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How to Use Chia Seeds for Health

Updated on January 25, 2016
Whole Raw Chia Seeds
Whole Raw Chia Seeds | Source
Whole Raw Chia Seeds
Whole Raw Chia Seeds | Source

What is a Chia Seed?

Chia seeds are grown from the salvia hispanica plant, which was first discovered thousands of years ago by the ancient Aztec and Mayan civilizations of Central and South America. The Chia (Salvia hispanica) is part of the mint family.

It served as the power food of the ancient Aztec’s. The Aztecs ate the seeds to improve their endurance. They called it their "running food" because messengers could run all day on just a handful. The Aztecs honored this seed more highly than gold and they even used it as medicine.


Chia Seeds are the New Superfood

These amazing seeds have more antioxidants than blueberries or cranberries and they have a significant source of protein. They contain more Omega 3 and Omega 6 than salmon or flax seeds and they are loaded with Iron. Chia seeds more fiber than whole wheat pasta, black beans, and most food you can find! Is it any wonder why the Chia Seed is rapidly being recognized as a Superfood? It’s clear to me.

Chia Seeds and Diabetes

Chia seeds are known to expand 9 times their size into a gel like substance. This can help release carbohydrates slowly, helping to regulate blood sugar. It’s unique combination of soluble and insoluble fiber combine to slow down your body’s conversion of starches into sugars.

This new Superfood has been proven to assist with preventing diabetes type 2 and help those who already have diabetes maintain good health and control. Adding Chia Seeds has been proven to work really well when combined with a sensible diet and any necessary medications.

There is no research to suggest that consuming Chia Seeds can replace any diet or medication prescribed by a doctor . Please consult your physician before making any drastic dietary changes.


Weight Loss

There are other benefits to the chia seeds expanding 9 times their original size when mixed with liquid.

1) The seeds help by making you feel fuller faster and less hungry

2) The blockage of calorie absorption makes the chia seed a great diet helper

3) They absorb the water we drink holding it in our system longer so it’s extremely effective for hydration. Our bodies will frequently send out hunger signals when we are dehydrated in an attempt to get liquid.
4) When used in recipes or sprinkled on top of a meal, they will turn your food into a constant, steady source of energy so there won’t be any sugar spikes and mood swings.

Why We Need Antioxidants

Antioxidants include flavonol aglycones: quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin; and flavonol glycosides: chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid

Benefits ;

Antioxidants significantly boost energy and they have fatigue-fighting properties. They could protect against a host of chronic diseases like ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, lung cancer, prostate cancer, asthma, and type 2 diabetes. The most common known benefit of antioxidants is that they help the flow of bile, thus reducing bile stagnation and promoting liver and gallbladder health,

Have You Experienced The Benefits Of Chia Seeds?

4.5 stars from 11 ratings of Chia Seeds

The Importance of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential nutrient that the body cannot make itself.

It has been shown that omega-3s are better absorbed from food than supplements.

Omega- 3 has been proven to help with depression, fatigue, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dry skin, brittle hair and nails, lack of concentrate, and joint pain.

Omega-6 Fatty Acids are Just as Important as Omega-3

In partnership with omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function and growth and development. They also help stimulate skin and hair growth, maintain bone health, regulate metabolism, and maintain the reproductive system.

There should be a balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. The ratio should be in the range of 2:1 - 4:1, omega-6 to omega-3

Could You Use a Little More Iron?

Iron helps carry oxygen into the blood.

Deficiencies in Iron have been associated with ailments such as anemia, period problems, fatigue, and even concentration.

Don't Skimp on Fiber

Fiber isn't digested by your body. It passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine, colon and out of your body.

Some of Fiber’s invaluable benefits include lowering blood cholesterol levels, it helps control blood sugar levels, and of course it can prevent or relieve constipation.

Protein Has a Big Job

Proteins are the building blocks of any living organism.

Protein is essential for body development, replenishing lost blood, healing wounds, hair and nail growth, and supports our nervous and immunity systems.

Raw Chia Seeds

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 2 tbls
Calories 70
Calories from Fat36
% Daily Value *
Fat 4 g6%
Carbohydrates 7 g2%
Sugar 0 g
Fiber 6 g24%
Protein 3 g6%
Cholesterol 0 mg
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

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    • profile image

      j worth 13 months ago

      I have read though that they contain a lot of SATURATED fat which is not good

    • profile image

      Chia seeds 4 years ago

      Great article, i love chia seeds and all its health benefits! i actually recently wrote an article discussing the health benefits of chia seeds and different ways we could add them to our daily lives!

      http://www.khaddy.com/chia-seeds-healthy-body/

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 4 years ago from Washington

      Chia Seeds definitely helped me lose the last 10 stubborn pounds that stood between me and my healthiest weight. I also credit daily chia seeds for maintaining that weight. They really do keep you full longer and help curb cravings because of the high protein content. :)

    • nancymaggielee profile image

      nancymaggielee 4 years ago

      Has anyone here actually lost weight by eating Chia seeds, and, if so, how much?

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Thank you! :)

    • hi friend profile image

      hi friend 5 years ago from India

      nice

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      That would be great! I always enjoy learning new ways to use these amazing seeds.

      Did you see any resipes in here that you like?

      https://hubpages.com/health/How-to-Eat-Chia-Seeds-...

    • MickiS profile image

      MickiS 5 years ago from San Francisco

      I saw them in my local Whole Foods. I was thinking that I would use them in salads or put them on toast in the morning. I'll let you know if I come up with any other interesting recipes.

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      MickiS, I haven't found any in my local stores yet but I will keep looking! Let me know how you like to use them? :)

    • MickiS profile image

      MickiS 5 years ago from San Francisco

      What a great Hub! I just saw chia seeds in my grocery store the other day. I'll definitely buy some now and give them a try!

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Thank you kittyjj! When you add these amazing seeds to your everyday foods you will get more iron and so much more! I hope you were able to find some useful suggestions on how to eat chia seeds here..

      https://hubpages.com/health/How-to-Eat-Chia-Seeds-...

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Huh! I had no idea these seeds were.... for anything other than growing odd things on clay animals and heads! Very cool.

    • kittyjj profile image

      Ann Leung 5 years ago from San Jose, California

      I just learned something new from you. I had never heard of Chia seeds until I read your hub. I could definitely use a little more iron. I look forward to your new hubs with recipes of cooking Chia seeds. Thank you for sharing! Voted up and useful! :)

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Thank you LauraGT! Chia Seeds are amazing!

    • LauraGT profile image

      LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

      Thanks for this informative hub! We put chia seeds in everything we can think of. :)

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      When I first heard it I immediately thought of a chia pet too! I never thought I would be eating them but I'm sure glad that I am.

    • profile image

      jenubouka 5 years ago

      I never knew these were such a super seed, the only thing I am aware of is the Chia pets. I look forward to reading the many recipes and uses for the seeds. Awesome.

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Stay tuned for more Chia Seed info! :)

      habee, they don't taste like much of anything so the possibilities are endless.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 5 years ago from Georgia

      Wonderful info! What do chia seeds taste like? Voted up!

    • Robie Benve profile image

      Robie Benve 5 years ago from Ohio

      I love Chia seeds, and have them with every breakfast! I especially like the fact they are called the Super Food of the Aztec, just the thought gives me extra energy in the morning. Never mind that most of the Aztec died... lol

    • Michael J Rapp profile image

      Michael J Rapp 5 years ago from United States

      I've read about Chia seeds a bit, but still didn't know a whole lot about them. This is very informative and helps fill in the blanks. Up and useful!

    • Mmargie1966 profile image

      Mmargie1966 5 years ago from Gainesville, GA

      I've heard of this before, but knew very little about it...until now! Thanks so much, Roxanne. Voted up and useful!

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Everything I have learned about the Chia Seeds suggests that it should actually assist in Gall Bladder function. They have a significant amount of fiber and Omega Fatty Acid. These seeds don't have the tough outer shell like some other seeds have so they convert into a gell like substance in the stomach and aid in digestion. That being said, I would certainly recommend checking with your doctor if you have any concerns about anything you put in your body.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Am looking forward to those future hubs! Are there any warnings about whole chia seeds and gall bladder stones? If so, can they be avoided by soaking the seeds before consuming?

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Marcy, I heard about these about six months ago and the more I learned, the more I loved about them. They really do help keep you full longer and have little to no flavor. These seeds are super easy to add to everything!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 5 years ago from Planet Earth

      I've never heard if eating these seeds - and they truly do sound like a miracle food! I like the very complete and detailed information you included here - I'm ready to go try some now!

      Voted up, useful and interesting!

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      I will definitely be adding some hubs about the best ways to use them soon. The best part is, you don't even have to grind them because they are easily digestible whole! The outer shell isn't as tough as the Flax Seed. I enjoy them in recipes and just sprinkled on salads etc.

      Thank you RTalloni for reading and commenting! :)

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

      Well done! Thanks for reminding me to get going with chia seeds. Will you be adding hubs on how best to use chia in recipes, or do you just grind them and eat them raw?