Chia seeds are the edible seeds that produce the chia plant (Salvia Hispanica). The chia plant is native to Mexico and is part of the
mint family. Traditionally, chia seed uses have been for medicinal and nutritional purposes in the Aztec and Mayan cultures. Ancient Aztec warriors used chia seeds
to help increase strength and energy for battle.1 2 3 Chia seeds are convenient to store because they don’t need to be refrigerated and last up to two years before spoiling. Chia seeds
also don’t need to be ground, but instead can be eaten whole. Chia seeds can be ingested raw or after soaking them in water. When chia seeds are left to soak in
water, they expand and form a gel substance. Soaking them is believed to make them easier to digest and potentially provide greater nutritional value.2 3
Chia Seeds Health Uses and Health Benefits
Chia seeds health benefits are numerous because they are high in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants.3 They also contain
protein, dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc, among other important vitamins and minerals.2 3 Because of their high nutritional value, chia
seed health benefits include:
- Preventing cardiovascular disease by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides4
- Preventing cancer through antioxidants that kill free radicals4
- Reducing inflammation1
- Protecting the liver1
- Preventing arthritis and other autoimmune diseases1
- Healing skin and preventing signs of aging2
- Supporting healthy digestion with soluble fiber content2
- Preventing and reverses diabetes2
- Boosting energy by improving metabolic rate2
- Protecting against obesity by reducing visceral belly fat2
- Strengthening bones, teeth and muscles 2
Chia seed uses include the prevention and treatment of the following conditions:
- Overweight - Chia seeds help improve metabolic function and reduce belly fat, which can help people lose weight.
- Depression - Chia seed health benefits include being a natural energy-booster, which can help treat symptoms of depression.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis - Chia seeds help to reduce and control natural clotting agents that improve blood flow and can prevent deep vein thrombosis.
- Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) - The omega-3 fatty acid content found in chia seeds can help lower high blood pressure levels.
- Sunburn - The antioxidant content found in chia seeds can help repair damaged skin caused by sunburns.
Chia Seeds Side Effects and Precautions
Chia seed side effects are very limited. Some people may experience chia seed side effects such as stomach discomfort when consumed in high amounts.2