3 Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

3 Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. They have long been championed for their unique ability to produce ‘sustainable’ energy and for helping to stabilize your blood glucose levels. Chia seeds are natively grown in South America. These tiny black seeds pack a real nutritional punch and they are associated with many proven health benefits.

In terms of nutritional content, eating 28 grams of chia seeds provides 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat (5 grams are Omega 3s), 20% of RDA for calcium, 30% RDA for magnesium, and 30% RDA for phosphorus. A serving of chia also contains high levels of zinc, vitamin B1, B2, B3 and potassium. Zinc, magnesium and phosphorus have the following roles within the body:

  • Zinc – is vital for immune function and for improved appetite control
  • Magnesium – is vital for every biochemical process that occurs within the body. It turns food into energy and helps with the release of insulin and blood sugar control. It also aids repair and maintenance of all cells and it is essential for bone strength and calcium absorption.
  • Phosphorus – aids with the formation of bones and teeth. It is an essential catalyst to make protein for growth, repair and maintenance of cells. Plus it helps the body to make energy in the form of ATP and works with vitamin B for a healthy kidney function, muscle contractions, a normal heartbeat, and nerve signaling.

The Benefits of Chia Seeds

1. Good source of fiber

Chia seeds are high in fiber. Eleven of the 12 grams of carbs in a serving of chia seeds are actually pure fiber. Therefore, chia is a low carb food that does not cause a spike in insulin levels. The fiber also feeds the friendly bacteria in the gut, which is very important for GI health and maintenance.

2. Weight loss

By weight, chia seeds are 14% protein which is very high when compared to other seeds and plants. Protein is very important for muscle growth and repair, weight loss and for reducing cravings and your appetite. Additionally, because of the high fiber content, chia seeds absorb a lot of water. This absorption of water ensures that they expand in your stomach, which stops you from feeling hungry. In theory this should equate to you eating less and losing weight.

3. Decreased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes

In a current study, subjects were given 37 grams of chia seeds on a daily basis for 12 weeks. The results indicated that the subject’s blood pressure was lowered and blood sugar control was significantly improved. This was attributed to the reduced spike in insulin levels because of the chia seed’s high fiber and low carb content. There is some evidence to suggest that chia seeds actually lower bad cholesterol levels and help to control blood triglyceride levels, which is a key marker for cardiovascular health.