You might remember chia seeds from a popular toy; these are the same seeds you smeared on Homer Simpson’s head to grow an afro. You may not realize that chia seeds are more than fun – they are actually good for you. Despite their small size, there are a number of health benefits packed into chia seeds.
4 Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Omega-3 fatty acids
Chia seeds provide omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential nutrients your body cannot make for itself. Omega-3 fatty acids help boost levels of HDL cholesterol, which is the “good” cholesterol that protects you against stroke and heart attack.
High in fiber
One ounce of chia seeds, which is about two tablespoons, provides 10 grams of fiber. Research shows that consuming 14 grams of fiber per every 1,000 calories can protect against coronary artery disease, a type of heart disease. A high-fiber diet also provides a number of other health benefits, including making bowel movements more regular, lowering cholesterol levels, controlling blood sugar, and even aiding in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. The fiber in chia seeds helps you feel satisfied after even a small meal, which helps you lose weight.
Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants, which counteract the damage that free radicals can have on body cells. Free radicals can interact with other molecules and, when they do, the interaction causes a type of damage known as oxidative stress. A growing body of research shows that oxidative stress from free radicals is associated with a number of illnesses, including a type of heart disease known as atherosclerosis, as well as cancer, joint problems, diabetes, and certain types of eye diseases. Free radicals can even cause certain types of lung problems, such as asthma.
The antioxidants in chia seeds fight free radicals and reduce the risk for health issues associated with oxidative stress.
Chia seeds are high in nutrients
A tablespoon of chia seeds provides 18 percent of the calcium you need for strong teeth and bones. It also provides 27 percent of your daily phosphorus needs, 30 percent of the recommended daily allowance of manganese, and smaller amounts of potassium and copper. Chia seeds are low in cholesterol and sodium, so they are a sensible part of a heart-healthy diet.
Perhaps the best thing about chia seeds is that they are easy to eat – just sprinkle chia seeds on your oatmeal, mix them into muffins, or bake them into bread or other recipes. In addition to eating chia seeds to improve your health, contact Virtual Imaging, Inc. today and schedule a scan for cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, and colon cancer.