and is native to Mexico and Central America. The ancient Aztecs valued them because of their nutrition/hydration and hunger-fighting ability.
During these times, chia seed was a primary nutritional staple in the Aztec culture. Today, these tiny seeds can help you transform your body into a healthier you.

General Nutrition Facts

According to the USDA and, a 1-ounce serving size of chia seeds contain:
  • 137 calories
  • 9 grams of fat
  • 13 grams of carbs
  • 11 grams of fiber (both soluble and insoluble)
  • 4.4 grams of protein

Other Key Nutrients Per 1 oz serving:

  • Calcium = 177mg
  • Fat = 8.6 mg
  • Manganese = 0.6 mg
  • Phosphorus = 265 mg
  • Zinc = 1 mg

As you can see, chia seeds are low in calories and packed with nutrition. But did you know that Chia seed has:

  • 6 times more calcium than whole milk
  • 15 times more magnesium than broccoli

  • 9 times the amount of omega-3 found in salmon

  • 2 times as much fiber as bran or flaxseed

  • 3 times as much iron as spinach

They support good health by:
  • Acting as antioxidants within your body

  • Boosting your digestive health and intestinal flora

  • Protecting against heart disease

  • Regulating your blood glucose levels

  • Strengthening your bones and teeth

  • Reducing toxins

  • Stabilizing blood sugar

Now for the primary health benefits of chia seeds.

The Health Benefits of Chia Seed

1. They are Gluten-Free & Non-GMO 

Chia seeds are completely gluten free. If you’ve been looking for foods to support your gluten free lifestyle, chia seeds are a great addition for you.
Also, Chia seed is usually a non-genetically modified crop. But before you add them to your cart… Make sure you're buying them from a reputable source and check the labeling to learn their origin. Also, choose only the black and white ones. Never choose the red ones since they may not have the same nutritional profile.

2. They Help to Control Blood Sugar & Fight Diabetes

the health benefits of chia seed 
Did you know that chia seed can help you to control your blood sugar? These magical seeds can help your body fight insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
The makeup of chia seeds causes the body to process foods into sugars more slowly. This results in a more stable form of sugar that the body can use for fuel and repairs. Surprisingly, this also creates a healthier balance of hormones.
Chia seeds don’t contain any kind of sugar, so they are generally a safe food to include in diabetic diets. And if you watching salt, note that there's 5mg of salt in one serving size, likely to be negligible for most people.

3. High in Protein

the health benefits of chia seed
Although chia is just tiny seeds, they are actually packed with protein. If you are vegetarian or are looking for more sources of plant-based protein, chia seed will give you 4.4 grams of protein per ounce. In fact, chia has more protein (19%) than most seed or grain

4. They Can Replace Eggs by Making a Gel

 the health benefits of chia seed
Chia seeds have the interesting ability to replace eggs in baking recipes. When soaked in liquids, the seed coating of chia seeds turns into a gel that resembles the consistency of egg whites.

This gel is extremely nutrient rich and can lower cholesterol. This is an excellent additive if you are considering a vegan lifestyle. As a result, they will open a door to healthy, delicious baked goods that would not be possible otherwise.

Chia is highly sensitive to moisture and can absorb up to 11 times their weight in liquids. When they are wet they develop a gelatinous outer layer that makes it helpful in a variety of ways. These include hydration, weight loss, good digestion and gut flora, and reducing toxins.

To Make Chia Gel:

  • 1 tbs dry chia seed
  • 8 tablespoons water (or other non-acidic liquid)
Mix the chia seeds and liquid with a spoon or fork to prevent clumping. Then leave the mixture to set-up for 10-15 minutes. You can also pour into a resealable container with a lid and shake the mixture. When you return, you'll find that the container is now full of chia gel. Chia gel will keep for approximately one week in the fridge in a covered container.
There many of recipes available to make from this amazing discovery!

5. They Make You Feel Fuller and Cut Hunger

Much of the food today has unnatural chemicals and preservatives. As a consequence, the food lacks the nutrition needed to function in a healthy more balanced way.
Studies have shown food with a high nutritional content help you to feel more satisfied. In other words, it reduces the chances you'll snack, or eat more food that you probably don't need.
Adding chia seeds to meals and smoothies can help you feel fuller longer. They are often sought out for weight loss because they will help you eat less and curb your cravings.

6. High in Fiber Content and Good for Digestion & Elimination

the health benefits of fiber
There's no doubt… Fiber is good for your body. In the world of health, high fiber is 
mostly associated with bowel regularity. Why is this important? Because toxic buildup can lead to infections, obstructions, and other very unpleasant conditions.
The particles of waste can form small pockets in the in the intestine and lead to other more serious issues. Keeping a fiber in your diet can protect you from developing one of these conditions… The gel-like solution moves through your body and cleans up as it goes. 
You can easily add chia seeds to your favorite drinks to get a quick bit of fiber. That is why they are an excellent addition to smoothies and can help them to become more of a meal on their own.
Aside from the more obvious uses of fiber are the new scientific discoveries that have come to light. According to recent research, the fiber in Chia seed can help clear the blood of free floating fats, or cholesterol by adding more of the good type of cholesterol to the blood stream. The good cholesterol attracts the bad cholesterol and carries it to disposal sites.
This means the introduction of chia seeds to your diet could be a serious advantage in the fight against:
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Inflammation

7. A Good Source of Omega 3s for a Healthy Heart

the health benefits of chia seedChia seeds contain an extremely high level of polyunsaturated fats. What's more, more than half of these polyunsaturated fats are omega 3 fatty acids. One of the most important roles that Omega 3 fatty acids play in the body is that of inflammation reduction.
As mentioned before, inflammation makes it easier for life-threatening conditions to take hold.
High cholesterol can put you at risk for a serious cardiac event. That is to say when there's too much inflammation a constricted circulatory system gives the particles more places to create a bottleneck that could lead to a heart attack. Chia seeds are great for your heart's health!
Be sure to include large doses of omega 3 fatty acids into your diet. In short, they will help you fight off all sorts of inflammation that not only affects your heart and circulatory system but your joints as well.

8. Packed With Important Minerals

the health benefits of chia seedMagnesium

Let's start with magnesium. This mineral handles the communication of biochemical signals responsible for vital organs.
Also, magnesium supports immune function and helps nerve function. It aids with fatigue and can help excite the body and keep you feeling energized for longer periods of time.
Magnesium is also known to have a pivotal role in controlling glucose levels in the blood. In any case, this may help those who suffer from blood sugar diseases like diabetes.


Chia seeds also have a high level of manganese. Not many know about the nutritional value of Manganese, but it's good for strong bones… And also involved in the creation and maintenance of human DNA.
You will also get trace amounts of potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, niacin, thiamine in each serving of chia seed.

9. Loads of Antioxidants

One of the greatest things about chia seeds is that they are high in antioxidants.
Antioxidants are an essential part of the body’s defenses. They fight free radicals that cause cancer and help to slow the aging process of vital organs as well as the skin.
Free radicals can actually damage the DNA in humans. This can cause problems because DNA needs to be properly formed in order for the body to heal itself and create new cells.
Antioxidants can protect individual cells and help the body to replace old, tired or damaged cells with new healthy cells. They also help to fight various types of inflammation that slow down healing.
How do you think you can use chia seeds for your diet?
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Chia Seed Uses

What can you do with Chia Seed?
There's a lot you can do with them! Here are some examples for starters:
  • Use as a substitute for eggs
  • Add them to soups, salads, casseroles, shakes or smoothies
  • Sprinkle them on yogurt and oatmeal
  • Top them with cottage cheese, nut-butters, tuna salad sandwiches
  • Make your own energy gel (recipe above)
  • Thicken soups or gravies
  • Use instead of breadcrumbs
  • Put them in salad dressings
A favorite in our home is Chia Seed Pudding. Here's my recipe:

Chia Pudding

3-4 TBS Chia seeds
8 oz unsweetened almond milk
splash of vanilla extract
the health benefits of chia seed
In a bowl mix the chia seed, almond milk and vanilla extract. Let it sit for 45 minutes at room temperature.
Then, mix it up using a spoon every 5-10 minutes to break up any lumps. Once you get the desired consistency, you can add optional toppings of your choice.
Optional toppings: Granola, honey, cinnamon, coconut flakes, raisins, fresh fruit, cardamom, etc.,
These are just a few examples to get you started. Feel free to come up with your own creations to this list. And remember to visit Pinterest for tons of recipes you can experiment with.
I hope this post helped you to learn more about chia seeds. If you want to be healthier, then add them to your diet.
The next step is to pick up chia seeds today and apply what you have learned.

Where to Buy Chia Seeds?

Ready to go shopping for chia seed? I get typically my chia seed from two sources:
But since they are so popular, you may find them at your local market or health food store. Just remember to buy them whole rather than ground and organic (chemical-free).

Do you know anyone who would benefit from adding chia seed to their diet? Please share this article using the share buttons above!  Thank you.

The Health Benefits of Chia Seed
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Written by Jackie Parker

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