Chia seeds is one big health fad that hasn’t slowed down since it first appeared in modern health food markets in 2005. In fact, the demand for these nutrition-packed tiny seeds just keeps on growing every day. Is it because the benefits of chia seeds are proving it to be a genuine superfood? Studies have found that chia seeds nutrition profile include not just one or two benefits, but an army of nutrients good for you.

With just three to five tablespoons of dry chia seeds each day, you get:

High levels of plant-sourced Omega-3: Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA). ALA is found mostly in seeds, vegetable oils, and leafy green vegetables and provides a host of benefits. Although it has been reported that plant-based Omega-3 (ALA) may not provide the same benefits as fish-sourced Omega-3, it is still an essential fatty acid. It is called “essential” because it is needed for normal human growth and development. Its benefits are crucial to heart health, blood vessel health, and provide antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that our bodies need from infancy to our aging years.

Multiply antioxidant activity in your body. Powerful antioxidants from chia seeds work against free radicals that damage millions of our cells by the minute.

Provide your food with all-natural, nutritious dietary fiber (some fiber have minimal nutrition, are synthetic, and can interfere with mineral absorption in the gut). A natural, high quality fibre can support weight maintenance goals, and could reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, and diabetes.

Obtain a plant-based complete protein with an amino-acid score of 115%. Most plant proteins do not have a complete protein profile. So if you were eating mostly vegetables, you would have to practice the right food combinations to increase your amino acid intake. Chia seeds take away the guesswork out of food combination. Simply add a few teaspoons of chia seeds to every meal and snack.

Provide your diet with a thermogenic aid which boosts your metabolic rate and burns fat. A thermogenic aid causes your body to produce more than the normal amount of energy, and so burns more calories and supports weight loss.

Provide your diet with favorable Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio (3:1). Currently, most foods found in supermarkets today have ratios of 1:15-30 which increases the risk of inflammation.

Have a good amount of an anti-inflammatory food in your daily diet. In today’s modern age, most chronic illness can be blamed on chronic low-level inflammation in our bodies. Chia seeds have anti-inflammatory properties which may guard against cancer-producing radicals, regulates immune system and hormones, stabilises blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure.

Chia seeds are high in essential minerals calcium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, potassium, boron, chromium — and vitamins A, B and E

To add to its benefits is the fact that chia seeds have no salt, cholesterol, gluten, or sugar.

Big Food companies, who before ignored this humble seed, are beginning to realize just how easily they can add these benefits of chia seeds to dozens of food products. But beware of the processing that comes with these commercially prepared foods. Heat destroys most nutrients, and additives turn these supermarket foods into substandard food, no matter how attractive and convenient they may seem.

The way to get the most benefit out of chia seeds nutrition, is still to eat it in its raw form. If you want to eat it cooked with food, add the seeds in the last stages of cooking. Of course, you can also bake with it. While the heat may destroy much of the omega 3, you still get the goodness from all the other nutrients.