The health benefits of chia seeds are numerous, and it’s worth adding these tiny little seeds to your daily health regimen. Some benefits stand out more than others, and the following are the best ones you can expect when you start eating chia seeds on a regular basis.
1. Antioxidants to Battle Free Radicals
Antioxidants are the main reason superfoods are so super, and chia seeds are full of antioxidants that can help fight free radical damage in the body. This helps protect the body on a cellular level, and has even been proven to help ward off and reverse diseases like cancer and heart disease. It’s easy to make a smoothie or other dish to get chia seed benefits, thanks to their small size and nutty flavor. They can also be added to soups and salads and you’ll instantly be increasing the amount of antioxidants these dishes contain. They don’t need to be cooked and can be eaten by themselves as well.
2. Fiber for Digestion
The fiber in chia seeds helps with your digestion, which in turn contributes to your overall health and well-being. In our modern society it’s getting harder and harder to consume a full day’s worth of fiber. Instead of reaching for a processed fiber bar or stirring fiber powder into a glass of water, it’s best to get your fiber from a natural source like chia seeds. Because chia seeds are so full of fiber, you don’t need to eat very much of them to take a big chunk out of your daily requirement. Just a one ounce serving provides you with 10 grams of fiber which is 40% of your daily fiber need.
3. Protein for Muscles
Chia seed provide you with 17 grams of plant protein in a 100 gram serving. That represents a third of the protein the average person is supposed to consume each day. This makes chia seeds a great option for vegetarians looking to meet their protein needs, or anyone that wants to reduce the amount of meat and animal products they consume.
While it might not be practical to eat 100 grams of chia seeds in one day, it can help contribute to your overall protein intake, and along with other protein-rich foods will help you hit your protein goal more easily.
4. Omega-3s for Cardiovascular Health
The omega-3s that chia seeds contain are ALA, alpha linoleic acid, a plant-based omega-3, not to be confused with the omega-3s in salmon and other oily fish. While not as potent, ALA has still been shown to help with cardiovascular health, helping to avoid a heart attack and increasing levels of healthy cholesterol in the body. Since you’re getting so much from such a small package, it’s easy to add in omega-3s to your diet, just be sure you’re also getting enough EPA and DHA, the type found in fish and other animal products.