The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids have been praised for decades. Consuming omega-3s may lower cholesterol, fight depression and anxiety, reduce inflammation and prevent cancer among other things. With so many powerful benefits, three friends created a snack bar with chia seeds as the number #1 ingredient and Health Warrior Chia Bars were born!

This week, Prevention.com published a study that adds another (crucial) benefit to this already long list– omega-3s may strengthen gut health. The gut microbiome, a community of microorganisms that live in our digestive tracts, plays an important role in digestion, metabolism regulation,  your immune system, weight control and even heart health. British researchers recently examined the effects of omega-3s on gut health.

“Studying more than 876 female twins, with an average age of 65, researchers looked at the women’s dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids … and found a correlation between healthy microbiome composition and high intake of omega-3 sources.”

Ounce per ounce, chia seeds contain more omega-3s than salmon and one Chia Bar boasts more than 1000mg of this essential fatty acid. The implications of this study may be wide-reaching, especially for middle-aged women.

“In addition to influencing digestion, the microbiome has been linked to metabolism regulation and immune function. When it’s out of balance, you’re at greater risk for weight gain, type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and other chronic issues.”

Read more about the study here.