ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Health Benefits of Chia Seeds - Nature's Little Superfood

Updated on August 6, 2018
jlpark profile image

Jacqui is an RCompN in NZ, with 16+ years of experience. She writes on a number of health topics that she has experience in.

Salvia Hispanica L - A flowering member of the Mint Family, and the source of Chia Seeds
Salvia Hispanica L - A flowering member of the Mint Family, and the source of Chia Seeds | Source

South American Native

Native to South America, the Chia seed has been making a resurgence in the diets of many Americans as well as many other places around the world. Prior to the Spanish conquest of Latin American, the chia seed was a staple in the diets of the Aztecs and Mayans. They were often ground into flour, pressed into oil or added to water to drink.

The seeds are harvested from a flowering member of the mint family - Salvia Hispanica L. The seed itself is either white or dark brown and black. Red seeds are often found. However, these are immature seeds and should be avoided. Very small black seeds should also be avoided - these are considered weed seeds. The presence of either of these in the chia seed mix purchased signals that it is not a good supplier of Chia, as these seeds are not rich in nutrients as the white or dark brown/black seeds.

Chia Seeds
Chia Seeds | Source

Why are Chia Seeds Good For Me?

Chia seeds have become popular due to the fact that they contain many essential vitamins and minerals, as well as essential fatty acids (EFA's) and fiber. Vitamins include calcium, manganese, and phosphorus, and omega 3 and 6 EFA's are abundant in the chia seed.

The Chia seed can be considered a super-food as they contain the maximum amount of nutrients and fiber with minimal calories. Whilst Chia seeds share many properties with flax seed, unlike the flax seed they do not need to be ground to get the maximum health benefits from them.

Health benefits include assisting in glucose and cholesterol control, replacing the egg in recipes, portion control, as well as being a simple and quick way to get much of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of several different vitamins, minerals, EFA's and fiber.

Chia Seeds

Will you be adding Chia to your diet?

See results

How Exactly Do Chia Seeds Benefit Me?

Fiber Content: - The American Dietetic Association recommends 20-35 grams of fiber each day. However, most Americans only eat approximately 12-15 grams. Chia contains almost 11grams of fiber per ounce. This means a generous sprinkle over your morning muesli or oatmeal could give you up to 42% of your RDI of fiber in a single serve!.

Fiber also helps you to feel fuller faster and for longer as it soaks up fluid in your digestive system and expands, making you feel full. It also slows digestion so that your body has a chance to feel full, and therefore stopping you from overeating. All this, as well as helping to keep you regular.

Omega 3 and 6 - Omega 3 and 6 are EFA's essential to your health - these build new cells and regulate several different processes in the body, as well as improving brain health. Chia seeds contain more omega-3 fatty acids than salmon if compared pound for pound, and is considered one of the more concentrated sources for omega 3 whilst also contain a high amount of omega 6.

Another useful benefit of the omegas is the support they give to heart health and assist in keeping your skin, hair, and nails in peak condition.

Chia seeds also covert omega-3 into the plasma or food in a larger concentration than with flax seed. They can also help to reduce inflammation, reduce cholesterol, and increase brain health and performance

One Way to Use Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds in banana pudding
Chia Seeds in banana pudding | Source

Antioxidants - Antioxidants help protect the body from aging, cancer and free radicals. Chia seeds are rich in sources of antioxidants, which also gives the seed a longer shelf life. Even without being refrigerated, chia seeds can be stored for almost two years due to their antioxidant profile.

Minerals - As little as two tablespoons of chia seeds contain a large amount of the RDI of many minerals. These include Calcium - essential for strong teeth and bones - at 18 percent, Phosphorus at 35 percent, Magnesium at 24 percent, and a whopping 50 percent of your daily recommended intake of Manganese.

All of these minerals are useful in preventing hypertension (high blood pressure), helping to maintain a healthy weight, and are used in the metabolism of energy and are a part of DNA synthesis. Manganese is also important for your bones and assists your body in the use of other nutrients like biotin and thiamine.

Dietary Fat - Chia seeds have been shown to lower triglycerides and LDL cholesterol ('Bad' cholesterol) levels, whilst at the same time increasing the HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol). A study in the British Journal of Nutrition also found that when chia seeds are used in place of other fat sources eg: corn oil, it was able to prevent high triglycerides and decrease central obesity - obesity about the stomach and chest area.

Amazing Chia Seeds - Dr Eric Berg

Uses for Chia Seeds

Aside from adding chia seeds to your diet to give your health a kick start, Chia seeds can assist in a number of different ways.

Egg Replacement

Chia seeds can be used as an egg replacement - helpful in lowering cholesterol through not using egg but also for those who are allergic to egg products, or vegan, or people who which to increase the nutrients in their food. This use is possible because when the chia seeds are mixed with liquid, the outer layer swells to become a gel.

To use the chia seed as an egg replacement - mix one tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and put aside for 15 minutes.


The Chia seed is gluten-free, so can be added easily to meals even for those who are intolerant of gluten or have Coeliac's Disease.

Improve Diabetes Control, Weight Loss

Chia seeds have the ability to slow down digestion, due to how it forms a gel-like consistency and coating when exposed to liquids - this can help prevent blood sugar spikes. As it has a stabilizing effect on blood sugar, it can also help fight stomach or "belly" fat - through preventing insulin resistance.

Prevent Craving between Meals

The chia seeds mixture of fiber, protein and it's gelling effect when mixed with liquid help to keep you feeling fuller for longer, reducing the risk of craving food between meals. They can be simply added to any meal! I've even seen muesli (granola) bars recently that have had Chia added - slightly different taste to the bar, but not at all unpleasant.

Adding to yoghurt is a tasty idea!
Adding to yoghurt is a tasty idea! | Source

Nutritional Information for a 1oz/28gm serving

% of RDI or amount
- Omega 3
Many thanks to Healthline for the information (

To Sum Up

Used since the times of the ancient Aztecs and Mayans, the Latin/South American native, the chia seed are a small white or black seed with huge nutritional properties, and health benefits. Easy to add to any meal, they contain a large portion of the average adults RDI of many vitamins and mineral.

Beneficial to those with diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, or just wanting to lose a bit of weight, or maintain their current weight, they are a breeze to be able to add to a diet.

Both gluten-free, and able to be used as a replacement for egg - their uses are endless. Recipes are available online, or in several different cookbooks.

So what are you waiting for? Let's add them to our diet today!

© 2014 Jacqui


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • jlpark profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from New Zealand

      Shyron - why would that be? Do they not work well together? I've tried Salba in bread - it's tasty! (or the bread was really yummy + salba).

      I'm curious.

      Thanks for your visit and comments!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      3 years ago from Texas

      Jacqui, after trying the Salba, (Salba: Myth or Miracle Food) I will definitely not be trying Chia, but this is an interesting article and very well written.

    • newbizmau profile image

      Maurice Glaude 

      3 years ago from Mobile, AL

      I have only had chia seeds a couple of times. Once a coworker shared her healthy oatmeal made cold with dried fruit and there were chia seeds in it. I was amazed to be eating cold oatmeal that was so good.

    • jlpark profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from New Zealand

      I don't think they were a big thing here...or I'm either too young or too old to have been of the age of interest when they were out.

      I've had Chia in muesli, and muesli bars (errr...think they may be called granola bars in your neck of the woods...could be wrong). Tasty enough.

      Bubblews and me didn't really work - I prefer having to work at something. I'd get all annoyed at a lot of rubbish (granted - not all) that was passed as a post there that had hundreds of likes and therefore raked in the cents....just cause they had lots of friends who couldn't spell either.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      3 years ago from Ohio, USA

      You never had a Chia Pet? I will have to write a hub on that. The 750 word minimum takes much of the fun out of HubPages: after hanging around BubbleWS for a while I am conditioned to crank out screeds of 400 characters and one photo.

      I did once purchase a 'health' drink at a natural food store that had chia seeds in it. Tasted OK. Lotta calories.

    • jlpark profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from New Zealand

      Wouldn't have a clue Nicomp. Never had a Chia pet.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      3 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Is this the same stuff that grows on a Chia Pet? That was quite a fad many years ago. I think I had a Homer Simpson.

    • peachpurple profile image


      4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      couldn't get chia seeds here, maybe i will try online, good post

    • jlpark profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for your comment BNadyn - I didn't realise just how many benefits there were to them until I started writing this, had just thought I would give them a try cause everyone else seemed to be!

    • BNadyn profile image


      4 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

      I've actually wanted to try Chia seeds for my yogurt and maybe other recipes. It's good to hear about all the health benefits and that they're gluten-free and can be used as egg replacement. Great job on this. :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)