Chia seeds provide the body with omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, protein and calcium. These nutrients reduce inflammation, neutralize free radicals that cause cell damage, improve digestion, repair tissues and help build healthy bones.
A 2-tablespoon serving of chia seeds contains 5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s reduce inflammation and improve cardiovascular health. This reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Reduced inflammation also correlates with fewer swollen joints and less morning stiffness for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
One serving of chia seeds provides 7 grams of fiber, which improves digestion and also helps reduce cholesterol levels, and 4 grams of protein, which the body uses to repair and build cells. Adequate protein intake is essential for athletes to maintain proper muscle function and increase muscle size. Chia seeds absorb 10 times their weight in water, and when they are soaked, they form a gel. Chia seed gel provides athletes with important nutrients along with water for hydration.
There are 205 milligrams of calcium in a serving of chia seeds. Calcium is an important component in bones and teeth, and it is used during muscle contractions, blood clotting and hormone secretion. Adequate calcium intake during all stages of life reduces the risk of developing osteoporosis during the later years.