Chia seeds are rich in the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA. ALA is the plant-based equivalent to marine-derived omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA you get from eating fish or taking fish oil supplements.
Chia seeds are high in fiber, in addition to supporting digestive health, chia fiber helps feed the healthy gut bacteria linked to immunity and positive mood.
Chia seeds help stabilize post-meal blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. In a study that compared chia to flax seeds, both resulted in lower blood sugar levels. Still, chia had a more exceptional ability to convert glucose into a slow-release carbohydrate and positively impact satiety. That led to reduced appetite and desire to eat.
So, in summary, Chia seeds are a good source of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, a good source of fiber, contain some B vitamins and zinc, and can help stabilize blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
Want some peer-reviewed science?
“Chia seeds have high contents of dietary fiber and proteins, rich in many exogenous amino acids. Moreover, chia seeds have high contents of polyunsaturated fatty acids, mainly alfa-linolenic acid, belonging to the group of omega-3 fatty acids. These seeds are also a good source of many minerals and vitamins, as well as bioactive compounds of high antioxidant activity, particularly polyphenols and tocopherols. Current research results indicate many health-promoting properties of chia seeds. These seeds are ascribed a beneficial effect on the improvement of the blood lipid profile.”
Want a recipe?
This Summer Smoothie recipe is made of a delicious mix of ingredients that also have anti-inflammatory benefits.
· 1 ½ cups frozen pineapple chunks
· 1 cup coconut water (no added sugar)
· 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger (or 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger)
· 1 teaspoon chia seeds, plus extra for garnishing
· 1 teaspoon ground Tumeric
· 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Add all ingredients to a blender. Pulse until smooth.
2. Serve immediately, garnished with extra chia seeds if desired.