I recently started adding chia seeds to my diet; I put them in smoothies, shakes, yogurt, and other quick snacks every day. I’ve always heard that they’re good for you so I started eating them. Then I decided to actually do my research and find out why they’re good for you. Here’s what I found:
- There’s little proven benefit for direct weight loss, however they add a good amount of nutrition to your diet.
- They’re packed with nutrients: fiber, protein, healthy omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) & Vitamin B3 (Niacin), among smaller amounts of many other vitamins/minerals.
- They have a high amount of antioxidants
So, that’s great that they are packed with all of these nutrients, but what do those nutrients do for your body?
Here are some key roles each nutrient has, however there are many more “jobs” they are responsible for.
- Fiber: helps to keep your digestive system “regular”
- Protein: helps to build and repair bone, muscle, cartilage, skin and blood
- Omega-3 Fatty acids: increases heart health, decreases inflammation, improves skin (*some studies have suggested Omega-3’s may: help improve sleep, prevent cancer and improve bone/joint health*)
- Calcium: keeps bones and teeth strong, helps with blood clotting, muscle contraction and nerve function
- Manganese: controls blood sugar, regulates metabolism, helps the body absorb vitamins
- Magnesium: bone health, muscle building, heart health, regulating blood sugar
- Phosphorus: growth and repair of body cells and tissues, aids digestion, and hormone balance
- Zinc: improves immune function, hormone balance, nutrient absorption, muscle growth and repair
- Potassium: regulating blood sugar, bone health, regulating blood pressure, water balance in the body
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): nerve health, heart function, red blood cell production, improved memory
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): regulating thyroid, red blood cell production, increases immunity, eye health
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): regulates cholesterol (lowers LDL/raises HDL), hearth health, boosts brain function, improves skin
- Antioxidants: boost immune function, heart health, neutralizing and removing free radicals (which are thought to contribute o cancer) in blood stream
So go ahead and add those chia seeds into your diet! They have little to no flavor, relatively low calories, and they are packed with essential nutrients!
Recommended intake for adults is 2-3 tablespoons/day.