Last Modified on Jun 26, 2014
Chia seeds are a tiny superfood that packs a lot of punch in a little package. These seeds have seen an increase in consumer awareness in the last several years for good reason. These tiny seeds are a great source of healthy omega-3 fats as well as fiber and are a healthful component of any diet or treatment plan.
What are Chia Seeds?
Taken from a flowering plant in the mint family, the chia plant is native to Mexico and Guatemala. Largely unknown to North America and other parts of the world until just 30 years ago, the chia seed was introduced to these regions by Wayne Coates.
Since its introduction, chia seeds have been lauded for their unique health benefits. An unprocessed, whole-grain food, chia seeds are effectively absorbed by the body and are a concentrated food that contains a variety of healthful properties. Chia seeds contain a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, healthy carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants and calcium. The seeds are also host to a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Health Benefits of Chia
While the seeds are often added to foods and beverages including cereal, sauces, vegetables, rice and yogurt, the seeds are good for more than just their mild, nutty flavor. Chia seeds are a beneficial addition to the diet for a number of reasons.
Aside from a healthy dose of omega-3 fats, the seeds also contain 11 grams of dietary fiber per one ounce serving. The seeds also possess a high concentration of calcium, supporting bone and oral health, as well as manganese for strong bones and muscles. A good source of vegetarian protein, the seeds also help individuals feel full faster and longer.
These little seeds are also an effective health treatment. Chia seeds contain phosphorus, which helps synthesize protein for cell and tissue growth and repair. The seeds are also effective for aiding in weight loss, regulating blood sugar, boosting energy and maintaining heart health.
More than just an infamous novelty, chia seeds are an effective treatment that supports health in a variety of ways.
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[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 02/27/2011: Bea from Tulsa, Ok: "I started taking chia seeds last fall. I am a diabetic and took 3 tbls in 6 oz of water, with a little lime juice. I made it the night before, put in the fridge, and have a light, tasty breakfast. I can tell you, that after about 3 weeks, my fasting blood sugar was getting steadily lower. I have since cut back on my insulin, and I am also losing weight, perhaps because now I have the energy to get out and walk 30 min. 3-4 times per week. I don't know if this progress will continue, but I sure hope so."
09/02/2011: Cherylanne from Clarksburg, Wv Usa: "After reading about chia seed, I purchased a lb bag of them for the omegas. I couldn't believe the vitamins, minerals and amino acid complex in these little seeds. After 2 weeks, I noticed my energy level increasing and I didn't have my usual sugar cravings in the afternoon. My anxiety started going away and I started walking more. It has been almost 2 months and I couldn't be happier with how much better I am feeling. I put a tablespoon of chia in a glass of water about half full then add a little cranberry juice, let it sit a minute, stir it with a spoon and drink this down twice a day. It's a whole food that is loaded with good things."
05/10/2011: Margaret from Waikanae, New Zealand: "I have only just found out about these and I think I am going to get some and give them a go. There appears to be a difference in them according to the country they are grown in but on the whole they should be the same. I would love to get rid of some weight along with aches and pains."Replies
08/20/2013: Dj from Edmonton, Ab replies: "WARNING: Omega 3's such that is found in Chia seeds can increases prostate cancer risk. www.cancer.org/cancer/news/omega-3-fatty-acids-linked-to-increase-in-prostate-cancer-risk"
08/20/2013: Sandra from Australia replies: "Don't jump to conclusions.. Read the whole study. For starters a quick look reveals:
"The study did not collect information on the men's diets. Therefore, it's not clear whether the omega-3 fatty acids in their blood came from food or from supplements."
The above paragraph says a lot.. But many people will give up chia seeds because of it. They are natural from nature, unlike many man made supplements.
Remember cancer can not live in a oxygenated and alkaline environtment. Research herbs that provide oxygen to the body. Deep breathing is good. Eat healthy food from nature (unprocessed) and fresh juices and you will be fine."
08/21/2013: Timh from Ky, Usa replies: "It isn't wise to make blanket conclusions on studies that include several questionable variables and unknowns. The benefits of Omega 3's on human health and disease prevention are numerous. The one problem I see which could raise issues like this study found is the lack of fat soluble antioxidants like Carotenes, Vit-E & A that are essential to protect the sensitive unsaturated 3's. Heavy metals especially and any type free radical damages the Omega 3's.
Zinc and Selenium were also mentioned as being studied in this publication proly to find some "unknown factor" increasing cancer risk rather than reducing. Anyway, Zinc & Selenium are the two most important minerals for prostate health.
Despite being in the high risk category for prostate problems I have, so far, evaded any of the first symptoms of complication; with the exception of only very recently a problem urinating. At the first signe of urinary problems I take Stinging Nettles herb and Cranberry. Cranberry prevents infection by keeping the urinary tract clean which prevents inflammation in the Prostate. Stinging Nettles reduces dihydrotestosterone levels which is the number one factor for enlarged Prostate."
02/09/2011: Jason from Peoria, Az: "Hello, I have heard that some 2004 study concluded that Chia seed puts males at a higher risk of prostate cancer if consumed on a regular basis. I also have heard that Chia seed is a "superfood" that has a ton of vitamins/minerals and is wonderful for our health.
Is Chia seed good or bad for prostate health?.. And also general health too?
I have taken it and it has worked wonders for my mood and energy.
02/02/2011: Suzyq from District Of Columbia, Washington Dc/us: "I just got my 2-pound bag today (bought off of amazon)... I need the energy to do some weight lifting and exercise in general... I don't really need to lose weight, but if they can keep me away from eating little bits of junk in the evening, that would be excellent. I'll be sure to post."
10/27/2010: Stacey from Mesa , Az: "I make a lentil soup with the chia seeds in it. It thickens the soup, and is an easy way to eat them. I don't like the gel plain. Yuck."
[YEA] 07/23/2009: Lisa from Anaheim, CA: "I'm a big fan of Chia Seeds! They are a great source of plant-based Omega-3's, and fiber.Plus, they are a very simple and easy to use supplement. The gel they create when you mix them in water (1 part seeds to 9 parts water) is loaded with fiber, and some people use this gel to aid in weight loss. The gel can be made and stored in the refridgerator for, I think, up to a week. I like to make a little chia gel each morning and add to my smoothie."
[YEA] 03/20/2009: Dianna from Austin, Tx: "i have been taking 2 tablespoons of chia seeds daily in my smoothies. so far i have noticed that it definitely keeps me fuller longer. it is too soon to say but i also think it is helping keep my blood sugar stable. and i love how they taste in smoothies and juices."
[YEA] 02/22/2009: Rob from Manhattan, New York: "I noted it's effects mostly when I first added it to my diet. (increased energy) It is a regular addition to my morning cereal, sometimes adding both ground flax and Chia. One noticeable quality is how I can go the day without feeling hungry."
[YEA] 01/26/2009: Jerry from Boiling Springs, SC: "I have been taking 2tbs of Chia daily for close to two years and would not go a day without it. Be careful where you buy it from, for the price per pound ranges from $6 to about $37 and a pound will last approx one month. The $6 per pound is the one you want to buy, that way you don't have to pay a companies advertising cost! The seeds come in two different colors; black and white. There are some that claim there is a huge difference, but they are almost identical. I frequent this site often and have been amazed that chia has not been raved about."Replies
01/27/2009: Angie from Oldfield, Missouri replies: "Hello, I also starting using chia seeds this week. could you tell me how it has helped you? thanks"
[YEA] 01/14/2009: Carolyn from Central, VA: "Chia seed is the great regulator of all time! It helped with my constipation, as well as my friend's chronic diarrhea."Replies
06/09/2010: Trudy from Port Charlotte, Fl replies: "I've been taking chia seeds on and off for 2 years, and I love it. Sometimes I make a gel or I grind them. How much seeds for constipation daily? Gel or ground?"
01/03/2013: Genevap from Lancaster, Ca replies: "Chia seeds do not have to be crushed. They open whenever they come in contact with moisture. You can add them to anything. I put 1-2 tablespoons in half cup of kefir most of the time. Stir and let sit for few minutes or put back in frig and eat later. Suppresses your appetite, adds omega 3s to your diet and lots of fiber as well. Love them. I also make a pudding with them, add them to soup, many ways to eat them."
12/19/2008: Lupe from Texas, USA: "I have been reading up on the Chia seeds. I have not seen any posts on this website about this seed. It sounds like a very good energizer plus other health benefits. Has anyone used it and had positive results?"
EC: Thank you for the suggestion - these seeds sound interesting!
01/06/2009: Tina from River John, Nova Scotia replies: "i was told that salba and ground salba sold in health stores is chia seeds. they are omega 3 rich as well as fibre and protein and their gluten free, check it out!
02/07/2009: Robert from Toronto, Ontarie-aire-aireo replies: "yes, Salba is just Chia seeds...in my opinion just sales hype and over priced...you should be able to pick up quality Chia for around $16 per pound. It has been a great addition to my morning cereal etc. and seems to sustain me through the day. It's effects were most notable when I first tried it...and diminished since. (a natural law) Unlike flax the omegas are available even without grinding..."
12/11/2010: Lilyelectrolux from Twentynine Palms, Ca, Usa replies: "I have been eating chia seed ever since I heard about it. My favorite breakfast is to put 2 or 3 tablespoons in yogurt flavored with vanilla, anise, cinnamon, with a handful of blueberries and pomegranate seeds."
[YEA] 07/04/2010: Johnny Silverseed from Az: "My Naturopath friend suggested to a partner that he take chia as prep for knee-replacement surgery.
He found the nurse aghast at his omega-3 levels being off the chart prior to surgery. His Dr's were amazed at his rate of healing...at least twice as fast as considered 'normal'
I believe he ingested 3 tbsp daily for a couple weeks ahead of the surgery; an extreme amount to be sure."
05/26/2012: Mary from Guildford, Victoria, Australia replies: "Is it more beneficial to wait till the chia seeds have geled before drinking them or it doesn't matter? Thank you"
09/12/2012: Summer Thyme from Durban, South Africa replies: "I will agree with you in the healing properties of this tiny seed. My husband is battling with brain cancer and he started using chia seed in his diet and we have found a drop in his high blood pressure, general health and energy levels. He eats about 2tsp of it on salads and in his morning meal."
07/17/2013: Nbs from Texas: "So, my bum has really been hurting. I sit at a desk all day and it just goes numb. What can I do? All I can do is cry, because nothing seems to work. I heard if you put chia seeds in your underwear it helps? Has anyone else heard this?
Thanks, My Bum Hurts."Replies
07/18/2013: Alice from San Juan, Tx replies: "I have never heard of putting chia seeds in your underwear. Have no logical reason why this would benefit you. Now, if you eat the chia seeds you get all sorts of health benefits. Maybe the fiber assisting your bm's is how it eases your bum?"
08/27/2013: Geranium from Co replies: "Hi, I read Move a Little, Lose a Lot where he talks about putting his desk over a treadmill. That might be too much for your office setting, but what about asking if your desk could be one at which you stand? I have also heard good results from sitting on those exercise balls."
[YEA] 07/07/2013: Katherine from Grand Junction, Co: "I LOVE Chia! I have learned a couple of things about chia over the past two weeks from personal use. I have gentle, but persistant energy through out the day even to the point that if I drink chia past two or three in the afternoon I cannot get to sleep on time. The other benefit is that when I do sleep - I sleep very well, deep, solid sleep! Chia is a fun, playful experience to drink in my iced tea or water. People at work ask about it and of course I gladly share the benefits. Go Chia!"Replies
07/08/2013: Trudyg replies: "Can you tell me specifically how chia helps with insomnia? I've done research but don't see anything much. Thanks."