Chia seeds are small black seeds of Chia plant (Salvia Hispanica).

A native of Mexico and Guatemala, they were a staple of the ancient Aztecs and Mayans. In fact, “Chia” is the “strength” of the ancient Maya word (1).

Chia seeds contain high levels of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, many high-quality proteins and many essential minerals and antibacterial properties.

They can improve digestive health, heart-healthy omega-3 blood levels and your risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Chia seeds are small, flat and oval in shape with a shiny and smooth texture. Their colors range from white to brown or black (2).

These seeds are very versatile. They can be drunk and added to porridge, made into flour, used in baked goods or simply sprinkled on salads or yogurt.

Because of their ability to absorb fluids and create gels, they can also be used for fattening soups or as an egg substitute (3, 4).

This article provides everything you need to know about chia seeds.

Chili seeds contain 138 calories per quintal (28 grams).

By weight, they are 6% water, 46% carbohydrate (83% of which is fiber), 34% fat and 19% protein.

Ingredients in 3.5 ounces (100 g) of chia seeds (5):

  • Calories: 486
  • Water 6%
  • Protein: 16.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates 42.1 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Fiber 34.4 grams
  • Fat 30.7 grams
    • Satisfaction – 3.33 grams
    • Monoxide: 2.31 grams
    • Multifaceted; 23.67 grams
    • Omega-3 17.83 grams
    • Omega-6 5.84 grams
    • Trans 0.14 g

Chia seeds, in particular, are gluten-free.

Carbohydrates and fiber

The carbohydrate content of chia seeds is more than 80% in the form of fiber.

One ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds boils 11 grams of fiber, which is a significant component of the daily intake (RDI) for women and men – 25 and 38 grams per day,6).

The fiber in chia seeds is mainly a soluble fiber and glue, a substance responsible for the adhesion of moist chia seeds (7).

The formation of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and the improvement of intestinal health (chia fiber) can increase your intestinal capacity.6, 8).

Fat

One of the unique properties of chia seeds is its high content of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

About 75% of fatty acids in chia seeds are omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and 20% are omega-6 fatty acids (9, 10, 11).

In fact, chia seeds are the most well-known plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids: from flaxseed (12, 13).

Some scientists believe that high levels of omega-3s reduce inflammation in your body compared to omega-6s (14).

Because they are a major source of omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds promote low omega-6 to omega-3 ratios.

Low rates are associated with a lower risk of various chronic conditions – such as heart disease, cancer and inflammatory bowel disease – and an increased risk of premature death (15, 16).

However, gram for gram, omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds are not as potent as those found in fish or fish oil (EPA and DHA).

The ALA in China requires your body to convert to active forms (EPA and DH) before use, and this process is often ineffective (17, 18, 19, 20, 21).

Protein

Chia seeds contain 19% protein – but the same amount as other grains and grains (1, 10, 22, 23).

High protein intake is associated with increased appetite and reduced appetite after meals (24, 25).

In particular, these seeds provide all nine essential amino acids and are therefore high quality plant-based protein. However, they are not recommended as the only source of protein for children (26, 27).

Summary

Chili seeds are high in fiber and are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids with many health benefits. They are loaded with high-quality protein.

Chili seeds provide many minerals, but they are a poor source of vitamins.

Most abundant minerals:

  • Manganese. Whole grains and seeds are rich in manganese, which is essential for metabolism, growth and development (28).
  • Phosphorus. Phosphorus, often found in protein-rich foods, contributes to bone health and tissue repair (29).
  • Copper. Minerals, copper, which are often deficient in modern diets, are essential for heart health (30).
  • Selenium. Essential Antioxidants, Selenium is involved in many processes in your body (31).
  • Iron. As part of hemoglobin in red blood cells, iron is involved in transporting oxygen throughout your body. Due to their phytic acid content, chia seeds can be well absorbed.
  • Magnesium. Often in Western malnutrition, magnesium plays a major role in many body processes (32).
  • Calcium. The most abundant mineral calcium in your body is essential for bones, muscles and nerves (33).

Due to the fatty acid content of chia seeds, some minerals, such as iron and zinc, may be reduced.

Summary

Chia seeds are an excellent source of many important minerals, but they are also a weak source of vitamins. They are high in manganese, phosphorus, copper, selenium, iron, magnesium and calcium.

The seeds of Chia (9, 11, 34):

  • Chlorogenic acid. This antioxidant can lower blood pressure (35, 36).
  • Caffeic acid. This nutrient is found in many plant foods and can help fight inflammation in your body (37).
  • Curcumin. This powerful antioxidant can reduce your risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer (38, 39, 40).
  • Camphorrol. This antioxidant is associated with a reduced risk of cancer and other chronic diseases (41, 42).

Pure and dry chia seeds have a longer shelf life because their antioxidants protect their fats from damage (1, 43).

Summary

Chili seeds contain powerful antioxidants that can reduce the risk of serious diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Chia seeds have become popular in recent years because of their high nutritional value and health benefits.

Their main health benefits are listed below.

Increased blood omega-3 levels

Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly important for your body and mind, and chia seeds are an excellent source of omega-3s.

However, the ALA must be converted to active forms, such as EPA, before you can use it.

Studies in humans and animals have shown that chia seeds can increase ALA levels by 138% and EPA by 39% (21, 44, 45, 46, 47).

Improved blood sugar control

Healthy blood sugar levels are important for better health.

Animal studies have shown that chia seeds reduce insulin resistance and improve blood sugar control, which is important for metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.48, 49, 50, 51).

Human studies have shown that bread made from chia seeds has a lower blood sugar response than normal bread (52, 53).

Low blood pressure

High blood pressure is a high risk factor for chronic diseases such as heart disease.

In the past, both chia seeds and chia powder have been found to lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure (54, 55).

Increased fiber volume

Many people do not use enough fiber (56).

High fiber intake is associated with improved bowel health and lower risk of many diseases (57, 58).

One ounce (28 grams) of chia seeds provides 9.75 grams of fiber, which is 25% for men and women and 39% for RDI (respectively).5).

Due to their unique water absorption capacity, chia seeds increase the amount of food in your digestive tract, which increases digestion and reduces appetite.

Summary

Chili seeds have many benefits, including high blood pressure, improved blood sugar control, and high fiber and omega-3 levels.

Chia seeds are generally considered safe to eat, and there are no side effects from eating them (59).

However, to avoid digestive side effects, drink plenty of water while eating – especially if you have not eaten before.

Fatty acid content

Like all seeds, chia seeds contain phytic acid.

Phytophthoric acid is a plant compound that binds to minerals such as iron and zinc and prevents them from being digested.60).

The effect of anemia

Large omega-3 fats, such as fish oils, may have anemia (61).

If you are taking blood thinners, consult your doctor before adding more chia seeds to your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids can affect the activity of your medication (62, 63).

Summary

Chia seeds are generally harmless. However, large amounts of anemia can have side effects, and they contain plant compounds that can reduce mineral absorption.

Chia seeds are rich in fiber, antioxidants, minerals and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

It has been linked to improvements in the risk of heart disease and diabetes, as well as benefits for digestion and stomach health.

Chia seeds are very easy to get into a healthy diet.