Packed with nutrients, chia, the tiny little seeds from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, are members of the mint family. These tasty little nuggets can be enjoyed in puddings, sprinkled on top of salads, or used in place of eggs in baked goods. There are many great reasons to enjoy chia seeds, and the following are 12 reasons why you may want to eat more of them.
Chia seeds are rich in fiber, with 10 grams of fiber per ounce, which is around two tablespoons of the seeds. According to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, adults should consume around 25-30 grams of dietary fiber each day. Fiber comes in two forms. Insoluble fiber is the fiber found in vegetables and whole grains. This type of fiber adds volume to your stool and keeps food moving through your digestive tract. Meanwhile, soluble fiber is the type of fiber contained in nuts, oats, beans, and seeds. This type of fiber absorbs water, slows digestion, and improves glucose control.
Chia seeds are also a source of protein, with close to 5 grams of protein in a 2-tablespoon serving. The recommended daily value of protein for adults is between 46 and 56 grams. Your body requires the amino acids of protein for building strong and healthy bones, muscles, and tissues. However, it is critical to choose your protein sources wisely. Highly processed meats such as hot dogs and deli meats contain protein. However, they are also high in salt and nitrates, which can increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Chia seeds provide the benefits of protein without the risks that processed meats deliver.