They’re a Valuable Source of Alpha-Linolenic Acid
Alpha-Linolenic acid, an Omega-3 essential fatty acid, helps support normal cardiovascular function. Omega-3 fatty acids also help lower blood pressure and inflammation, so consuming them boosts and protects your heart health.
They’re Full of Fiber
One ounce of chia seeds has 11 grams of fiber, which helps the digestive tract function properly, normalizes bowel movements and lowers cholesterol levels.
Studies have shown that people with celiac disease eat less calcium, iron and fiber than recommended. All of those nutrients can be found in chia, which means gluten-free eaters can indulge in the little brown seeds.
They Can be Added to Nearly Any Dish
The chia seed is versatile. With its mild, nutty taste and gelatinous texture when added to liquid, it can be used as a garnish for salads; as a flour for baked goods like muffins and breads; and as the secret ingredient in smoothies, yogurt, pudding, jam, oatmeal and much more.
They Last a Long Time
Chia seeds can last up to five years if stored properly in a cool, dry place, such as a cupboard. Storing chia seeds in the refrigerator after a bag has been opened will also give them more life. It’s recommended to keep the seeds in an airtight bag or container.
They Can Help Improve Skin
Because chia seeds contain omega-3 fats,they can help combat wrinkles and acne and bring moisture back into the skin. Dr. Nicholas Perricone, a dermatologist and nutritionist based in Connecticut, recommends using extracted chia oil as moisturizer, as a balm to soothe sun-damaged skin and to make lips look plumper.
They Can Help Treat Diabetes
Studies done on diabetic rats showed feeding them chia seeds helped reverse the illness and even helped prevent it. Chia seeds have also been noted to help control blood sugar levels. And because chia seeds are rich in protein and fiber—two nutrients that keep you feeling full without the extra calories—they can also control hunger and help you maintain a healthy weight.
They Can Help Bone Health
Compared to milk, chia seeds contain five times the amount of calcium, which is fundamental for maintaining bone health.