6 proven health benefits of chia seeds

There are many benefits to adding seeds and nuts to your diet, but chia seeds may lead the pack. In fact, they are among the healthiest foods on the planet.

These tiny seeds are packed with fiber, protein, omega-3 fats and numerous vitamins and minerals to help boost your body and brain.

Here are the top six health benefits of including chia seeds in your diet:

Younger looking skin — Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants that protect the sensitive fats in the seeds from going rancid. These antioxidants fight the production of free radicals, which can damage cell molecules and contribute to aging.

Blood sugar levels — Chia seeds improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control, stabilizing blood sugar levels after meals.

Stronger bones — Chia seeds are high in several nutrients that are important for bone health. By adding just an ounce of chia seeds to your foods, you consume 18 percent of the recommended daily amount of calcium, which helps build strong bones. Gram for gram, chia is higher in calcium than most dairy products.

Energy — Compared to sports or energy drinks, chia seeds provide more energy without the added sugar. While these seeds are helping to slow down sugar absorption and keep blood sugar levels stabilized, they also slow the conversion of carbohydrates to energy. This, along with chia’s high protein content allow for a steady energy boost.

Digestion and weight loss — Chia seeds are loaded with fiber, helping promote healthy digestion and elimination. Additionally, once chia seeds have been consumed, this high fiber content allows them to absorb up to 10 times their weight in water and expand in the stomach — making you feel fuller and more satiated longer and faster.

Heart health — Given their high omega-3 content and more, chia seeds have been known to aid in lowering cholesterol levels, reducing inflammation and improving blood pressure, all of which are crucial to cardio health.