Chia Seeds: 8 Healthy Benefits

Tiny Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are about the size of poppy seeds.
Chia seeds are about the size of poppy seeds.

Chia Seeds

8 Benefits of Chia Seeds

Chances are you know those wonderful Chia Pets sold every year at Christmas time. Turns out those sprouted pets start out as healthy chia seeds and happen to be super nutritious. Among the many benefits of the seeds are the fact that they are considered a protein powerhouse.

Chia (Salvia Hispanica), has been used as a food since 3500 BC. It was a diet staple of the Mayans and Aztecs.

So What Are the Benefits of Chia Seeds?

1 - The Running Food - Chia seeds provide a great deal of fuel activity and for long periods of time. Thus the name "the running food," and why it was valued by the ancient Americas' people. Fitness enthusiasts today are becoming aware of these same benefits.

2 - Protein - About the size of a poppy seed, chia provides an abundance of protein. Protein is the basic building material of muscle and tissue. More than other plant based foods, chia seeds provides readily absorbed amounts of essential amino acids that the body does not produce.

3 - Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Additionally, chia provides a large amount of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, chia contains more omega-3 than the more popularly known and used, flax seeds.

4 - Micronutrients - High in antioxidants, chia seeds provide a hefty amount of minerals including B vitamins, vitamin C, as well as calcium, boron. iron and potassium.

5 - Hydrophilic Colloid - This soluble fiber helps to regulate the electrolyte balance in the body and keeps the body hydrated.

6 - Slows Conversion of Dietary Carbohydrates - Chia can form a gel which in turn helps provide a feeling of fullness and helps to slow the conversion of dietary carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar). This feeling of fullness is also helpful for people wanting to lose weight. In addition, it helps the intestinal tract function.

7 - Type 2 Diabetes - According to a study published in the January 2009 British Journal of Nutrition, chia is showing healthy effects in laboratory research. Chia was shown to reduce resistance to insulin (the hormone that controls glucose). Additionally, in the Diabetic Care magazine, it was reported that chia lowered blood pressure and hemoglobin A1C, which is a blood-sugar marker.

8 - Easy to incorporate into the diet - Chia seeds have a mild and nutty flavor that mixes well with foods and beverages. In whole form they can be added to salads, yogurt and cereals. When ground, the seeds can be added to baked goods, salsa, soups and can be eaten sprouted. Sprouted is what we are used to seeing on the Chia Pets.

When chia is feed to chickens, eggs are higher in omega-3 fatty acids.

For numbered lists of more beneficial foods, including amazing vinegar, see the links below:

About Chia Seeds

Would You Try Chia Seeds?

  • Yes!
  • No!
  • I'll stick with those silly pets!
See results without voting

More by this Author


Comments 68 comments

GreenThumbLady profile image

GreenThumbLady 6 years ago from The Beautiful Earth

what? You can eat these?? Here is some information I can really use!!! I'm a runner..I can use all the energy I can get. This is just wonderful!!! Of course, I have had my share of chia pets...this just makes me want another one! Rated up for sure! Wonderful hub!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

And here I thought chia seeds were only good for creating those ubiquitous Chia Pets. Thanks for setting me straight.


theherbivorehippi profile image

theherbivorehippi 6 years ago from Holly, MI

Seriously? I must get some of these! I grew a few Chia pets in my time...to think i could have been eating these seeds instead? Here's a hub that I can really get some use out of! Simply wonderful!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You know GreenThumbLady - I'd love to know how these work for you as a runner. I had a colleague who used them because she was diabetic and she said it made a difference.

And what a surprise it was drbj - to find out that these chia seeds are like the best things on earth and we've been doing those chia pets and never even wondered what the heck chia is/was. So interesting.

Thanks so much theherbivorhippi - I picked up some for a diabetic friend and they were so tiny and a couple years ago - hard to find. But now they seem to be popping up everywhere.

It's so wonderful to know there is soooo much good food out there. We just don't need all those toxic drugs. Thanks for the comments!


timorous profile image

timorous 6 years ago from Me to You

Hey hey hey. You never know what nature has in store. Thanks Bk, I'll have to search for them soon.

Thankfully, I never took an interest in the tacky Chia Pet nonsense. Might as well put those seeds to better use. To your health.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Well, I'm with you about the tackiness of the pet - perhaps that is why I never thought about the seeds. I mean like how can they be great if all they do is make those pets. But yes, timorous - nature had done it again. Bravo!


Good Guy profile image

Good Guy 6 years ago from Malaysia

What? Chia seeds? Never heard of that; and I'm 60 years old!! Maybe none in the region I am living. Maybe you can explain more about these Chia seeds. Sounds very Chinese to me. "Chia" is a common Chinese surname. After this I will look up the internet to see what Chia seeds are.

Thanks for sharing.


gramarye profile image

gramarye 6 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

Excuse my ignorance, but I have never heard of "chia pets". From this hub and comments, I presume it relates to sprouting the chia seeds??? If this is so, are sprouted chia seeds suitable for eating in salads and stir fries like other sprouts? Do you sprout them the same as other bean sprouts? What exactly is a chia pet as I'm now really curious! - Look forward to some answers!


creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 6 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

Thank you BK, for a sensational hub on chia seeds, I have some now, and I have tried them. Great benefits. thank you for your information. creativeone59


VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 6 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

Never heard of Chia seeds, only Chia pets; thanks for educating me! I am still amazed at how generous Mother Nature is, we can get power nutrition from natural sources.


Research Analyst profile image

Research Analyst 6 years ago

These are great benefits especially with having protein and omega 3. From what I can tell looking online, Salvia hispanica, commonly known as Chia, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae, that is native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala.

It was cultivated by the Aztec in pre-Columbian times, and was so valued that it was given as an annual tribute by the people to the rulers. It is still used in Mexico and Guatemala, with the seeds sometimes ground, while whole seed is used for nutritious drinks and as a food source


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

Bk Creative, As always you have such great healthy suggestions! Hmm I never thought about eating a "Chia pet" before? You have pointed out the great benefits of doing so... Thank you for sharing, Peace & Blessings!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

A fantastic tip and which I can do with. Thank you. I definitely look around where to find them. I always feel sluggish and eat organic and well balanced diet. I drink a lot of coffee just to keep me upright.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks so much Research Analyst (your name is so appropriate) for adding that extra information. Readers will benefit.

Good Guy you will find tons of information on the net about chia seeds also known as Salvia Hispanica - previously it was all about chia pets which you will no doubt come across - but now you can find seed information.

Gramarye if you have lived anywhere in the US around Christmas time you will have been bombarded with ads for Chia pets - it was hard to avoid. I seem to remember these ads more than 30 years ago. Yes, you can sprout them. Previously, I have done bean sprouts in jars but my neighbor loaned me a small sprouting bag made of what seems to be burlap - this is ideal for such tiny seeds but you must keep the bag moist. The seeds can be used whole, ground or sprouted.

So glad you are using the chia seeds creativeone59 - there is nothing like a personal recommendation. Thanks for that.

Yes, Violet Sun - those chia pets. Who knew the seeds were so beneficial. And yes, you are so right - Mother nature is amazing - we must embrace it and take care of it.

Thanks again Research Analyst!

True DeBorrah K. Ogans! We never thought about those chia pets as being beneficial to our health. I never ever thought about chia as anything but a pet. Thanks for the compliment.

I'm glad you found the tip fantastic Hello, hello. I can add this to my diet too. Our food is so devoid of nutrients - just a bit of these each day may be just enough!

Thanks for the comments. And thank you too, Mother Nature - yay!


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida

Well who knew? I thought they were only good for those "gifts." You know, when you have to say, "Uh - thanks." So, once more you have educated me. Now I'll go and lick my chia pet.


judydianne profile image

judydianne 6 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

I have heard that chia seeds are becoming quite popular, but didn't know why. Thanks for enlightening us on the benefits.


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 6 years ago from Delaware

I can always look forward to learning something useful and interesting from you and this is no exception. I have to add Chia seeds to our list, telling my husband is my way of remembering, so will be telling him very soon. Thanks again!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

I had no idea about all these benefits from such little seeds! I'm with Shellie - gotta get some....thanks for the wonderful info. Thumbs up!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

So funny llmartin! Have you licked your chia yet? One year I almost gave in and bought one - but for some reason did not. I could have been licking mine too.

Yes judydiane, so often now I'll come across the information about chia. About 3 years ago I read something, then forgot about it - then 2 months ago in a magazine and then 2 days ago just a quick blurb so it was time to write.

You're very welcome Jen's Solitude. And how lucky to have a husband who has a good memory - Yay!

Hello akirchner. We'll both have to check with Shellie and see how she makes out with chia and with her super running regime.

Now I want a chia pet. Hmmmm.


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

Wow how interesting, I'd have never dreamed it, now I have to try it. Thanks. Great and interesting hub.


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

Why are they called pets? Thank is important question to me. Are they just seeds and you plant them for consumption. Never heard for this, sounds so wonderful and yes Mother Nature gives us her best. Thumbs up


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

Darlene - It was a craze some many years ago and still lingers on. The sprouted plants grow rather thick and lush. In pottery containers to enhance their appearance of animals, when they sprout, they become the "fur" of various animals - hence, "pets". See if you can open and watch this u-tube advertisement for them:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzY7qQFij_M


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Nellieanna - thanks so much for providing that information and the youtube video! I'm amazed that these chia pets have remained so popular for decades.

Thank you pollyannalana - it's so great to find out all these healthy facts.

And Darlene Sabella - thanks to Nellieanna - she has provided a description of the chia pets - and a video. Once you look - I think you will recognize these pets.

Thanks a million Nellieanna!


gramarye profile image

gramarye 6 years ago from Adelaide - Australia

It was fantastic of Nellieanna to give us that link. Now I know, and have seen them in plant nurseries, but they are not advertised or talked about so much here in Oz!

BkCreative, thanks for info on sprouting Chia seeds, I have only put them into my bread, so when summer comes, I'll try sprouting them for salads.


Philipo profile image

Philipo 6 years ago from Nigeria

Very educative. Just hearing about it for the first time. Thanks.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks again to Nellieanna. I'm so glad she included that link, gramarye - she's so good like that. I have a feeling no other nation on earth is interested in these chia pets and I'm surprised they have been around for so long. The sprouts are great by the way. I think you'll enjoy them.

Thank you Philip. Glad you too a look!


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

Nice and this is the first time I heard of this chia, Good it has omega 3 BK and many other health benefits, thumbs up, awesome of course, Maita


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

So glad you approve Maita. Isn't it wonderful to find out just how great nature is now and always has been? Always glad to hear from you. Thank you dear Maita!


luvintkandtj profile image

luvintkandtj 6 years ago from USA

great hub. I have never heard of chia. i definitely vote this hub up and will share with my friends


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks so much luvintkandtj! I'm enjoying tremendously your hubs while you are in Japan!


Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 6 years ago from Georgia

I was watching Sesame Street with my daughter a couple of years ago, and watched as this little girl grew her own chia seeds using an empty egg shell (a washed one), cotton balls, and water. Then amazingly, we watched as her mother cut the heads off the sprouted plant and consumed them - both her and her daughter.

I had never known that you could actually eat them. Thanks for the reminder and all the great nutritional information. I think my girls and I will start our own Chia pet garden and harvest them in our home - these will be a great addition to our diet.

Rated up and voted :)


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

I love that suggestion Veronica Allen. And straight from Sesame Street - we can't go wrong. Sure, put an egg shell to use and cotton balls - then just cut off those sprouted tops. Brilliant!

Thanks so much for sharing this. You and your girls can write a great hub when you do this. Yay!


HealthyHanna profile image

HealthyHanna 6 years ago from Utah

I have never heard of eating Chia Pet Seeds! Thanks Nellieanna for the U-Tube link. Now I know what they are (sorta). They look like something I may start eating. I really do like sprouts.


2besure profile image

2besure 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

I must check with my health food store to see if they have it. I will try anything to help me be healthier.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Isn't it great HealthyHanna that something so old can be so new. Ah, it is all out there. And I thank Nellieanna again for that link. I think a lot of us will be sprouting chia soon.

I hope we hear back from you 2besure if you can easily find them and how you decide to eat them: whole, ground, or sprouted.

I'm excited about chia!


Amber Allen profile image

Amber Allen 6 years ago

I just love Hubpages as I learn something new everytime I'm here and it is all so useful, just like this hub.

Amber:)


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks so much Amber Allen. I agree with you - I am learning sooo much and having such a good time!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

I never knew! I thought they were just decoration! Thank you BK!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hilarious Mickey Dee. Now we know they were not just pretty faces (or pets)!


RunAbstract profile image

RunAbstract 6 years ago from USA

Fab info! I love what I'm learning from you!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks so much RunAbstract. I appreciate your comments! Yay!


Coolmon2009 profile image

Coolmon2009 6 years ago from Texas, USA

Thanks for this information, I will have to see about getting some.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You're welcome Coolmon2009! Your comment is always appreciated!


cameciob profile image

cameciob 6 years ago

BkCreative, I will join the crowd that didn't know anything about chia. But now I know, thanks to you. I think I know what I will give as Christmas gifts this year: chia pets. And attach to it all the benefits mentioned in your hub.

Thanks so much.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

I have to agree with you cameciob - for the first time - I want a chia pet and I know they will be around - as they have been forever - at Christmas. Meanwhile, when I p/u some I am anxious to sprout them - have never done that - but bought some for a diabetic friend and I watched them jel in water - interesting. A mild taste.

Thanks for writing!


billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 6 years ago

This is totally new to me - I guess along the lines of all the sprouts - makes sense when you think about it. Thank you for another very useful and healthy hub.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You're very welcome billyaustingdillon. The herbivorehippi (above) just wrote about chia seeds being added to a vegan pizza crust. Seems like it is beginning to show up added to food.

Thanks for writing!


sanjeeta kk profile image

sanjeeta kk 6 years ago from India

Never heard of this seeds before, shall find out and include in my diet soon. Great hubs!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

I'm so glad you like the information, sanjeeta kk. Thanks for commenting - and I am enjoying your amazing healthy hubs!


twogroce profile image

twogroce 6 years ago

Wow I am surprised they are not more popular then what they are. Great job getting the information out there!Keep up the good work.

Have a blessed day!!!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thank you so much twogroce. I'm surprised too and it seems they are still taking a bit of time getting to the market shelf. I can only find them in places claiming to be health food stores.

And thanks for the compliment!


LivingFood profile image

LivingFood 6 years ago

I love putting them into my smoothies...and they really do fill you up for a long time!

Great Hub!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hmmm - never thought to put them in my smoothies - it makes sense. And staying full for a long time - no hunger from drinking a liquid meal.

Thanks for the tip. I'll try it.


creativelycc profile image

creativelycc 6 years ago from Maine

Hi BkCreative,

Great new! Always happy to hear about new ways to incorporate healthful foods into my family's diet. Now I just have to find out where I can get chia seeds.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hope you can find them creativelycc - they seem to be showing up in more regular supermarkets.

Thanks for writing!


Ladybird33 profile image

Ladybird33 6 years ago from Georgia USA

Have never heard of these before but definitely going to find them. Great hub, I look forward to trying these seeds.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hope it works for you Ladybird33. It's thrilling to find out all the benefits of these healthy foods!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

After reading this I'm thinking who knew? But it makes sense. Thanks for letting us know--energy is going at premium on some days! I'm going to do a little research on the availability of this power house.

I think they could have used something like rye grass or alfalfa seed for making chia pets, but it just doesn't have the same ring...alfalfa pet verses chia pet...I think we know the winner. :)


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Can you imagine alfalfa pets or rye pets. Good point RTalloni. I'm so glad to hear that you are taking control of your health. It makes all the difference.

I am stunned at the drug ads on TV that list one of the many side effect as death. Good grief! Pharmaceuticals are about profit not health.

Thanks for commenting!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Being our own health advocate is even more important today than ever before!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

And it works! All the older people I know who have chronic health problems, are nearly maimed and crippled and using walker are...all under a doctor's care. Good grief!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

It's a terribly sad sight to go into the nursing homes, particularly the medicaid supported ones. If people would check out their future under that sort of care they would be clamoring for info to help them take responsibility for their own well-being on every level!

That said, I want to add that these facilities have some good doctors and nurses--it's the direction from the government and the other staff's carelessness (and sometimes worse than carelessness) that limits their efforts. (Don't mean to get off topic, but taking responsibility for our health and the consequences of not doing so in this day and time are a sobering package.)


AnnieMorgan profile image

AnnieMorgan 5 years ago from Shoreline, WA

Wow! I did not know that. Thanks for sharing.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You're welcome AnnieMorgan!


urmilashukla23 profile image

urmilashukla23 4 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

Me too. I never new about this one. Good to know. Great Hub. Thanks for sharing it.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You're welcome urmilashukla! Glad you liked the hub!


itakins profile image

itakins 4 years ago from Irl

My goodness ,I can't believe I have only just discovered these seeds-I must have been living under a rock! Do you know what way the food salba is related to the seeds?

Great hub...boy was I slow getting here:)


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

It seems we are all just becoming familiar with chia seeds so you are not behind at all - many have still never heard of it.

What I've read about Salba is that it is a Canadian company of that name marketing white chia seeds and calling them salba. I am not aware of any superiority but I will stick with the ancient ones.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working