Chia seeds are edible small seeds that are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and powerful antioxidants including quercetin, kaempferol, caffeic acid, and chlorogenic acid. These tiny black seeds are prized for their ability to provide sustainable energy. Chia is the ancient Mayan word for “strength.” At present, this superfood is well-known all over the world as they pack a powerful nutritional punch.
Chia Seeds And Heart Health
Being high in protein, fiber, and omega-3s, chia seeds may help reduce or risk of heart diseases (1).
Fiber helps lower high blood pressure. On the other hand, studies revealed that protein can help lower cholesterol as well as blood pressure and help a person maintain a healthy weight (2). A 28-gram, or 1-ounce, serving of chia seeds also contains 5.6 grams of protein and 11.2 grams of fiber.
In a review of 67 separate controlled trials, experts have found that even a modest 10-gram per day increase in fiber intake reduced LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, as well as total cholesterol. Aside from this, there were also studies showing that dietary fiber may play a role in regulating the immune system and inflammation. In this way, it may decrease the risk of inflammation-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer (3).
Similarly, eating foods rich in omega-3s can also help lower cholesterol levels naturally. In every 15 g serving of chia seeds, there is an average of 3,000 mg of omega-3 ALA. Getting just one serving of chia in our daily diet goes a long way toward helping to reduce our cholesterol naturally (4).
In a study in people with hypertension (a strong risk factor for heart disease), results showed that chia seeds significantly reduce blood pressure (5,6).
The small seeds also contain quercetin, an antioxidant that can reduce your risk of developing several health conditions, including heart disease (7).
Different Ways Of Consuming Chia Seeds:
- Sprinkle them on top of cereal, yogurt, vegetables, or rice dishes.
- Mix with water and turned into a gel.
- Use them to thicken sauces and as egg substitutes in recipes.
- Soak them in juice, add to porridge, pudding, smoothies or add to baked goods.