Potential Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are tiny black or white seeds which are believed to be from Central America. The seeds have been a part of people’s diets for centuries. Aztec and Mayan people used the seeds in their diets, and for medicinal purposes, religious rituals and cosmetics. Today, people all over the world enjoy chia seeds.
They’re Full of Nutrients
Chia seeds have long been recognized as a nutritional powerhouse and contain many nutrients, including antioxidants, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. They may also help with heart health, decrease blood pressure and inflammation, and can be used in many recipes.
A serving of chia seeds packs a punch of nutrition. Two tablespoons’ worth contains:
- 138 calories
- 4.7 grams of protein
- 9.8 grams of fiber
- 5 grams of Alpha-linolenic acid (an essential fatty acid)
Chia seeds are high in antioxidants, including chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid and quercetin. These antioxidants can improve your overall health. For example, chlorogenic acid may help lower blood pressure, while caffeic acid has anti-inflammatory effects.
As chia seeds are high in both fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, eating them may lower your risk of heart disease.
Soluble fiber, the kind primarily found in chia seeds, can lower total cholesterol and LDL (the bad cholesterol) in your blood. Consuming the omega-3 fatty acid (alpha-linolenic acid) has been linked to lowered heart disease risk2.
Also, several studies have found that chia seeds reduced blood pressure in people with hypertension, which helps lower the risk of heart disease.
There are many ways to incorporate chia seeds into your kidney diet. They’re easy to prepare and can be used in smoothies or made into chia pudding. DaVita.com has many kidney-friendly recipes that include chia seeds. Try a few of them here:
 Source: USDA date base
Kulczynski B, Kobus-Cisowska J, Taczanowski M, Kmiecik D, Gramza-Michalowska A. The Chemical Composition value of Chia Seeds-Current State of Knowledge. Nutrients. 2019 Jun; 11(6): 1242.
Additional Kidney Diet Resources
Visit DaVita.com and explore these diet and nutrition resources:
This article is for informational purposes only and
is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and
dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health