Chia Seeds: 7 Health Benefits, Nutritional Value Facts, Side Effects

Chia seeds have become increasingly popular in recent years as a superfood, and for good reason. Not only are they incredibly nutritious, but they have a variety of health benefits that make them a great addition to any diet. In this post, we’ll explore why chia seeds are so great, their nutrition profile, and how to best incorporate them into your diet. We’ll also discuss some of the potential health benefits they offer, and how they can help you reach your health and wellness goals. Read on to learn more about this amazing superfood!

What are Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds are small black and white seeds that come from the Salvia Hispanica plant, which is native to Mexico and Guatemala. They are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, and protein. Chia seeds can be eaten raw, cooked, or ground into a flour. They can also be used to thicken sauces and soups, and can be added to smoothies and baked goods. Chia seeds have been used in spiritual and religious practices for centuries. They have been found in ancient Mayan tombs and have been mentioned in various religious texts. Chia seeds are believed to have healing properties and are often used for energy, luck and protection. They are also believed to aid in concentration and meditation.

Origin and History

Believed to have originated in Mexico, chia was first used by the Aztecs and Mayans as a food source around 3500 BC. It held great significance in Aztec culture, regarded as a sacred food and used in religious ceremonies. The word “chia” comes from the Nahuatl language spoken by the Aztecs, meaning “oily,” reflecting the seeds’ high oil content. They used chia not only as a food but also as an energy source, believed to enhance stamina and endurance. Chia became a staple crop in pre-Columbian Central America, and later, it was grown in Argentina and Bolivia. In the late 16th century, Spanish colonizers brought chia to Europe, where it wasn’t widely accepted initially. However, by the mid-17th century, chia had made its way back to North America and was grown in California, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Chia Seeds in India

Chia seeds are becoming increasingly popular in India. They are widely available in India in health stores, online stores and supermarkets. You can be add them to smoothies, salads and other dishes for a nutritious boost. India is the world’s leading producer of chia seeds, followed by Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico, and Guatemala.

What Is Chia Seed Called In Different Indian Languages?

As chia seeds are not local in many countries specially India, there is no specific name for it. But people may claim that it is same as sabja (Sweet Basil Seeds). Though there is difference between chia seed and sabja, but as they both comes under mint family, they have same health effects with minor difference. So here are some Indian names for basil seeds:

  • Scientific Binomial: Salvia hispanica 
  • Common English: Chia sage
  • Tamil: Shia Vitaikul
  • Common English: Sweet Basil Seeds
  • Ayurvedic: Sabja 
  • Unani: Faranjmishk / Raihan 
  • Hindi: Sabza
  • Urdu: Tukh Malanga / Tukhm e sharbat / Tukhm e Melanga
  • Sanskrit: Arjaka
  • Bengali: Khubkalam / Tokma
  • Marathi: Sabja
  • Telugu: Sabja ginjalu / Saidaku ginjalu
  • Tamil: Tiruneetruppachhilai / Sabja Vithai
  • Gujarati
  • Kannada: Kama Kasturi
  • Malayalam: Kattu tulasi
  • Oriya
  • Punjabi / Sindhi
  • Assamese
  • Kashmiri
  • Konkani
  • Manipuri
  • Dogri
  • Bhojpuri
  • Nepali: Chia Ko Biu
Sabja vs Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, antioxidants, dietary fiber, and calcium. Sabja seeds are slightly sweeter and are a good source of dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. Both seeds can help to regulate blood sugar levels, reduce cholesterol, and aid in digestion. While chia seeds may not be locally grown in certain countries, especially India, some believe they are synonymous with sabja (Sweet Basil Seeds). Although there are variations, both belong to the mint family and offer similar health effects with slight disparities.

Flaxseeds vs Chia Seeds

Chia seeds and flaxseeds are both nutritional powerhouses, packed with fiber, protein, and healthy fats. The main difference between in both the seeds is that chia seeds have a mild, nutty flavor, while flaxseeds have a more pronounced, earthy flavor. Chia seeds are also much smaller than flaxseeds and have a softer texture when soaked. Chias are high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, while flaxseeds are higher in omega-3 fatty acids. Both seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber, with chia seeds providing 10g of fiber per 28g serving, while flaxseeds provide 8g of fiber per 28g serving. When it comes to digestion, chia seeds are easier to digest than flaxseeds because they don’t need to be ground in order to be broken down and absorbed.

Sesame Seeds vs Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids and are a good source of protein, calcium, and magnesium. They also contain antioxidants that can help protect against certain diseases. Sesame seeds are rich in calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron. They are also a great source of antioxidants, which can help reduce the risk of certain cancers. They are also high in healthy fats and can help lower cholesterol. Both chia and sesame seeds are versatile and you can be add them to salads, smoothies, cereals, or baked goods. While both are nutritious, chia seeds are higher in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, while sesame seeds have more calcium and iron.

Black Seeds (Kalonji) vs Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are small, oval-shaped seeds that come in both white and black varieties. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, antioxidants, and protein. Chia seeds are also a good source of minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Black seeds, also known as black cumin or nigella sativa, are tiny, dark-brown seeds. They are a good source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. Black seeds are high in thymoquinone, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. In terms of nutrition, chia seeds and black seeds are fairly similar. Both are good sources of plant-based protein and a variety of vitamins and minerals. They are both high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. The main difference between the two is that chia seeds are slightly higher in calories than black seeds.

Chia Seeds Nutrition Facts and Calories Chart

An excellent source of nutrition, containing a range of essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, protein, dietary fiber, and calcium. They are also a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, and zinc, as well as antioxidants. Low in calories and fat, and they are gluten-free. Additionally, they are a great source of energy, helping to keep you feeling full for longer. Eating chia seeds can help support weight loss, improve digestive health, and boost heart health. Nutritional value per 100 g chia seeds:

  • Biotin: 0.6 μg
  • Calcium: 631 mg
  • Carbohydrates (Carbs): 42.12 g
  • Chloride: 33 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Choline: 64.8 mg
  • Chromium: 11.1 μg
  • Copper: 1.06 mg
  • Dietary Fiber: 34.4 g
  • Energy (Calories): 486 kcal
  • Fat: 30.74 g
  • Iodine: 53.4 μg
  • Iron: 7.72 mg
  • Magnesium: 335 mg
  • Manganese: 2.72 mg
  • Molybdenum: 55.5 μg
  • Pantothenic Acid: 0.6 mg
  • Phosphorus: 860 mg
  • Potassium: 407 mg
  • Protein: 16.54 g
  • Saturated fat: 3.28 g
  • Selenium: 55.5 μg
  • Sodium: 13 mg
  • Sugars: 0.01 g
  • Vitamin A: 0 IU
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 0.64 mg
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 0.21 mg
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 1.3 mg
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 0.6 mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.33 mg
  • Vitamin B9 (Folate / Folic Acid): 177 μg
  • Vitamin B12: 0 μg
  • Vitamin C: 0 mg
  • Vitamin D: 0 IU
  • Vitamin E: 0.58 mg
  • Vitamin K: 0.3 μg
  • Water: 6.1 g
  • Zinc: 3.4 mg

Health Benefits

They are an incredibly nutrient-dense food, packed with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Eating chia seeds may offer a variety of health benefits, including improved digestion, better heart health, and blood sugar control. They are also rich in fiber, which can help you feel full and reduce your appetite. Additionally, they are a great source of plant-based protein, which can help build muscle. Finally, chia seeds are a low-calorie, nutrient-dense food that can help you reach your health and weight loss goals.

1. Digestion and Constipation

Theses seeds can help promote healthy digestion and relieve constipation due to their high fiber content. The soluble fiber in chia seeds absorbs water and forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract, which can soften the stool and support regular bowel movements. It’s essential to consume chia seeds with an adequate amount of water to prevent any potential digestive discomfort.

2. Men’s Health

Chia seeds can be beneficial for the prostate and urinary tract health. They are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which may help reduce inflammation and improve prostate health. They are also high in antioxidants, which can help reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases. Additionally, they contain essential vitamins and minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, which can help improve overall health.

3. Skin Care

Chia seeds are a great source of essential fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They are topically useful as a mask or scrub to nourish and moisturize the skin. Chia seeds contain anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce skin redness and irritation. They can also help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of aging. Chia seeds can also help remove dead skin cells and promote the growth of new skin cells, leaving skin looking brighter and healthier.

4. Thyroid Health

They have not been studied specifically for their effects on thyroid health, but they may be beneficial due to their high content of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants. Omega-3 fatty acids help regulate hormones, including those related to the thyroid. Fiber is an important component of a healthy diet and may help to improve digestion, which can be beneficial for thyroid health. Antioxidants help to protect the cells from damage and may also help to reduce inflammation, which has been linked to thyroid issues. Additionally, they are a good source of calcium, which is important for proper thyroid functioning. All of these components may be beneficial for thyroid health.

5. Weight Loss

Chia seeds are a great addition to any weight loss plan as they are high in healthy fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. The fiber present in it can help you feel fuller longer, which can help reduce your overall calorie intake. They also contain a good amount of protein to help build muscle mass and omega-3 fatty acids to help reduce inflammation. In addition, they are low in calories and high in nutrients, making them a great addition to any weight loss diet.

6. Reduce Belly Fat

Chia seeds alone cannot specifically target belly fat reduction. However, incorporating it into a balanced diet and active lifestyle can contribute to overall weight management. The high fiber and protein content of chia seeds can help increase satiety and promote a feeling of fullness, which may indirectly support weight loss efforts, including reducing belly fat.

7. Lower Cholesterol Levels

Chia seeds are a rich source of dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce cholesterol levels. Studies have shown that chia seeds can reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, all of which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. They may also help improve HDL (good) cholesterol levels. They contain soluble fiber, which can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels when consumed as part of a heart-healthy diet. The soluble fiber binds to cholesterol in the digestive system and helps remove it from the body.

Home Remedies

  • Treat anorexia, bulimia, and depression.
  • Alleviate constipation and ulcers.
  • Association with Kidney Health: According to Asian medicine, black-colored foods are rich in minerals that affect the kidneys, which are associated with fear.
  • Soothing Practice for Trauma: Soak overnight and consume them as a raw breakfast cereal in the morning to ease trauma.
  • Eczema and Psoriasis Relief: Soak to create a moistening raw porridge that lubricates the skin from the inside.
  • Alleviate Arthritis and Back Pain: They contain quality lubricating oils that assist in fighting arthritis and lower back pain.
  • Essential Fatty Acids and Milk Supply: They are a good source of essential fatty acids and can increase milk supply. Support healthy milk production (lactation).
  • Omega-3 and Alpha-Linoleic Acid (ALA) Source: Soak chia seeds overnight and consume them to benefit from omega-3 and ALA intake.
  • Improve Vein Health: Incorporating it as a fiber supplement can enhance vein health, particularly in the case of varicose veins.

Cultivation – How To Grow Chia Seed Plant?

  • Climate: Chia plants thrive in temperate to subtropical climates. They are common in regions with warm summers and mild winters. Chia plants are sensitive to frost, so it’s important to ensure that temperatures do not drop below freezing during the growing season.
  • Soil: Chia plants prefer well-drained soil with good fertility. Sandy or loamy soils are suitable for chia cultivation. The soil pH should range from 6.0 to 8.0.
  • Planting: Sow directly into the ground or start indoors and transplant later. The optimal time for planting chia seeds varies depending on the specific growing region and local climate. Good time for sowing is spring when the soil temperature reaches around 60°F (15°C). Keep space approximately 12 to 18 inches apart to allow for proper growth and airflow. Adequate spacing helps prevent overcrowding and reduces the risk of diseases.
  • Watering: Chia plants have moderate water requirements. They prefer well-drained soil but need consistent moisture during germination and early growth stages. Avoid overwatering prevent waterlogged conditions, as chia plants are susceptible to root rot.
  • Fertilization: Chia plants have relatively low nutrient requirements. Before planting, amend the soil with organic matter or a balanced fertilizer to provide essential nutrients. Additional fertilization may be necessary during the growing season based on soil nutrient levels and plant growth.
  • Weed Control: Weed management is crucial for successful chia cultivation. Regular weeding or mulching around the plants can help suppress weed growth and reduce competition for nutrients and water.
  • Harvesting: Chia plants typically reach maturity in around 90 to 120 days, depending on the variety and growing conditions. The seeds are ready for harvest when the flowers dry out and turn brown. To harvest, cut the entire plant and hang upside down in a well-ventilated area. Once dry, gently thresh and collect seeds.

Seed Storage

Store in a cool, dry place in airtight containers to maintain their quality and prevent spoilage. Properly stored chia seeds can remain viable for several years. Chia seeds have a relatively long shelf life if stored properly. Store them away from direct sunlight.

Chia Seeds Healthy Recipes

  • Yogurt Parfait: Layer your favorite yogurt, chia seeds, and fresh fruit for a quick and easy breakfast or snack.
  • Chia Seed Milk: Combine 1/4 cup of chia seeds with 4 cups of water. Let it sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain through a cheesecloth. Enjoy as is or sweeten with honey or your favorite sweetener.
  • Porridge: Combine 1/2 cup of oats with 1/4 cup of chia seeds, 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt. Cook over low heat until the oats are cooked and the mixture is thick. Enjoy with your favorite toppings. 
  • Overnight Oats: Combine 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning, top with fresh fruit, nuts, and/or honey.
  • Pudding: Combine 1/2 cup chia seeds, 2 cups almond milk, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning, top with fresh fruit, nuts, and/or honey. OR Combine 1/4 cup of chia seeds with 1 cup of your favorite fruit juice. Let it sit for 15 minutes or until thickened. Top with fresh or dried fruit and enjoy. 
  • Smoothie: Combine 1/2 cup frozen berries, 1 banana, 1/4 cup almond milk, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  • Energy Balls: In a food processor, combine 1/2 cup oats, 1/4 cup peanut butter, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons chia seeds, and a pinch of salt. Pulse until ingredients are combined. Form into balls and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Side Effects, Disadvantages and Precautions

  • Allergic Reactions: Can cause allergic reactions in some people, especially those with existing allergies to sesame or mustard seeds.
  • Digestive Issues: They are high in fiber, which can cause digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and cramping.
  • Interactions with Medications: Can interact with some medications, including blood thinners and diabetes medications.
  • Low Blood Sugar: Can cause a decrease in blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Weight Gain: High in calories and can lead to weight gain if consumed in large amounts.


How much chia seeds should I consume daily?

The recommended daily intake varies depending on factors such as age, sex, overall diet, and individual health goals. As a general guideline, 1-2 tablespoons (around 15-30 grams) of chia seeds per day can be a reasonable amount for most individuals. It’s advisable to start with a smaller portion and gradually increase it while monitoring how your body responds.

Q. Is chia seeds good for periods?

They contain essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and calcium, which are beneficial for overall health, including menstrual health. However, there is limited scientific evidence to suggest that chia seeds directly impact periods or menstrual symptoms. It’s always best to focus on maintaining a balanced diet and addressing any specific menstrual concerns with a healthcare professional.

Q. What are the benefits of chia seeds for the uterus?

They are not specifically have direct benefits for the uterus. However, their nutrient profile, including omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and antioxidants, can support overall health and well-being, which indirectly contributes to maintaining a healthy reproductive system. As always, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice regarding any specific concerns related to the uterus.

Q. Do chia seeds affect hormones?

They do not have a direct impact on hormones. However, their nutritional content, especially omega-3 fatty acids, can support overall hormonal balance and contribute to overall health and well-being. If you have specific concerns about hormonal health, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

Q. Can we eat chia seeds and flax seeds together?

Yes, we can be eat it together. Both seeds offer similar nutritional benefits, including being rich in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Combining them can provide a diverse range of nutrients and flavors. You can sprinkle a mixture of chia seeds and flax seeds on your dishes, add them to smoothies, or incorporate them into baked goods. Just remember to consume them in moderation and adjust your fluid intake accordingly, as they both absorb liquid.

Q. What do chia seeds do for men’s hair?

Chia seeds are rich in essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and antioxidants, which can promote overall hair health. These nutrients help nourish the hair follicles, support scalp health, and contribute to shiny and healthy-looking hair. However, it’s important to note that individual results may vary, and chia seeds alone may not address all hair-related concerns.

Q. Can chia seeds replace other sources of omega-3 fatty acids?

While they are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, they primarily provide alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is a plant-based form of omega-3. It’s important to note that the conversion of ALA to the more active forms of omega-3, such as EPA and DHA, is limited in the human body. Therefore, it’s still beneficial to include other sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish or algae-based supplements, to ensure an adequate intake of EPA and DHA.

Q. How To Eat Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds can be consumed in a variety of ways. They can be soaked in water or juice for a few hours to make a chia gel, which can be used in smoothies or as a pudding. Chia seeds can also be added to oatmeal, yogurt, salads, or baked goods. They can also be ground into a flour and used in baking. Additionally, they can be eaten dry as a snack. Chia seeds should be soaked for at least 20 minutes before consuming. However, if you are making a pudding, you can soak them overnight. Roasted seeds can be ground into flour, used whole in baked goods, or added to salads and shakes.

Q. What is the best way of eating chia seeds?

One popular method is to soak them in water or other liquids for about 15-30 minutes until they form a gel-like consistency. This gel is useful in recipes or added to smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal, or other dishes. Sprinkle on top of salads, added to baked goods, or used as an egg substitute in vegan recipes. Experiment with different ways of incorporating chia seeds into your meals to find what suits your taste and preferences.

Q. Are chia seeds safe for children?

They are generally safe for children when consumed in moderation and as part of a varied diet. Introduce gradually and monitor for any adverse reactions. It’s also important to consider the child’s age, chewing ability, and individual dietary needs. Consult with a pediatrician or registered dietitian for specific recommendations based on your child’s age and health status.

Q. Are chia seeds suitable for individuals with diabetes?

They can be a suitable addition to a diabetic diet due to their low glycemic index and high fiber content. The soluble fiber in it can slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, helping to stabilize blood sugar levels. However, it’s important to monitor blood sugar levels, portion sizes, and overall carbohydrate intake as part of a comprehensive diabetes management plan.

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