Subscribe to the Magazine for free
Subscribe for free to keep reading! If you are already subscribed, enter your email address to log back in.
Thanks for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Are you a healthcare practitioner?
Thanks for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

The Top Reasons to Add Chia Seeds to Your Diet

Medically reviewed by 
 
The Top Reasons to Add Chia Seeds to Your Diet

While not all plant-based proteins are complete proteins, chia seeds are! That means they provide high-quality protein containing all nine essential amino acids the human body can’t make itself. It’s best to meet your body’s daily protein needs from a variety of protein-rich sources, including chia seeds and other plant-based foods.

[signup]

Supports Bone Health

Another chia seed benefit is its effects on the bones. These tiny superfoods optimize bone health because of their rich levels of magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium. These essential minerals contribute to improving bone density and overall bone strength. 

Having strong, dense bones reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis and bone fractures later in life. 

Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

Adding chia seeds to daily meal plans can help regulate blood sugar levels, particularly due to the high fiber content of these nutrient-dense seeds. Therefore, chia seeds help manage diabetes and reduce the risk of insulin resistance

Chia seeds enhance healthy weight management by increasing satiety. Maintaining an ideal weight is an exceptional way to improve blood sugar control, reduce the risk of diabetes, or help you better manage this common chronic disease.

Hydration and Electrolyte Balance

Athletes in particular can reap significant chia seed benefits. When soaked in water, chia seeds form a gel. This gel offers an array of sports nutrition perks, including improved hydration and electrolyte balance, for physically active people. 

Research touts the benefits of using chia seeds as a main ingredient in sports gels for athletes, as these gels are excellent sources of energy during endurance training. 

Versatility in the Kitchen

You can easily incorporate chia seeds into nutritious menus when cooking, baking, or preparing quick meals and snacks. Simply add 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds to a favorite recipe or use chia oil when cooking. This oil is extremely versatile and offers a nutty flavor. 

It’s beneficial to add chia seeds to liquid foods, making it easier for the body to absorb and digest the seeds. Chia seeds absorb surrounding liquids quickly. If you eat them dry, consider ground chia seeds to achieve optimal absorption. 

Make Chia Gel

To make chia gel, place 1/4 cup of seeds in a cup of liquid, such as water, juice, milk, or plant-based milk. Stir, and cover the mixture. After about 15-20 minutes, the texture turns into a soft gelatin. Store chia gel in the refrigerator for up to a week. Add chia gel to your favorite foods and drinks or consume it as a hydrating, electrolyte-balancing sports gel.

Sprout Chia Seeds

You can also sprout chia seeds before eating them or adding them to healthy recipes. Simply place chia seeds in a single layer on a dish and spray the seeds with water a few times daily. Cover them with plastic wrap and place the seeds in a sunny area. After about a week, green sprouts should appear.

Replace Eggs with Chia Gel

You may be surprised to learn that you can replace eggs with chia seeds in recipes! For every whole egg a recipe calls for, combine 1 tablespoon of whole chia seeds (or 2 teaspoons of ground seeds) with 3 tablespoons of water and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes (or until thickened).

Store Chia Seeds Properly 

Chia seeds can last up to 5 years without refrigeration when stored in a dry, cool place. Store chia oil in the refrigerator to maximize its shelf life and shake the oil before using it. 

Easy to Incorporate into Any Diet

Add chia seeds to your favorite meals and snacks to enhance the nutritional content of menus without significantly altering the original food’s texture or taste. This is super easy to do! You can combine chia seeds with:

  • Fruit smoothies
  • Protein shakes
  • Yogurts
  • Salads
  • Salad dressings
  • Marinades
  • Puddings
  • Soups
  • Stews
  • Breads
  • Other baked goods
  • Oatmeals
  • Cereals
  • Pancakes 
  • Protein bars
  • Water
  • Juices
  • Teas
  • Coffee 
  • Omelets 
  • Stir fry
  • Casseroles
  • Roasted vegetables 
  • Dips 
  • Hummus
  • Guacamole
  • Veggie burgers
  • Falafel 
  • Homemade energy gels
  • Jams
  • Coleslaw

Sprinkle chia seeds on just about any food or recipe, whether you’re cooking, baking, or making nutritious snacks and drinks. 

Add chia oil to salads, soups, or smoothies; use it for marinades; or sauté with this nutrient-dense oil.

Studies found that it’s also helpful to apply chia oil to your skin or hair to hydrate and protect it.

[signup]

Key Takeaways

There are limitless reasons to add chia seeds to your meal plan, including easier weight management, improved digestion, reduced chronic disease risks, enhanced cognitive functioning, and stronger bones. 

Chia seeds are extremely versatile, packed with essential nutrients, and may add years to your life expectancy when eaten as part of a well-balanced meal plan combined with regular exercise.

Experiment by incorporating chia seeds (or chia oil) into your daily routine to optimize wellness and reap endless chia seed benefits.

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider before taking any dietary supplement or making any changes to your diet or exercise routine.
Learn More
No items found.

Lab Tests in This Article

No items found.

Achuff, J. (2024, February 12). The impact of midlife dietary protein intake on healthy aging: Insights from the nurses’ health study. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/the-impact-of-midlife-dietary-protein-intake-on-healthy-aging-insights-from-the-nurses-health-study

Barber, T. M., Kabisch, S., Pfeiffer, A. F. H., & Weickert, M. O. (2020). The health benefits of dietary fibre. Nutrients, 12(10), 3209. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12103209

Bertagna, B. (2024, January 8). Can B vitamins supercharge your energy levels? Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/can-b-vitamins-supercharge-your-energy-levels

Bertoni, C., Abodi, M., D’Oria, V., Milani, G. P., Agostoni, C., & Mazzocchi, A. (2023). Alpha-Linolenic acid and cardiovascular events: A narrative review. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 24(18), 14319–14319. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms241814319

Blake, K. (2023, November 14). Integrative strategies for neurodegenerative disease management. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/integrative-strategies-for-neurodegenerative-disease-management

Ciosek, Ż., Kot, K., Kosik-Bogacka, D., Łanocha-Arendarczyk, N., & Rotter, I. (2021). The effects of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, fluoride, and lead on bone tissue. Biomolecules, 11(4), 506. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom11040506

Cloyd, J. (2023, December 14). Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into festive meals. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/incorporating-anti-inflammatory-foods-into-festive-meals

Cloyd, J. (2024, January 8). The science of hydration: How water intake affects overall health. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/the-science-of-hydration-how-water-intake-affects-overall-health

Cloyd, J. (2023, October 18). The top 6 essential health benefits of magnesium that you should know. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/the-top-6-therapeutic-uses-of-magnesium-you-need-to-know

DeCesaris, L. (2022, August 8). Worried about your thyroid health? Ask your doctor for these 3 thyroid labs. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/treating-the-thyroid-naturally

DePorto , T. (2023, January 11). If you have these symptoms, ask your practitioner to test your zinc levels. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/zinc

DePorto, T. (2023, January 6). Omega 3’s: The superfood nutrient you need to know about. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/omega-3s-the-superfood-nutrient-you-need-to-know-about

DePorto, T. (2022, December 9). Worried about heart disease? Ask your provider for these 6 specialty labs at your next appointment. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/worried-about-heart-disease-ask-your-provider-for-these-6-specialty-labs-at-your-next-appointment

Dighriri, I. M., Alsubaie, A. M., Hakami, F. M., Hamithi, D. M., Alshekh, M. M., Khobrani, F. A., Dalak, F. E., Hakami, A. A., Alsueaadi, E. H., Alsaawi, L. S., Alshammari, S. F., Alqahtani, A. S., Alawi, I. A., Aljuaid, A. A., & Tawhari, M. Q. (2022). Effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on brain functions: A systematic review. Cureus, 14(10). https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.30091

Greenan, S. (2021, October 11). 7 early signs of insulin resistance. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/what-is-insulin-resistance

Hadeel Ali Ghazzawi, Mariam Ali Hussain, Khadija Majdy Raziq, Khawla Khaled Alsendi, Reem Osama Alaamer, Jaradat, M., Sondos Alobaidi, Raghad Al Aqili, Haitham Jahrami, & Haitham Jahrami. (2023). 

Exploring the relationship between micronutrients and athletic performance: a comprehensive scientific systematic review of the literature in sports medicine, 11(6), 109–109. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11060109

Harvard School of Public Health. (2019, May 22). Chia seeds. The Nutrition Source. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/chia-seeds/

Kalaichandran, A. (2024, February 13). The link between dietary antioxidants and alzheimer’s disease. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/the-link-between-dietary-antioxidants-and-alzheimers-disease

Khalid, W., Arshad, M. S., Aziz, A., Rahim, M., Qaisrani, T. B., Afzal, F., Ali, A., Ranjha, M. M. A. N., Khalid, M. Z., & Anjum, F. (2022). Chia seeds (Salvia hispanica L.): A therapeutic weapon in metabolic disorders. Food Science & Nutrition, 11(1), 3–16. https://doi.org/10.1002/fsn3.3035

Lestari, Y. N., Farida, E., Amin, N., Afridah, W., Fitriyah, F. K., & Sunanto, S. (2021). Chia seeds (salvia hispanica L.): Can they be used as ingredients in making sports energy gel? Gels, 7(4), 267. https://doi.org/10.3390/gels7040267

Londre, R. (2022, April 28). Chia seeds pack nutritional punch. Mayo Clinic Health System. https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/chia-seeds-pack-nutritional-punch#:~:text=One%20serving%20of%20dried%20chia

Moon, J., & Koh, G. (2020). Clinical evidence and mechanisms of high-protein diet-induced 

weight loss. Journal of Obesity & Metabolic Syndrome, 29(3), 166–173. https://doi.org/10.7570/jomes20028

National Institute of Health. (2017). Office of dietary supplements - omega-3 fatty acids. Nih.gov. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/

Preston, J. (2023, October 3). A functional medicine protocol for seasonal allergies. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/a-functional-medicine-protocol-for-seasonal-allergies

Preston , J. (2024, February 7). Iron 101: RDA, iron-rich foods, and supplementation. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/iron-101-rda-iron-rich-foods-and-supplementation

Sweetnich, J. (2023, March 28). Calcium 101: Testing, top foods, & supplements. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/calcium-101-testing-top-foods-supplements

Sweetnich , J. (2023, March 28). Phosphorus 101: Testing, top foods, & supplements. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/phosphorus-101-testing-top-foods-supplements

Sweetnich, J. (2023a, March 28). Calcium 101: Testing, top foods, & supplements. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/calcium-101-testing-top-foods-supplements

Sweetnich, J. (2023b, April 25). Complementary and integrative medicine approaches to type 2 diabetes management. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/complementary-and-integrative-medicine-approaches-to-type-2-diabetes-management

Sweetnich, J. (2023c, April 27). Vitamin B1 (thiamin) 101: RDA, testing, and supplementing. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/vitamin-b1s-thiamin-role-in-the-body

Sweetnich, J. (2023d, April 28). Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) 101: RDA, testing, and supplementing. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/vitamin-b2-riboflavin-101-rda-testing-and-supplementing

Sweetnich, J. (2023e, May 4). How to make sure your patients are getting enough vitamin B3 (niacin) in their diet: Testing, rdas, and supplementing. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/vitamin-b3-niacin-101-testing-rdas-and-supplementing

Ullah, R., Nadeem, M., Khalique, A., Imran, M., Mehmood, S., Javid, A., & Hussain, J. (2015). Nutritional and therapeutic perspectives of chia (salvia hispanica L.): A review. Journal of Food Science and Technology, 53(4), 1750–1758. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-015-1967-0

Up your nutrition game with chia seeds. (2023, June 20). Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/benefits-of-chia-seeds

USDA. (2020). Dietary guidelines for americans 2020 -2025. In Dietary Guidelines for Americans. USDA. https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/sites/default/files/2021-03/Dietary_Guidelines_for_Americans-2020-2025.pdf

Weinberg , J. (2023, December 26). The power of polyphenols: Functional medicine’s antioxidant superstars. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/the-power-of-polyphenols-functional-medicines-antioxidant-superstars

Weinberg, J. (2022, November 16). 4 science backed health benefits of the mediterranean diet. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/4-science-backed-health-benefits-of-the-mediterranean-diet

Williamson, L. (2023, June 30). Are you getting enough omega-3 fatty acids? Www.heart.org. https://www.heart.org/en/news/2023/07/05/are-you-getting-enough-omega-3-fatty-acids#:~:text=Yet%20survey%20data%20suggests%20U.S.%20adults%20typically%20consume

Yoshimura, H. (2023, November 7). The remarkable power of exercise on our health: a comprehensive overview. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/the-remarkable-power-of-exercise-on-our-health-a-comprehensive-overview

Yoshimura, H. (2023, April 26). Complementary and integrative medicine approaches to oncology in gerontology. Rupa Health. https://www.rupahealth.com/post/complementary-and-integrative-medicine-approaches-to-oncology-in-gerontology

Zujko, M. E., & Witkowska, A. M. (2023). Dietary antioxidants and chronic diseases. Antioxidants, 12(2), 362. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox12020362

Subscribe to the Magazine for free to keep reading!
Subscribe for free to keep reading, If you are already subscribed, enter your email address to log back in.
Thanks for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Are you a healthcare practitioner?
Thanks for subscribing!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
See All Magazine Articles