5 benefits of chia seeds

Do you remember seeing commercials for a terracotta pet that grew lush green sprouts? Those same chia seeds are a nutritional dynamo. They may seem like a hot new dietary fad, but they were actually a staple in ancient cultures. The seeds are small, crunchy and typically a shade of brown. Unlike flax seeds, which have to be ground up to be digested, they can be eaten whole.

What can you get from these little seeds?

Get a dose of omega-3 fatty acids—At almost 5 grams to an ounce serving, chia seeds help balance out the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in our diets. Ounce per ounce, chia seeds have more omega-3s than salmon. But remember to vary your diet to include other sources of omega-3s.

High in calcium – Chia seeds have double the calcium of the same serving of flax. An ounce of chia seeds contains about 18 percent of the daily recommended amount.

Keeps you full  longer – The amino acids contained in chia seeds make you feel full faster and can also absorb about 12 times their own weight in liquid. Feeling fuller leaves less space for empty calories.

Heart healthy  Chia seeds’ fiber, amino acids, and fatty acids increase good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol and triglycerides.

Fabulous fiber – It can be challenging to get enough fiber every day. Luckily, chia seeds can lend a hand in this area, too. An ounce of these little brown seeds has about 10.6 grams of fiber, 42 percent of the daily recommended intake.

How can you add chia seeds to your diet? Try a recipe for chia seeds in a cake, use them as breading on chicken or sprinkle them on salads. The tiny seeds can be added to most foods to give them a little extra crunch.


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