Chia seeds are a type of superfood that are small in size but big on nutrition. These seeds have a nutty flavor and can be added to a variety of foods such as yogurt, smoothies, and cereals to add crunch and fiber. However, recent food research suggests that grinding chia seeds can provide even more health benefits, particularly for the gut. According to the research, the body can better absorb the key nutrients in chia seeds when they are ground, which in turn can promote healthy gut cell growth.

Chia seeds are rich in mucilage, a type of soluble fiber that gives them their gel-like texture when moistened. This type of fiber is associated with numerous health benefits, including aiding in the growth of healthy gut bacteria, controlling blood sugar levels, and lowering cholesterol. However, mucilage is located on the outer layer of the seeds and is not activated until the seeds are wet or broken up. As a result, researchers at the University of Adelaide’s School of Agriculture, Food, and Wine wanted to investigate how the form in which chia seeds are consumed affects their bioavailability.

You’ve Been Eating Chia Seeds Wrong — Study Says Grinding Them Maximizes Their Gut Health Benefits

The researchers conducted a study in which they exposed gut microbes from pigs to different forms of chia seeds, including whole seeds and seeds that had been ground into a meal. The samples were then subjected to a 70-hour incubation process that mimicked the digestion process. The researchers found that crushed chia seeds fermented better in the gut than whole seeds, producing more beneficial metabolites that could be used to renew gut cells. As a result, the researchers concluded that the benefits of eating chia seeds could be enhanced if they are ground, as this would improve access to key nutrients such as dietary fiber.

Ground chia seeds are readily available in stores and online, and you can also make your own by pulsing whole seeds in a blender or food processor. Ground chia seeds can be added to a variety of foods such as yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, and pudding, and can even be used to liven up your favorite cereal. Incorporating ground chia seeds into your diet can provide a flavor and health punch with every bite, as they are packed with nutrients that are good for the body.

In summary, chia seeds are a nutrient-dense superfood that can be consumed in a variety of forms. However, recent research suggests that grinding chia seeds can enhance their health benefits, particularly for gut health. Ground chia seeds are readily available and can be added to a variety of foods to provide both flavor and health benefits. As always, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before pursuing any treatment plan.