Chia seeds are tiny black seeds from the plant Salvia hispanica, which is related to the mint. They are incredibly easy to incorporate into your diet. They can be eaten raw, soaked in plant milk to make a pudding, added to porridge, smoothies or added to baked goods. You can also sprinkle them on top of muesli, yogurt, vegetables or rice dishes.
Despite their tiny size, chia seeds are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. They are loaded with fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and various micronutrients.
Because of their high soluble fiber content, chia seeds can absorb up to 10–12 times their weight in water, becoming gel-like and expanding in your stomach². This can help avoid constipation and improve overall digestion. Fiber also feeds the friendly bacteria in your intestine, which is important — keeping your gut flora well fed is absolutely crucial for health.
Chia seeds are high in quality protein, much higher than most plant foods³. Protein is the most weight loss friendly macronutrient and can drastically reduce appetite and cravings.⁴
Chia seeds are very high in the omega-3 fatty acid ALA. However, humans are not good at converting this into DHA, the most important omega-3 fatty acid⁵ so it is important to eat small fatty fish such as sardines and mackerel minimum twice a week to get the optimal amount of omega-3s.
Animal studies have found that chia seeds may improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control, stabilizing blood sugar levels after meals.