The health benefits of Chia Seeds

Famous people around the world have been seen online, touting the "too-good-to-be-true" benefits of Chia Seeds. But are these ancient grains actually worth all the hype?

Chia seeds are the superfood darlings of our time, appearing on social media in cereals, puddings, cakes and smoothies. But are these ancient seeds worth all the hype? We take a look at the humble Chia Seed to understand its health benefits and whether it is truly the superfood we want it to be.

While chia seeds took off in modern, mainstream culture only recently, they have been in human diets for millennia! Over 5,500 years to be exact. In particular, ancient Aztec and Mayan cultures consumed chia seeds as a staple addition to their diet, second only to beans.

Chia seeds are the superfood darlings of our time, appearing on social media in cereals, puddings, cakes and smoothies. But are these ancient seeds worth all the hype? We take a look at the humble Chia Seed to understand its health benefits and whether it is truly the superfood we want it to be.

While chia seeds took off in modern, mainstream culture only recently, they have been in human diets for millennia! Over 5,500 years to be exact. In particular, ancient Aztec and Mayan cultures consumed chia seeds as a staple addition to their diet, second only to beans.

So, why should I eat Chia Seeds again?? They contain vital poly-unsaturated fats that our bodies cannot make themselves!

Nutritional Benefits of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds have an impressive nutritional makeup leading some experts to call them 'the Arnold Schwarzeneggers of the seed world.' (Actually, this never happened before but it should).

One of the most interesting things to note is how nutritionally-balanced chia seeds are. They are equally strong in many ways as you'll soon see.

Why is this important you ask? Because it makes them into a standalone food choice! By eating Chia Seeds, you can tick off a whole range of nutrients for the day.

Firstly, they are widely prized for their Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Content (PUAs if you want to sound like a nutrition expert).

PUAs are the 'GOOD' fats. Our body needs them for a lot of very important things. These include brain growth, cell repair and cell growth.

What's more is that our bodies can't make them. We HAVE to get them from our diets.

The best-known polyunsaturated fats are Omega-3 and Omega-6. Both of these are essential fatty acids. Together, they do a lot of very inportant things for you.

ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is a plant-based form of Omega-3 and is the primary PUA in chia seeds. Chia Seeds, in fact, contain the highest percentage of ALA of any plant food.

This makes them a very wise choice for vegans looking to obtain Omega-3 from a plant-based source.

Chia seeds are also packed with protein. Plants are normally not that high in protein however the protein in Chia Seeds makes up about 14% of their weight.

Eating adequate levels of protein helps you to lose weight. It actually reduces your feelings of hunger and makes you feel full sooner. Eating less calories is simply a by-product of getting enough protein in your diet.

Chia Seeds are loaded with Antioxidants

But, what exactly is an antioxidant? You can think of them as soldiers defending your cells from specific enemies.

These enemies are known as free-radicals. And, if you accumulate too many of them, you end up in a state of oxidative stress. This is not a good place to be.

Oxidative stress can increases your chances of developing many conditions, including cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimers.

Chia seeds also contain a lot of fibre. It can safely be said that almost all of us need more fibre. The average diet includes roughly half the fibre we need!

Fibre has been shown to fight against stroke, type 2 diabetes, bowel cancer and heart disease.

Finally they are packed with nutrients. Check it out. Chia seeds contain generous amounts of:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorous
  • Potassium

With this impressive array of goodies, it's no wonder that Chia Seeds are getting the spotlight. But what does the science say about specific benefits you can expect from including them in your diet?

Let's find out!