Are You Selling Whole Chia or Milled Chia? There is a Big Difference!
Chia seeds are recognized as one of the best superfoods for gaining dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids in the diet. One of the main benefits of chia seeds is they are great for heart health. Many often wonder if it is best to eat the seeds whole or use them ground.
Chia Seeds: Whole, or Ground?
Several studies have been conducted examining how chia seeds affect the body. These studies look at whether it is best to use the chia seeds whole, or ground.
One specific study is published in the Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine. This research project included over fifty women between the ages of forty-nine and seventy-five (49-75). Each day the women received three tablespoons of whole or ground chia seeds, or a poppy seed placebo every day for ten weeks.
The females in each of the three groups followed their usual dietary routine during the ten-week course. Their activity levels remained the same during this time. Additional instructions included avoiding any flax seed products and fish oil. Fish intake was limited to only one serving per week.
The women who received the ground chia seeds held higher levels of alpha-linolenic acids (ALA) and eicosapentaenoic acids (EPA). ALA is converted within the body into EPA, which is known to reduce mortality rates for all causes.
Those consuming the whole chia seeds and those taking the placebo did not have an increase in the healthy fatty acids (ALA, EPA). Previous research conducted by the investigation team included another study in which individuals consumed six tablespoons of chia seeds (soaked in water) each day for twelve weeks. The study results also showed lowered levels of ALA in the participants.
Ground Chia Seeds is Better for Health
These studies are a few which suggest adding ground chia seeds to the diet on a regular basis are better for health. Perhaps, the bioavailability of the nutrients is more readily obtainable with the ground seeds. Additional studies of flax seeds have shown similar results – ground flaxseed is better versus whole. In this case, ground chia seeds (and flaxseeds) is better than whole.