Fitness Food

What are the Health Benefits of Chia Seeds?

health benefits of chia seeds

Though small, chia seeds are filled with essential nutrients. They are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, rich in essential antioxidants, and they offer calcium, fiber, and iron. Omega-3 fatty acids help increase HDL cholesterol, i.e. the “good” cholesterol that plays a vital role in protecting against heart attack. Functional foods are advertised to provide benefits beyond their nutritional value, like lowering cholesterol or improving gut health. Not only listed as such, but chia seeds are also used as a functional ingredient, added to items like snacks and baked pastries, to enhance their taste and look to health-conscious people. Here, we are discussing some of the top health benefits of Chia seeds.

Chia seeds seem to be available in every grocery store, and almost on all the menu of every hot brunch corner. What is it? What are the health benefits of Chia seeds and side effects? How to add chia seeds in your diet? These are some of the common questions that people have in their minds when they hear about chia seeds for the first time. If you too are among them, then in this article we will answer all your questions. Chia seeds belong to Central America and have been popularly used as a superfood for ages. You can have chia seeds in different forms like you can make different types of chia seed recipes, make chia seeds pudding, blend into oatmeal or smoothies, and even add chia seeds while baking bread.

Chia seeds are not only versatile, but they are full of health benefits. Continue reading to find the top health benefits of Chia seeds.

Top Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

They are high in antioxidants- Basically, antioxidants have the power to turn impossible things possible. They can slow down the aging process, giving young and healthy skin. Antioxidants are also useful for healthy hair and can also reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Chia seeds are full of essential nutrients with few calories- Chia seeds are small black seeds extracted from the plant, Salvia Hispanica, which is associated with the mint. Earlier, they were significant food for the Mayans and Aztecs. They cherished them for their capability to offer sustainable energy. In fact, “chia seed” is the ancient Mayan word used for “strength.” Despite their ancient history as a dietary staple food, chia seeds have been recognized as a modern-day superfood recently. In the past few years, the popularity of chia seeds has increased and is now consumed by large numbers of health-conscious people across the world.

Chia seeds are filled with protein- Chia seeds contain a good amount of protein. By weight, they are nearly 14% protein, which is high compared to most of the plants. They have a perfect balance of amino acids, so your body can make use of its protein content. Protein has immense health benefits and is by far regarded as the most important nutrient for weight loss. Intake of high protein lessens appetite and reduces obsessive thoughts regarding food by 60%. The best part is it reduces the temptation for mid-night snacking by almost 50%. Chia seeds are a great source of protein, mainly for those who eat less or do not consume any animal products.

They are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids- Just like flaxseeds, chia seeds are high in Omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, several studies have proved that the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids in Chia seeds is much more than gram and salmon. However, it is significant to keep in mind that the Omega-3 fatty acids in gram and salmon are generally Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is not as helpful as many of you think.

health benefits of chia seeds

Studies have proved that chia seeds, mainly if they are milled can increase the blood levels of EPA and ALA, but not DHA. This can be an issue. As they do not supply DHA, which is the most significant Omega-3 fatty acid, most health experts consider chia seeds as a low-quality Omega-3 fatty acid source.

Chia seeds can reduce blood sugar level in the body- High fasting blood sugar level is a usual symptom of untreated type 2 diabetes. High fasting blood sugar level is associated with a high risk of various chronic diseases, including heart illness. However, the temporary rise in blood sugar levels after the meals may have unfavorable health effects. Studies have found that chia seeds can improve insulin sensitivity and control blood sugar. It is useful in lessening the blood sugar level after meals. Another study proved that eating bread that has chia seeds can lower after-meal increase in blood sugar compared to bread without chia seeds.

Health Benefits of Chia seeds for weight loss- Food that has a high fiber content helps people to feel full for a long span of time, and they are generally low in calories. Increased intake of fiber and a high fiber diet has proved to help in losing weight. Chia seeds consist of about 5 grams of fiber per tablespoon, and their high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid may prove to be useful for losing weight. You can consume chia seeds as a gel when mixed in glasses of water. This triggers to digest slowly in the body, preventing hunger for a long time.

weight loss with chia seeds

Chia seeds can reduce chronic inflammation- Inflammation is our body’s way of responding to injury or infection. Swollen and red skin is a common example. Though inflammation helps the body to fight viruses, bacteria, and other infectious agents, it can be sometimes harmful too. This is mainly applicable to chronic inflammation, which is linked with a high risk of cancer and heart disease.

Often, chronic inflammation does not have any visible signs but can be reviewed by measuring inflammatory markers present in the blood.  Generally, unhealthy lifestyle habits increase the risk of chronic inflammation, including lack of exercise, poor diet, and smoking. On the contrary, few healthy foods may lessen the blood levels of inflammatory markers present in the blood.

Chia seeds contain calcium too- You won’t believe it, but chia seeds have more calcium than most of the dairy products. If you are among those who do not eat dairy products, this could be a great option for you. If you eat dairy products, then mix chia seeds with yogurt for a healthy dose of calcium.

How to drink chia seeds with water?

Chia seeds water is nothing but chia seeds and plain water. Though you can add sweeteners for adding flavor to your chia seed drink. The health benefits of Chia seeds water are as same as eating chia seeds. However, suddenly adding too much fiber to your diet can cause discomfort in your stomach So, if you are going to have chia seeds for the first time, it is better not to drink a whole glass at the first attempt. Health experts recommend increasing your water intake and add chia seeds slowly to your diet. No matter whether you mix them into a smoothie or oatmeal or drink chia seed water, make sure you do everything in moderation.

Chia seeds are not just rich in nutrients, protein, calcium, and Omega-3 fatty acids, but is easy to prepare too. You can simply add them to your smoothies or pudding. If you do not eat chia seeds, you must include them in your diet. They are one of the best superfoods that our body needs.

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