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The Foods of Our Ancestors: The 9 Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

The Foods of Our Ancestors: The 9 Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

You might have first encountered chia seeds several decades ago in the form of Chia Pets. These little novelties were quite popular in the 80’s, and are still around today. They allow children to grow chia sprouts on an animal or head figurine, and this made it seem as though the animal was growing its own fur.

Nowadays, chia seeds are gaining popularity for a completely different reason. These mighty little seeds are full of healthy nutrients and can make a huge difference to your life. Let’s learn more about the benefits of chia seeds.

The Past of Chia Seeds

These seeds come from the plant known as Salvia Hispanica. There is a close correlation between the chia and mint plants. The chia plant was originally cultivated in Mexico by ancient civilizations. The ancient people like Aztecs and Mayans used to consume chia seeds as a vital part of their diet.

For the Aztecs in particular, these seeds were especially valuable and even served as currency. They also used these seeds to provide them with energy bursts throughout the day and to treat various aches and pains.

Over time, as Spanish colonization came to South America, the chia seeds began to lose some of their prominence. Fortunately, in the modern era, these little miraculous seeds are starting to regain the popularity they once had so long ago.

Farmers harvest chia plants once a year. The harvest occurs when the chia plant has already sprouted and begun to whither. The seeds themselves are small, being barely a centimeter in length. They are either black or white. There are brown chia seeds as well; however, they aren’t quite ripe and not good for consumption.

A Tiny Seed With a Powerful Punch: The Remarkable Things About Chia Seeds

Why are chia seeds so popular nowadays? Well, for starters, they are full of nutrients and have lots of therapeutic benefits to offer.

Tiny chia seeds are rich in healthy fatty acids, proteins, fiber and restorative ingredients. They can lower your cholesterol levels and improve your digestive functioning. An ounce of chia seeds contains over 2.2 mg of iron, too. Iron is vital for the well-being of your body, as it helps your blood carry oxygen to muscles and organs.

Let’s take a full look at what you get in an ounce serving of chia seeds:

  • chia seedsCalories: 137
  • Fiber: 10.6 grams
  • Protein: 4.4 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 12 grams
  • Fat: 8.6 grams
  • Calcium: 177 mg
  • Phosphorus: 265 mg
  • Potassium: 44.8 mg
  • Sodium: 5.3 mg
  • Iron: 2.2 mg
  • Zinc: 1.0 mg
  • Copper: 0.1 mg
  • Manganese: 0.6 mg

As you can see, these little seeds are rich in a huge variety of minerals and vitamins. To make chia seeds even better, you don’t even need to worry about grinding them up before eating them. You can simply use them in recipes, whole and raw.

Now let’s look in detail at some of the best reasons to add these seeds to your diet.

Healing Benefits of Chia Seeds

1. A Single Chia Seed Offers Countless Nutrients for Your Body

consumption of chia seedsChia seeds are extraordinarily rich in nutrients. Just a small amount of these seeds can provide you with big percentages of your daily requirements of a huge variety of minerals. Chia seeds fill you with the energy you need to carry out your daily chores. The regular consumption of chia seeds keeps you going, even after a hectic day.

2. Chia Seeds Have Efficient Antioxidant Properties to Keep You Healthy

Free radicals put you at a higher risk of having cancer and other life threatening diseases; therefore, it is important to consume antioxidants regularly. Antioxidants help to cleanse your body of these free radicals and protect you from their damage.

Fortunately, chia seeds are full of antioxidants. These mighty chia seeds offer remedial antioxidant properties to help your body stay healthy and free of infection. Harmful free radicals build up in your body over time when you excessively smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol or eat processed foods. Environmental factors, unhealthy lifestyle and stress also contribute to the formation of free radicals.

3. Chia Has Plenty of Protein to Keep You Strong

good source of proteinProtein is a major part of every cell in your body. Protein helps to repair any damaged cells and regenerate them. Chia seeds are a good source of protein. A single ounce of chia seeds offers nearly five grams of protein, which is a huge number as there are many foods that contain lower amounts of protein. Just a handful of these seeds can meet around 10 percent of your daily protein requirement.

Amino acids build protein. You should get all of the vital nine amino acids in your diet. Chia seeds contain a portion of every single one of the nine amino acids. These amino acids are as follows:

  • Histidine
  • Tryptophan
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Methionine
  • Threonine
  • Lysine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Valine

Proteins are imperative for muscle development and to drive your body to run smoothly. If you are looking to gain some muscle mass, you need to eat plenty of protein. Chia seeds are, therefore, perfect food for athletes.

4. Chia Seeds Keep Your Gut Happy

top fiber sourceFiber is significant for digestion. It helps to ease the digestive process and prevent any blockages. Moreover, fiber helps to give you the sensation of feeling full. This is especially supportive for people who want to lose weight or follow a strict dietary plan.

You need to ensure that you are getting your daily dose of fiber. Chia seeds are a top fiber source. You get approximately 10 grams of fiber with just two spoonfuls of these seeds.

5. Small But Mighty Chia Seeds for Stronger Bones and Muscles

Chia seeds are a huge source of minerals like calcium and magnesium. These minerals help to keep your bones strong and healthy.

In fact, the percentage of calcium contained in a portion of chia seeds is higher than in most dairy products. This is just another supplementary reason to include these seeds in your daily diet, specifically if you are intolerant to lactose or aren’t a big milk drinker.

6. Chia Seeds Helps Control Your Blood Sugar

Little chia seeds are miracle workers for people with diabetes and blood sugar issues. They are a proven remedy to treat type 2 diabetes. Too much sugar in your blood makes you susceptible to risks of various cardiovascular problems, as well.

Chia seeds can slow down how rapidly your body converts carbohydrates and other foods into sugars. This helps maintain your blood sugar levels. Decelerating the peaks and drops in blood sugar can help keep diabetic patients steady.

Chia seeds also help you to feel full since they expand into a gel-like substance when they come into contact with a liquid. When you are full, you avoid needless snacking on sugary foods, which again helps to control your blood sugar levels. If you struggle with diabetes, make chia seeds a part of your life today.

7. Chia Seeds Boost Your Energy Levels

The name of chia seeds actually comes from the ancient Mayan word “chia,” which translates as “strength.”

They are an energetic snack to keep you going throughout the day. Ancient Mayans would eat chia seeds to give them huge energy boosts. Science has proven that just two tablespoons of these seeds can offer lots of nutrients, and over 150 calories.

8. Get Your Daily Dose of Omega-3 Fatty Acids With Chia

Some people aren’t aware of the significance of healthy fats. Most of you are under the impression that you should cut down on fatty foods to lose weight and stay healthy. However, there are some good fats that your body absolutely needs.

salmonThese good fats are omega-3 fatty acids, also known as polyunsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats help your heart and cardiovascular system to function effectively. They give your brain a boost, too.

Chia seeds are a top source of these healthy fats. Astoundingly, they contain more omega-3 fatty acids than fresh fish like salmon.

9. Burn Fat and Get Ripped With Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a wholesome food for your weight loss regimen as they are filling. Only a couple of spoonfuls of chia seeds helps to provide you with nearly 150 calories. With so much energy, you’ll hardly have any urge to binge on fatty snacks.

It’s no wonder that soldiers and explorers from ancient civilizations used to consume them to remain fit and get energy boosts throughout the day.

Delicious Chia Recipes You Are Going To Crave

So, now you know the remedial benefits offered by these little chia seeds. Let’s take a look at how you can use them in your recipes:

Delectable Chia Pudding

Chia seeds create a gel-like substance when you immerse them in liquid. This property of chia seeds can help you prepare a tasty pudding as follows:


  • One-fourth cup of chia seeds.

  • One cup almond milk, preferably vanilla flavored.
  • One teaspoon of vanilla extract.
  • Two tablespoons of maple syrup.
  • One cup of plain Greek yogurt.
  • A pinch of salt.


  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Let them rest together for half an hour.
  • Stir the mixture well and place it in the refrigerator.
  • Let it rest there overnight.
  • Check the pudding in the morning.
  • If the mixture has gotten too thick, add some milk.
  • Enjoy this pudding as a desert at the end of a meal, as a snack or breakfast treat.

Lemon Chia Seed Muffins

Here is a recipe to make some delicious lemon muffins with chia seeds:


  • Two cups of flour.
  • Three tablespoons of chia seeds.
  • One teaspoon of baking powder.
  • Half a teaspoon of salt.

  • One-fourth teaspoon of baking soda.
  • Eight tablespoons of butter.
  • One cup of sugar.
  • Two eggs.
  • Some lemon zest.
  • One cup of Greek yogurt.

To make the simple glaze:

  • Half a cup of powdered sugar.
  • One to two tablespoons of lemon juice.


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare your muffin tin by spraying it with non-stick pan coating or vegetable oil.
  • Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and chia seeds together.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together with the use of a mixer.
  • Add the eggs to the butter mixture, along with the lemon zest and vanilla.
  • Combine the two mixtures together carefully and add the yogurt to help the process along.
  • Fill the muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Be sure to use a toothpick in the center to check to see that the muffins are cooked. It should come out clean.
  • As the muffins cool, prepare your glaze by mixing powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle this over each muffin.

Energize Yourself With Chia Fresca

honeyChia Fresca is the name of a drink commonly found in Mexico. It’s delicious and refreshing. Here’s how to make it:


  • Four cups of cold water.
  • One tablespoon honey.
  • Two tablespoons chia seeds.
  • One lemon.
  • Some fresh fruits, chopped.


  • Mix the seeds with the water.
  • Stir thoroughly.
  • Let the seeds sit in the water for a while so that they soak up the water.
  • Add lemon juice and honey to taste, along with some fresh fruit slices or chunks.
  • Shake well and enjoy.

You can enjoy Chia Fresca at any time of day. Be sure to shake it regularly though in order to keep the chia seeds from gathering at the bottom.

Other Simple Ways to Enjoy Chia Seeds

yogurtThere are many simple ways to enjoy chia seeds if you are short of time. Give these tips a try:

  • An easy way to enjoy chia seeds is to just sprinkle them over your meals. They have a subtle taste, so your recipes will still taste the same.
  • Sprinkle some seeds over your cereal or oatmeal in the morning.
  • Add some of these seeds to ice cream or yogurt.
  • Throw a handful of seeds over the top of a salad or combine them with a dressing.
  • Use chia seeds to replace eggs in your recipes. Mix one tablespoon of chia seeds with three tablespoons of water. Use the resulting gel to replace one egg.
  • Avoid eat these seeds completely raw as a snack. They could expand with your saliva and can present a choking hazard. Read more about this below.

Caution: Read This Before Consuming Raw Chia Seeds

Chia seeds create a gel when they come into contact with liquids. They absorb up to 27 times their weight. This is a notable feature of chia seeds that keeps you feeling full for hours and helps you make many delectable chia recipes. However, it can be problematic, too.

eating chia seedsWhen you swallow raw chia seeds, they form a gel with your saliva and may stick near the esophagus, which becomes difficult to clear. If you have a history of difficulty swallowing, then this could pose a choking hazard. So, always be careful when eating chia seeds in their raw form.

Experts indicate that when used properly and first mixed with water, chia seeds are safe for consumption.

Where You Can Buy Chia Seeds

You can easily buy chia seeds in your local supermarket or health foods store. You can also check online health stores for chia seeds.

These miraculous little seeds can bring some huge improvements to your diet. Just a tiny amount of chia seeds is enough to provide you with loads of nutrients, proteins, minerals, healthy fatty acids and more to keep you healthy and energetic.

It’s no wonder that they are becoming so popular nowadays. Try one of these recipes, so you don’t miss out on the chia fun. Welcome them to your kitchen and start making some nutritious chia seed dishes.


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