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Are Oats Good for You

I have fond memories of sitting down to the kitchen table with my mom to eat oatmeal when I was little. I was the youngest of three kids, and these morning bowls of oatmeal were something that we shared, just the two of us, after my older brothers had left for school. It wasn’t something we did every day, but I remember it vividly because I liked getting to pour my own milk to make it creamy and I loved mixing in (probably a few too many) spoonfuls of brown sugar to make it taste just right.

Years later, I still enjoy oatmeal as a hearty, filling breakfast from time to time. I now replace the brown sugar with alternative sweeteners (or I skip it all together), and I like to add healthy nuts, berries, or other additions like flax seed to my oatmeal to make my meal more wholesome. But why are oats good for you in the first place?

Why Are Oats Good for You?

Oats are rich in protein, vitamins (like vitamin E), antioxidants, and fiber, making them a good food to start your day off with.[1,2] One of the reasons oats are believed to be so healthy is that they contain an especially important form of fiber, called β-glucan, which has a wide range of health benefits. This kind of fiber is thought to help contribute to lowering cholesterol, controlling blood sugar, and many other positive effects in the body.[3] Oats also have significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities, which helps to keep the body healthy and fight disease.[1]

Health Benefits of Eating More Oats

Whole grains, in general, and oats in particular have been linked to lower rates of disease, such as certain types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.[2,4,5] Some of the specific health benefits of oats include:

1. Lowering cholesterol. There are numerous studies showing that oats have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels.[1,3,6-8] In one review of various studies, oats reduced cholesterol levels by and average 3 percent to 6 percent, correlating to a 6 percent to 18 percent decreased risk for heart disease. The beneficial effect on cholesterol levels seems to be particularly important for people with elevated cholesterol to begin with.[6] β-glucan fiber plays a large role in the cholesterol-lowering effects of oats, and their antioxidant capacity also helps by preventing the oxidation of lipids.[1]

2. Reduce blood pressure. There is also some evidence that oats can help to manage high blood pressure.[6] One review estimates that the intake of β-glucan found in oats can significantly decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, by 2.7 to 4.7 mmHg and 1.5 to 2.7 mmHg, respectively.[9]

3. Aid in healthy digestion. Oat intake can help promote healthy bowel movements and decrease constipation, an effect that may help treat irritable bowel syndrome. Oats also can act as a prebiotic, something that feeds the beneficial bacteria in our gut, which may be beneficial for treatment of irritable bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis.[4]

Steel Cut, Rolled, Instant – What’s the Difference?

Oats can be purchased in many different forms, as they can be prepared and processed in numerous ways.

Whole oat groats are the purest form of oats, which are the entire oat kernel with the inedible hull removed. These take the longest to cook, about one hour.

Steel cut oats are whole oats cut into pieces, which makes them faster to cook (about 20 minutes). They are nuttier in flavor and chewier in texture than rolled or instant oats.

Rolled oats have been steamed and then rolled to produce flakes. They only take a few minutes to cook and produce a creamier finished product. These are the kinds of oats that are used in baked goods and things like granola.

Instant oats are precooked rolled oats that only require the addition of hot water to be immediately prepared. Instant oatmeal is often pre-sweetened and may contain various additives.

Are Oats Safe for a Gluten-Free Diet?

Oats themselves are gluten-free, but they are often contaminated with gluten, either due to shared processing facilities or because they are grown near other corps that contain gluten. Uncontaminated, gluten-free certified oats can be found in most natural health food stores, and are generally well tolerated by those with celiac disease.

Oatmeal is delicious with fresh berries, dried fruit, walnuts, pecans, flax meal, chia seeds, and a variety of other healthy add-ins. What are your favorite oatmeal recipes?


[1] Dietary oats and modulation of atherogenic pathways

[2] Nutritional advantages of oats and opportunities for its processing as value added foods - a review

[3] Oat β-glucan: physico-chemical characteristics in relation to its blood-glucose and cholesterol-lowering properties

[4] Oats and bowel disease: a systematic literature review

[5] The future of oats in the food and health continuum

[6] Oats and CVD risk markers: a systematic literature review

[7] Cholesterol-lowering effects of oat β-glucan

[8] Randomized controlled trial of oatmeal consumption versus noodle consumption on blood lipids of urban Chinese adults with hypercholesterolemia

[9] Effects of dietary fibre type on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of healthy individuals

Chelsea Clark is a writer with a passion for science, human biology, and natural health. She holds a bachelor’s degree in molecular and cellular biology with an emphasis in neuroscience from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. Her research on the relationship between chronic headache pain and daily stress levels has been presented at various regional, national, and international conferences. Chelsea’s interest in natural health has been fueled by her own personal experience with chronic medical issues. Her many profound experiences with natural health practitioners and remedies have motivated Chelsea to contribute to the world of natural health as a researcher and writer for Natural Health Advisory Institute.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.



Over the last six months I have listened to many speeches, some at graduations, some at Seattle's jewel Town Hall and one at Bennaroya Hall in Seattle. Most of the time when I listen to someone share their expertise, book excerpt, or passion I can find at least a couple of kernels that add to my life. I am thankful to say I have only had difficulty mining insightful bits of wisdom at one of these recent events. And luckily for me the folks I attended that event with me helped me to see a couple important insights. 

One of the reasons I had a difficult time finding kernels of wisdom in the above mentioned event was due to a sadness I felt – stuck by how unprepared this woman was in her mid-twenties to advocate for her own well being when her mother died. This is not to say that we are ever fully prepared for a loved ones death, particularly the death of our parent or child, however I hope and trust Carly will not take to behaviors of self destruction when Mark or I die.  

At a completely different event the keynote speaker, Craig Sims, gave me an interesting insight about how we prepare our children for the greater world and the multitudes of experience they are bound to come across. His personal mission statement inspired me to the point of getting his business card and calling him so that I could get it in writing and his permission to quote him so I could share with all of you. Craig's mission statement is "I'm preparing my children for the world, while preparing the world for my children". When we talked he explained to me he felt that preparing his children for the world was just as important as the good works he does daily to prepare the world for his children. As I have pondered his mission statement I think about how many families would benefit from his wisdom. 

As our daughter Carly prepared for the world she learned that life isn't fair, doing a good job is important, your word is you bond, and one should always leave a place better then you found it. As I prepare the world for Carly's generation and the generations younger then her, I do my best to live as lightly on the earth as possible, work for peace and justice and show her how I build my healthy, supportive and positive communities.  

How do you prepare your children for the world? How do you prepare the world for your children? Where does your community need your help in either of these tasks? 

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page. 


Is Aromatherapy Herbalism?

No and yes. No, because they are very different disciplines using botanical materials in different ways. Yes, because aromatherapy is used by many herbalists to complement an herbal treatment, or in many cases, to complete it. Both disciplines use plants for healing body, mind, and soul. Herbalists treat a person holistically considering all aspects of their dis-ease. In using both herbal remedies (infusions, decoctions, tinctures, etc.) and essential oils (water insoluble components of the plant), an herbalist creates a broader holistic approach to treating illness.

19 Essential Oils For Beginners


Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils for healing. Essential oils are volatile substances extracted from plants typically by a distillation process. These properties are not released in any significant amount in typical herbal preparations. Essential oils are comprised of numerous chemical constituents, with each chemical having a particular signature and mode of action. The majority of the constituents in essential oils are produced by the plants either for their own protection, to attract pollinators, or to heal wounds. Their modes of action and therapeutic properties are also effective on humans, and we can use essential oils to affect our physical and emotional health in various ways.

There are over 100,000 aromas found in nature, but as humans we can recognize only about 300 of these. It is through receptors in our sinuses (the olfactory bulb) that lead to the limbic system of the brain that corresponds to our emotions and feelings. When we inhale aroma molecules, we have a direct path to our emotions and memories. That is why when you smell certain aromas, such as a cake baking in the oven or a soup pot on the stove it can bring you back to a different place and time. You have effectively experienced aromatherapy! This is a very simple example for a very complex healing art, but you get the point I’m sure.

Essential oils are most commonly administered aromatically via inhalation and topically via absorption through the skin. Rarely are essential oils taken internally, and never without the supervision of a professional health care provider with extensive knowledge in the practice of aromatherapy and its effects on the body. Safe use of essential oils is paramount! Learn more about safety guidelines for aromatic, internal, and topical use as well as dilution recommendations in the article Essential Oil Safety.

Many essential oils are antiviral and antibacterial and can be used in diffusers to help fight cold and flu infections as well as relieve congestion. Essential oils with nervine properties can be used to calm anxiety, release tension, soothe headaches, and alleviate sleeplessness. The stimulating effect of some essential oils can be used to energize the mind and body, improve mental focus and memory, and relieve mental fatigue.

Remember that our skin is our largest organ and is not to be ignored. However, essential oils are very potent and are usually mixed with carrier oils before using them on the skin. When essential oils are used in skin products, they can promote cell growth, improve circulation, and help rid the body of toxins. Essential oils can also be helpful for alleviating pain, swelling, and itching from bruises, bug bites, stings, and burns.

Aromatherapy in Herbalism

Herbalists use botanical material (flowers, leaves, bark, seeds, roots) to make remedies that can be taken internally. Many herbs are actually food and can be eaten or drunk on a daily basis. Aromatherapists use the essential oils of the plant, and for the most part they are used externally or topically, although internal use is sometimes recommended under their experienced supervision.

An herbalist may complement an herbal treatment with an essential oil to help stimulate feelings or emotions that may indeed support the healing process. They may also include essential oils as part of their prescription to help build immunity or to reduce stress and encourage relaxation. Essential oils can be used for these purposes in salves, lotions, ointments, and other skin preparations; in steam inhalations and simply diffused into the air; and in dental hygiene products and throat sprays. A thoughtfully made herbal preparation with essential oils has therapeutic value not just from the essential oil itself, but also the other ingredients with which the essential oil is combined. This, along with the careful, holistic consideration of the dis-ease profile, makes for a powerful holistic remedy.

19 Essential Oils For Beginners

Here are some essential oils that one may want to have in their home kit. For suggestions for a starter kit with four essential oils, see this Basic Essential Oils for Daily Living article.

Essential Oil


Therapeutic Properties


Light and citrusy

May help nervous tension

Chamomile (Roman)

Fruity, woody

May help relieve stress, tension and anxiety, improves digestion, reduces pain, heals skin


Lemon - citrus

Insect repellant, may help with fevers and digestion

Clary Sage

Sweet and spicy

Calming, may help with muscle fatigue, improve sleep, uplifting, tension tamer and aphrodisiac


Light and woodsy

Works to reduce cellulite, calming and uplifting



Helps relieve pain, improves mental clarity and reduces congestion


Warm, exotic, sweet and spicy

Calming, may help with aging skin


Floral, spicy

Promotes emotional balance, helps reduce cellulite, relieves stress and tension


Strong spicy scent

Stimulating, improves mental clarity, relieves pain and nausea



Improves mental clarity and memory


Sweet, heavy floral smell

Helps with depression, may help improve skin elasticity, reduces stretch marks, aphrodisiac


Fresh, Fruity, woody

Helps with mental exhaustion, obesity, water retention



Reduces cellulite deposits, helps reduce pain and inflammation, promotes relaxation and restful sleep



Uplifting, improves mental clarity


Heavy, floral

Calming and uplifting

Rose (otto)

Floral, damp, invigorating

Helps relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety


Menthol, earthy

Helps reduce cellulite, relieves mental fatigue, relaxes tight muscles


Earthy, spicy, floral, woody

Calming, aphrodisiac, reduces stress

Tea Tree


Antibiotic, anti-fungal, antiviral

Herbalists are life-long learners and a well-informed herbalist will want to embrace the use of aromatherapy in their art and practice, but not without educating themselves first. It is important to remember that essential oils are not the same as their whole plant counterpart, and may have very different properties, so developing a thorough understanding of them is essential to using them safely and effectively. Through education we can better inform ourselves to take care of ourselves and those that we love. Aromatherapy and herbalism are serious studies that require dedication and commitment.

19 Essential Oils For Beginner Herbalists

Learn more about Essential Oils!

If you are interested in learning more about essential oils, sign up for the free Online Essential Oils Revolution Summit this May. In this first, non-brand-specific essential oil summit, attendees from around the world will gather together to learn from experts in the field, from medical professionals and researchers to health care practitioners and herbalists!

Learn more about the Essential Oils Revolution Summit.

Plus, follow along in the Herbal Academy of New England’s Using Essential Oils blog series, which includes:

Basic Essential Oils for Daily Living
How to Choose High Quality Essential Oils
A Guide to Essential Oil Safety
• And upcoming articles: Incorporating Essential Oils into Herbal Practice, A Guide to Carrier Oils, and Essential Oil Sustainability Issues.

Marlene Adelmann is the Founder and Director of the Herbal Academy of New England, the home of the Online Introductory Herbal Course and the Online Intermediate Herbal Course, and meeting place for Boston area herbalists. Photos provided and copyrighted by Herbal Academy of New England.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.


Carlys Birthday Party 

Community. Now there's a big word. During the last several months this word has increasingly come up in conversation. Most recently, I was talking with some mid-twenties folks about an app called Tinder; a thirty-something young man about community structures, power, and influence; and friends about the building of mega-churches.

I remember being raised in a vital neighborhood community; a place where I knew our neighbors and they knew me (they felt free to correct my behavior whether I needed it or not), a place where my peers and I settled disputes on our own, where I never felt lonely or isolated. We spent much of our time outside. TV was observed as a Sunday night thing, and the concept of regulated screen time was something we couldn’t have conceived of even in our wildest dreams.

I believe that we created a accessible community when raising Carly and our foster son. Since we weren't members of a church, and our extended families were not traditional (were even a bit fractured), we looked to our childhood friends, neighborhood, schools, and work communities to forge our own groups for companionship, growth, and support. Our community was inclusive and diverse. Our home became an epicenter of community celebrations, dinner parties, and play dates. 

As Carly celebrated this last birthday, she planned a celebration with her newly-formed ski instructing community. Being the first time in a long while that our immediate family was all on the same continent for her birthday, it felt odd not to be at her celebration. She hosted it a couple of hours away on a work night, so I settled on being there in spirit. When I had a discussion with her about how odd being close but apart felt, she reminded me that we taught her as a child that birthdays were to be inclusively celebrated with one’s community. When she was in elementary school, we had a rule that every child from her class and our neighborhood was to be included in her party. We also had a no gift rule; we wanted to help her see that celebration with her community was about fellowship not stuff. I was glad for her insightful reminder that memories from her childhood are helping her to build and form strong adult communities. 

What examples are you showing your children and the children around you about community building? How do you build community? What do you want or expect from the communities that surround you?    

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.


While we live our bodies are moving particles of the earth, joined inextricably both to the soil and to the bodies of other living creatures. It is hardly surprising, then, that there should be some profound resemblances between our treatment of our bodies and our treatment of the earth” ~ Wendell Berry

There is immense power in the integrity of my fertility whether or not I desire to create a baby. Being aware of the nuanced phases of my fertility not only helps me avoid,or achieve, conception, it connects me to the rhythmic nature of divine creative energy and the opportunity to thrive in harmony with it.

I experience and respect my cycle as a micro of the macrocosm of all creation.

I know myself to be Mother Earth embodied. The forces of nature whisper Pablo Neruda’s poetry to my ovaries:

“I want to do with you what spring does to the cherry trees.”

Samantha Zipporah

I honor the blossoming, the fruit, the fall, and the fallow within.

There they are: the four seasons in cyclical perfection within the four weeks of my cycle. I feel the playful sweet sparkling momentum of spring as my body prepares for ovulation and an autumnal deep dive of release before I bleed.

Fertility Awareness

The first steps on my path to fertility awareness were motivated by a desire to smash the patriarchy, not flowery poetry. As an angsty activist teen in “abstinence only education” Idaho I volunteered at Planned Parenthood and held office in Boise State University’s radical political student group. I was offered the pill to manage my painful, excessive, and irregular cycle. I refused it. The thought of giving the pharmaceutical industry access to control my hormones seemed to me like surrendering my vitality to the nefarious powers of patriarchy and consumer capitalism. I saw suppression of my ovulation as a path to subjugation, not liberation.

"Merely external emancipation has made of the modern woman an artificial being. Now, woman is confronted with the necessity of emancipating herself from emancipation, if she really desires to be free." ~ Emma Goldman

I learned about fertility awareness as a method of contraception from a library book at Aprovecho Research Center, where I interned studying alternative technology, organic gardening, and sustainable forestry. Here I discovered the importance of observing, honoring, and integrating the cyclical beauty of nature in all aspects of my life.

Our bodies are ecosystems and our fertility is an energy source. The biochemical implications of our fertility offer potential to create life in whatever form we choose ~ be it human, intellectual, artistic, or otherwise.

The havoc created by man’s attempt to dominate nature is widespread. This abuse of power is paralleled in industrialized agriculture, the medicalization of birth, and the pathologizing of our fertility. Menstruation, pregnancy, and birth are commonly treated as diseases to be cured with pills, synthetic hormones, or surgeries.

The pesticides and hormones used in conventional food systems have devastating effects on human hormonal health. To address the symptoms of imbalance, allopathic medicine prescribes birth control where whole food diets, herbs, and lifestyle changes would improve balance. In the forward to one of my favorite books, “Woman Code” by Alisa Vitti, the luminary Dr. Christiane Northrup writes, “giving birth control pills to women to regulate their periods, improve their fertility, or enhance their sex drive is akin to putting a piece of tape over the flashing indicator light on the dashboard of your car and pretending you have addressed the engine problem rather than looking under the hood and dealing with the underlying issue.”

Healing the earth demands that we cultivate reverence and respect for the cycles of the womb. Our fertility does not simply mirror nature, it is part of nature.

May we find nourishment, synergy, and inspiration from life’s cyclical beauty in all its forms.

For a sassy & simple guide to practicing fertility awareness please check out my e-book, Ovulation Awareness: Know Your Cycle, Know Your Self.

Other suggested reading includes:

“The Way of The Happy Woman” by Sarah Stover

“Woman Code” by Alisa Viti

“Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler

Guest Blogger: Samantha Zipporah is a full spectrum doula & holistic sexual health educator. She has been supporting peers with fertility & pregnancy experiences for over a decade in personal, professional, & clinical contexts. Sam's approach is grounded in a solid understanding of biochemistry & biology & nourished by playfulness, sass, & reverent spirituality. Photo courtesy of Samantha Zipporah, Mother Earth embodied.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.


 Ripe green apple with slices. @alphacell

As part of the second year apprentice program I run at our farm we have a book club of sorts. For each month I have named a different book that I think is valuable for advanced work in clinical herbalism. Last month we read Back to Eden, Jethro Kloss’ original work detailing a lost history of early botanical medicine and home healthcare. As we talked I found myself fascinated by his insistence that people need to eat whole fruits. In today’s language most people hear that as advice to eat the apple rather than the juice or a concentrate of some sort. What Jethro meant was actually the WHOLE fruit, blossom end, core, peel, seeds and all!

The message that I remember while growing up in our food culture was that we should never, ever eat the seeds of a fruit. The message I received in my own house was that if I ever wasted the peel it would be a long time before I saw another delicious (fill in the blank with your skinned fruit of choice). So when I got married and found my husband peeling an apple in the kitchen I descended like a vengeful goddess of frugality. My children have also been forced to eat the peel with the flesh. I believe it tastes better that way.

The idea of eating the whole fruit was intriguing to me. When one of my students merely shrugged and said she always ate her apples that way I knew some research was required. The logic is there for us all to see. When you eat a strawberry or raspberry do you cut out the seeds and eat just the flesh? We know there are antioxidant benefits from eating grape seeds and there are bioflavonoids in the white pith of citrus fruits. We have quite a list of evidence that eating the whole fruit is beneficial.

The day after class I was traveling and I had taken an apple with me. Before I would have worried about what to do with the core. Would I find someplace to compost it rather than just throw it away? Should I keep it and compost it at home? Would someone think I was littering if I threw it out the window as I drove? This time instead of puzzling over the core, I bravely dove in and ate it! I enjoyed the textural variety found in the crunch of the seeds and core. I especially enjoyed the feeling of satisfaction of starting with a whole apple and having absolutely nothing left in my hand when I was done. No waste! My frugal heart rejoiced and the next day I ate an entire pear.

Since my culinary adventures had been satisfactory I wanted to look into what the research has to say. Actually, small amounts of cyanide appear to be potentially beneficial. As Paracelsus said, “poison is in everything and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy.” This is true here as well. In large doses, cyanide is undeniably deadly. In our day to day diet, there is evidence that it can be beneficial for maintaining healthy blood pressure. They can be part of the chemical reaction which forms vitamin B12. Most shocking is that there is some research that suggests that some seeds contain a vitamin that only unlocks its cyanide component when it encounters a cancer cell. Fascinating!

In addition to apple and pear seeds there are small bits of cyanide in some bacteria, fungi and algae as well as spinach, bamboo shoots, almonds, lima beans and tapioca. I suppose it isn’t a bad idea to overdo any of these foods in combination, but there is little chance that anyone is gong to overreach the beneficial level simply by eating. Now I’m off to the kitchen for an apple snack...

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.


7 Surprising Benefits of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are one of the more popular recent super food trends. But are they all they have been cracked up to be? While some proclaimed benefits of chia seeds may be a bit exaggerated, these seeds are packed full of vital nutrients like fiber and omega-3 fatty acids and should not be overlooked as a healthy addition to your diet.

What Is Chia?

Chia seeds come from a flowering plant from the mint family, Salvia hispanica L. They can come in white, black, or dark brown varieties. The word chia is derived from a word that means oily, as chia seeds are rich in fatty acids. They can be eaten whole or milled into a ground powder. To take advantage of the many benefits of chia seeds, simply add the seeds or powder to almost any meal.

Use chia to boost your intake of these vital nutrients

Fiber. Chia is one of the richest known sources of dietary fiber. One serving of chia seeds (about 28 g) contains 9 g of dietary fiber. The recommended fiber intake is 28 to 36 g per day, but most people eat much less, about 15 g. In just one serving of chia seeds, you can get at least one quarter of your daily value. Fiber helps to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, promote healthy digestion, and prevent disease (including heart disease, cancer, and stroke).[1] It can also help to detoxify, as it binds to toxins and helps move them through the digestive system. Read more about the importance of fiber here.

Protein. Chia is also full of protein.[2] In one serving, you get over 4 g of protein. Chia can be a great source of protein for vegetarians or vegans who may be at risk for consuming too little protein.

Calcium. Chia seeds are rich in calcium,[3] a mineral essential for healthy bones. A serving of these seeds contain more calcium than milk, making it a good choice for those avoiding dairy products.

Omega 3s. Chia has some of the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids of all foods. It is particularly rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).[3] Although conversion of ALA to the more beneficial eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docohexaenoic acid (DHA) is inefficient in humans, eating 25 g per day of chia seeds can significantly increase the concentration of both ALA and EPA in the blood.[4,5] Milled chia seed seems to deliver ALA to the body more efficiently than whole chia seed.[4] For other omega-3 rich foods, read more here.

Antioxidants. This tiny seed has a large antioxidant capacity, which can help to protect from oxidative damage and disease.[6] Antioxidants in chia include quercetin, caffeic acid, and more.[2]

Chia Seeds for Human Health

The many nutritive qualities of chia seeds listed above have great potential for providing a variety of health benefits to humans if added into the diet. Although human studies are still in their infancy, some of the potential benefits of chia seeds include lowering cholesterol, reducing blood pressure, controlling blood sugar, and more.[2,3,7,8]

For example, in one study, people with type 2 diabetes were given either 37 g of chia daily or placebo. Those receiving chia showed reduced blood pressure by 6.3 mmHg.[3] In another study, intake of a meal containing chia led to lower blood sugar after the meal and prolonged feelings of satiety.[7]

One of the biggest claims surrounding chia seeds is that they can aid in weight loss. While researchers believe that high fiber and protein content may help to make you feel full longer,[7] there are no studies showing that chia intake is associated with weight loss just yet.

How To Add Chia to your Diet

Chia seeds can be added ground or whole to almost any meal for a wholesome, nutritious addition to your diet. Try sprinkling them in your morning oatmeal or cereal, baking them into your homemade granola, using them as a salad topping, or blending them into your smoothie. They are also gluten free.

Use Chia as an Egg Substitute

Do you have an allergy or intolerance to egg? Mixing chia with water creates a gel that has significant binding properties, and so can be used as a great alternative to eggs in baked goods. For detailed instructions, read 5 Simple Substitutions for Egg- and Dairy-Free Recipes.


[1] Am J Epidemiol. 2014 Sep 15;180(6):565-73.

[2] J Biomed Biotechnol. 2012;2012:171956.

[3] Diabetes Care. 2007 Nov;30(11):2804-10.

[4] J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Jul;18(7):700-8.

[5] Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2012 Jun;67(2):105-10.

[6] J Chromatogr A. 2014 Jun 13;1346:43-8.

[7] Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010 Apr;64(4):436-8.

[8] Br J Nutr. 2009 Jan;101(1):41-50.

Chelsea Clark is a writer with a passion for science, human biology, and natural health. She holds a bachelor’s degree in molecular and cellular biology with an emphasis in neuroscience from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. Her research on the relationship between chronic headache pain and daily stress levels has been presented at various regional, national, and international conferences. Chelsea’s interest in natural health has been fueled by her own personal experience with chronic medical issues. Her many profound experiences with natural health practitioners and remedies have motivated Chelsea to contribute to the world of natural health as a researcher and writer for Natural Health Advisory Institute.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.

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