Chia seeds are among the top superfoods that Mother Nature has blessed us with. They are readily available, highly versatile, and super easy to consume.
These seeds are quite small in size but can do wonders for your health. Chia seeds are packed with amazing nutrients and minerals, which the body needs to function optimally.
So, what are the proven health benefits of chia seeds? Why should you consider taking them? Continue reading to know more!
What Chia Seeds Are
The chia seed, Salvia hispanica, is a desert plant and a member of the mint family. It has several trade names but sold by the name, chia seed.
This seed originated from Central America. It was once a staple in the old Aztec diet.
Today, people around the globe use chia and speak highly of it. Chia is safe to consume and offer several health benefits.
There are several ways to use chia seeds. You can even add them to your diet or smoothie.
Chia Seed And Constituents
This chia seed contains diverse minerals and nutrients, which are highly beneficial. They promote good health. A single 28 grams of chia seed (an ounce) contains the following nutrients and minerals.
- Fat – 9 grams
- Fiber – 11 grams
- Protein – 5.6 grams
- Manganese – 30 percent of the RDI
- Calcium – 18 percent of the RDI
- Magnesium – 30 percent of the RDI
- Phosphorus – 27 percent of the RDI
Other minerals and nutrients chia seeds contain are zinc, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and vitamin B3.
Chia Seeds And Proven Health Benefits
Do you know chia seeds can boost your health in many ways you never thought possible? Most of their nutritional and health benefits have also been scientifically proven.
Below are the health benefits of chia seeds.
1. Provides a massive amount of antioxidants
Antioxidants are vital to the body. We also need them in abundance. Our body also produces its antioxidants but in small quantities. Thus, there is a need to get them from other sources.
Chia seeds are packed with antioxidants. So they are needed to help you prevent damages caused by free radicals.
Free radicals can destroy tissues and cause numerous chronic health issues. This ranges from inflammatory and cardiovascular disease, aging, cataract, and cancer.
However, antioxidants prevent tissue damage caused by free radicals. They stop their formation, encourage decomposition, and scavenge them.
Antioxidants also help to protect chia seeds’ sensitive fat from going rancid. Thus, they make chia seeds shelf-stable.
We all are prone to free radicals tissue damage. But with antioxidants from chia seeds or other sources, you can keep free radicals at bay and lead a healthy life.
2. Loaded with protein
Chia seeds are packed with protein. Theirs is also higher than in most plants. They boast a whopping 19 percent protein.
According to a study in Brazil, chia seeds not only a rich source of protein. In an experiment involving rats, chia seeds enhanced cholesterol levels.
Besides high protein content, chia seeds also have all the necessary amino acids. This makes it a breeze for the body to utilize the protein in chia seeds.
Protein is a vital dietary nutrient in the body. The body uses it to build and fix worn-out tissues. It also requires protein to produce hormones, enzymes, and other necessary body chemicals.
Protein is a vital building block of skin, bones, cartilage, muscles, and blood.
Intake of a considerably high amount of protein lowers your appetite and causes you to eat less. This helps in your quest to achieve specific weight loss goals.
Consuming a high amount of protein can considerably reduce night time snacking. It helps you get rid of obsessive thoughts about food.
3. Mood booster
Depression is a global health issue. What’s more frightening is that scores of young people are now succumbing to it.
Many depressed people end their lives. This condition can also reduce one’s quality of life.
Chia seeds are the latest and surprising superfood that can win the battle against depression. They contain an impressive amount of Omega-3, which happens to be good fat.
According to experts, the Omega-3 fats fights mood swings and depression. Studies have also shown that reduced Omega-3 fats can trigger a range of emotional and mental disorders.
Experts also recommend 1 to 1.6grams of Omega-3 fatty acids daily for adults. This will help boost your mood and wade off depression.
Chia seeds come loaded with the omega-3 fatty acids, making them excellent mood boosters.
4. Promote weight loss
Excess weight is a concern for many countries. It has gotten to epidemic proportions globally. In the US, the medical bill of individuals with obesity is $1429 higher than people with a healthy weight.
Obesity or overweight can cause increased mortality and morbidity. It can cause cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, cancer, liver disease, osteoarthritis, kidney disease, depression, sleep apnea, and other chronic health issues.
Now besides the life-threatening conditions, obesity can make you lose your hourglass shape. You will no longer be able to fit into your favorite clothes.
The weight loss industry is also a multi-billion dollar industry. There are also numerous weight loss products out there, but many are expensive and aren’t as effective as claimed.
But chia seeds are an exception. They promote weight loss and are readily available. But keep in mind that no single food can cause weight loss or gain. It all hinges on your eating habit and lifestyle.
What makes chia seeds ideal for weight loss is their high fiber content. Intake of 20 to 30 grams of these seeds daily can help you shed weight in no time. It has also been proven that chia seeds reduce belly fat.
Ordinarily, high fiber foods make you feel fuller for an extended period. They also have lesser calories. Chia seeds have high fiber content, making them a wise choice for weight loss.
A teaspoon of chia seeds has approximately 5 grams of fiber. However, in addition to high fiber, chia seeds’ alpha-linoleic, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein content make them useful for weight loss.
Note: You can consume chia seeds in gel form. Just have them mixed with water, then ingest. The seeds are safe to consume and digest slowly when consumed in gel form. This also enables chia seeds to prevent hunger for an extended period.
5. Detoxify the body
Chia seeds are excellent detoxifiers. They help get rid of toxins from the body naturally. When completely digested, these seeds swell and absorb the toxins in your body. They also cleanse your digestive tract.
Besides the detoxifying properties, chia seeds can boost your nails, skin, and hair’s appearance and health.
These seeds possess remarkable anti-inflammatory properties, which helps prevent and repair the damage that sometimes occurs at the cellular level. They also promote the effective elimination of waste products from the body.
The chia seeds help to address constipation. How? They have loads of insoluble fiber and turns gel once mixed with water. This then adds to one’s stool, promoting bowel movement and relieving constipation.
Fiber has also been proven to boost digestion. Gut flora cherishes foods with high fiber contents, which invariably implies that chia seeds support and encourage good bacteria in the digestive tract.
6. Manages blood sugar
Chia seeds are an excellent diabetic superfood. They help diabetic patients manage their conditions. Chia seeds’ high dietary fiber helps avoid blood sugar spike. This is also tied to the gelatinous coating produced when the seeds are digested.
When completely digested, chia seeds slow down sugar absorption into the bloodstream and, in the process, reduce blood sugar levels.
The prestigious United States Department of Agriculture has identified chia seeds’ potentials in diabetes treatment. Chia seeds have also been praised for their ability to lower diabetics’ blood pressure levels.
Another factor that makes chia a wise choice for diabetes treatment is omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are nutritionally vital in fighting the disease.
So, consuming Chia seeds in a moderate amount can help people with diabetes manage blood sugar levels appropriately.
Gluten is the protein present in cereal grains, such as wheat, and responsible for dough’s elastic texture.
However, most people aren’t a fan of foods with gluten. They are allergic to it.
But the chia is a different superfood. It is 100% gluten-free. So, whether you’re allergic to gluten or not, you can consume chia seeds.
For gluten-free baking, chia seeds are still useful. Furthermore, they help people with celiac disease.
Studies have revealed that individuals with celiac disease consume fewer fibers and calcium than the recommended amount. But because chia seeds are rich both nutrients, they can bridge the gap.
In vegan baking, chia seeds can serve as binders and egg substitutes.
If you want to consume protein but don’t want to get it from dairy products, chia seeds are a good option. They are loaded with high-quality protein, which is vital to the body.
8. Improved bone strength
Chia seeds are rich in calcium, a mineral that increases bone strength. A whopping 18% of the recommended daily calcium intake is present in chia seeds. So, regular consumption of these seeds will have a positive impact on your bone health.
Here’s how rich chia seeds are in calcium. The calcium present in a serving of these seeds is more than in milk.
Interestingly, chia also contains boron, a mineral that helps the body metabolize calcium, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. This helps to ensure stronger teeth, muscles, and aid bone growth.
9. Increases energy
According to the reputable Journal of Strength and Conditioning, individuals performing sports physical therapy or working out can benefit enormously from chia seeds.
A team of researchers discovered that chia could enhance performances up to approximately 90 minutes.
So, if you want to lose weight but lack the energy to make it happen, chia seeds are the perfect energy-boosting superfood.
These seeds will help your body to function optimally, and you’ll burn more calories.
Note: Go for the dark grayish chia seeds. They are more nutritionally superior to the lighter ones.
You can incorporate chia seeds into any smoothie of your choice and enjoy a surge in energy. The seeds have a bland taste and blends when added to any food or drink.
A University of New Hampshire study also reveals that chia seeds can enhance metabolism.
10. Heart protection
The heart is a vital organ. It needs to work optimally at all times. The heart circulates blood throughout the body.
The blood then furnishes your body with the nutrients and oxygen it requires. Thus, your heart needs to pump blood smoothly, now and then.
Chia seeds are an excellent superfood for your heart. They contain an incredibly high quantity of omega-3 fatty acids, which lowers bad cholesterol levels. This, in turn, lowers blood pressure and protects against inflammation.
11. Improve sleep
Melatonin and serotonin are two vital hormones associated with sleep. Both are made by tryptophan, an amino acid present in our body.
Chia seeds have a high proportion of tryptophan. A 100 gram serving of these seeds offers 739 mg of tryptophan, including calcium and zinc. So, consuming chia seeds will enable you to enjoy healthy relaxation and sleep.
Tryptophan, according to study, is useful for the treatment of various sleep disorders.
You have seen the numerous proven health benefits of chia seeds. They are one of the top superfoods out there. Chia seeds are readily available and safe to consume. Chia’s bland taste also makes it easier to add to any food or drink.
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