Chia seeds may be tiny but they really make a punch when it comes to their health benefits!
Chia seeds were highly valued by the Aztecs and the Mayans, mostly because of the energy boost they provided. Even their name bears testament to this as “chia” means “strength” in ancient Mayan.
This is just one of the reasons why they’re now considered a health superfood, and here are 5 more great health benefits of chia seeds:
They’re Full of Nutrients
Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse, despite their tiny size. A 28g serving gives you over 10g of fibre, 4g of protein, 18% of your RDA of calcium, 30% of your RDA of manganese and a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids and zinc.
All of this in what basically amounts to a couple of tablespoons!
They’re Packed With Antioxidants
Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants, which help to protect cells against the damage caused by free radicals.
Free radicals are linked to a whole range of diseases and conditions, including cancer.
They’re Great for Bone Health
Chia seeds are highly nutritious and this means that they contain a lot of key minerals – including calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.
These are all vital for keeping your bones healthy.
Just a couple of teaspoons of chia seeds gives you almost 20% of your recommended calcium intake, and this is higher than dairy products.
If you don’t eat dairy, chia seeds can be an easy way to make sure that you’re getting calcium in your diet.
They’re Great for Heart Health
Studies have shown that chia seeds have great potential for reducing blood pressure, keeping cholesterol in check and fighting inflammation.
All of this makes these little seeds a great choice for improving your heart health.
As an added bonus, eating chia seeds can also reduce oxidative stress. This makes you less likely to develop atherosclerosis, a condition in which the blood vessels stiffen and over time, the artery walls harden. It affects how well blood can flow around the body and can be a big factor in heart attacks, strokes and even organ failure that happens out of the blue.
They Can Fight Some Cancers
Chia seeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids, especially a type called Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA).
One study in particular has suggested that ALA has the ability to fight breast cancer and cervical cancer and stop these cells from growing further. This was highlighted by a 2013 study published in the Journal of Molecular Biochemistry.
The really significant thing here is that ALA seems to kill cancerous cells while leaving healthy cells alone.
How to Use Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are incredibly versatile and can be added to smoothies, soups and porridge, sprinkled over salads or used in baking.
They don’t have a strong taste and are actually quite bland in this respect. This makes them perfect for adding to lots of different things!