Often we do not realize the nutritious benefits of the tiniest things growing around us. Chia seeds’ benefits have been known to us since the late 1980s, thanks to the marketing power that convinced us about mini seeds as a superfood.
Even though, as of the present day, the nutritious content of the small seed has not been proven precisely. But we tried to dedicate this article to help you to know what chia seeds are, their benefits, side effects, and more.
What are Chia Seeds?
Ever seen the desert plant Salvia Hispanica? Well, chia seeds are the result of harvesting of the flowering plant. They are round and smaller in size and often can be seen either in white, black, or brown color. Mainly the seeds of Salvia hispanica are founded in Latin American states, Mexico and Guatemala.
Chia seeds’ benefits are known because they are hygroscopic and absorb the weight in liquid up to 12 times. So, on any beverage they are added, it would develop a special mucilaginous coating with a gel texture.
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What are the 7 benefits of Chia Seeds?
Without beating around the bush, we would like to inform you of some of the inherent chia seeds’ benefits. Check out what are chia seeds good for below.
1. Helps in reducing weight
Among our long list of the benefits of chia seeds, the immediate one that comes to our mind is that chia seeds help stimulate weight loss. The fiber content within each tiny seed aids in reducing belly fat. How? Because the seed absorbs water in the stomach, and while it expands, the strong appetite narrows down.
Some nutritionists also consider chia seeds beneficial in losing weight because of their rich protein content. You must consume about 25-38 grams of chia seeds a day to shed kilos of weight.
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2. Control Blood Sugar Levels and Prevents diabetes
The outer gelatinous chia seeds coating, most importantly, control any spikes in blood sugar levels. So, due to its slow digestion ability, it acts as an insulin and prevents diabetes. We can also add regulating blood pressure levels as significant chia seeds benefits.
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3. Keeps a check on constipation
Chia seeds have higher fiber content which smooths the digestion process. Not only that, but the insoluble chia seeds would transform into a gel when coming in contact with water. Such gel eases bowel movements and adds to your stools.
4. Promotes good cholesterol and boosts healthy blood lipid levels
These are among some of the rarest seeds that are richest in Omega 3 fatty acids. Such fatty acids are a great source of lowering the blood cholesterol level and reducing the chances of coronary cardiac diseases.
The possibility of LDL (harmful) cholesterol levels is minimized because of the presence of monosaturated fats in chia seeds. This overall reduces the chances of heart-related ailments.
5. Adds extra energy and stimulates metabolism
Some of the ingrained chia seeds nutrients include zinc, iron, vitamin, and magnesium. And each of these components is great for boosting overall energy. You can take chia seeds as a workout drink which sustains extra energy and inspires you to perform heavy workouts daily.
It would help if you took chia seeds with some smoothies a few hours before the hardcore workout routine to burn off the carbs. The benefits of chia seeds also include the boosting of overall body metabolism.
6. Gives you stronger bones and prevents osteoporosis
The calcium factor within chia seeds is also higher, so you can take them if you require to improve the calcium content. Intake of chia seeds has proved effective in making both your bones and teeth stronger.
Also, it protects your bone health from future diseases like osteoporosis. Your bone remains stronger because of phosphorus and other minerals within chia seeds. The anti-inflammatory property of chia seeds also helps in preventing arthritis and limits the chances of skin ragging.
7. Healthy sleep cycle
The two particular hormones, melatonin, and serotonin are good for maintaining a healthy sleep cycle. The secretion of such hormones occurs with adequate tryptophan ( an amino acid) in the body. Well, chia seeds contain higher tryptophan which helps relax and is good for sleeping.
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Do Chia Seeds Help You Lose Weight?
Even though not medically proven, several assertions claim the curb or frequent appetite-suppressing potential of chia seeds. The logic behind such assertions is that chia seeds contain a rich share of fiber, making you stay full for longer hours a day.
So, it in a way, rescues you from overeating. If one tablespoon of chia seed includes five grams of fiber then at least you should take six such spoonfuls of chia seeds daily.
It is so because any strict weight loss diet plan would ask you to take at least 30 grams of fiber daily to feel less appetitive.
So, partially or indirectly, chia seeds help in weight loss by making you feel less likely to eat too much. However, surpassing your daily calorie limit won’t help much.
4 Chia Seeds Nutrition Facts
Well, now you are aware of such a long list of chia seeds benefits, so all credit goes to its inherent nutrition properties. Check out below.
Taking a minimum of 25-28 grams of chia seeds a day is suggested. It contains nearly 138 calories per ounce. Other than calories, some effective chia seeds nutrients include- 6% water, carbs, fiber, protein, and fat. Let’s look into all that individually.
All types of friendly body fat are present in chia seeds. Especially omega-3 fatty acids take up a vital position within all the important chia seed nutrients. Omega 3 fatty acids are heart-healthy and prevent sudden cardiac attacks.
The omega-3 fatty acids have their source in plants and are better than flaxseed. When you consume omega-3 fatty acids, other than coronary cardiac ailments, the chances of cancer and body inflammation also reduce.
Not only Omega 3 and 6, but chia seeds nutrition facts would also encompass saturated, polyunsaturated, trans, and monosaturated fat contents.
Chia seeds comprise nearly 19-20% of protein, typical of all other seeds but certainly better than most grains and cereals.
Maximum protein intake would reduce the possibility of unwanted cravings and appetites and assures fullness after meals. Even though chia seeds have a good protein share, they should not be taken as the sole protein source for any individual.
3. Carb and fiber:
Approximately 80% of chia seeds’ carb content comes from fiber. Both soluble and insoluble fibers are there in the chia seeds. Eventually, the fermented chia seeds would formulate short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). For those who are not aware, SCFAs improve your colon health.
Even though the vitamin content within chia seeds is not much, many minerals are present within chia seeds. Some of the chia seeds benefits would include the-
- Manganese to improve body metabolism, growth, and systems improvement.
- Does contain iron, which transports oxygen throughout the body, and enriched hemoglobin content in red blood cells.
- A fair share of phosphorus strengthens bone health. It also looks after the proper tissue growth.
- Calcium improves bones and teeth.
- Other crucial minerals such as copper, selenium, and magnesium. Why copper because it contributes to good heart health. The other two minerals also play a crucial role in bodily processes.
Leaving the known minerals, fiber, protein, and fat components aside, within chia seeds nutrients, you will also find herbal compounds such as caffeic acids, quercetin, chlorogenic acid, and antioxidants like kaempferol.
5 Side-effects: Are chia seeds good for you?
After discussing what are chia seeds good for! You must also know the side effects of eating too many chia seeds a day. See down below.
- Though not for all, medical records show some individuals’ severe allergic reactions to chia seeds. Serious allergic reactions like anaphylaxis can occur after consuming extra chia seeds regularly. For your relief, those with a medical history of allergies to cat dander or grass pollen are more likely to be allergic to chia seeds.
- Overeating chia seeds may act the opposite. It can cause lower blood pressure because it contains a high quantity of omega-3 fatty acids. Such components work like blood thinners and decrease blood pressure.
- A diabetic patient with regular consumption of chia seeds may face a steep blood sugar decrease and end up with insulin dosage adjustment.
- Chia seed oil also helps in tumor growth in the body. Though chia seeds may work on interacting with anticancer agents, however, no adequate evidence has been recorded about it.
- Chia seeds often react when taken with powerful antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs. The rich amount of omega-3 fatty acids may enhance the chances of bleeding. Even antioxidants like Vitamin C, E, or A supplements might have additive or competing effects.
Go, Go, Chia!
If you have read the entire article, then you can’t doubt chia seeds’ benefits for sure. The tiny seeds help reduce weight and control blood sugar levels, cholesterol prevents cardiac diseases and guarantees a healthy sleep cycle. However, our only take is that don’t overconsume the seeds as that will react oppositely.
Make sure that you don’t eat chia seeds daily while under any medications or antioxidant supplements. As a precaution, ask your doctor if it’s safe to eat chia seeds with the supplements or not. Besides, for women who are conceiving or breastfeeding, it is safer to avoid such herbal seeds to take daily because their effects are not recorded as yet.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about chia seeds
Q. What are chia seeds?
Answer- Chia seeds are harvested seeds of the mint flowering plant Salvia hispanica. These seeds are mostly found in Latin America, Mexico, and Guatemala and are found in the form of white, brown, or black color flat seeds.
Q. How chia seeds can be eaten?
Answer- The mild-tasted seeds are generally added to baked food, desserts, or beverages. You may commonly prepare smoothies and pudding and make granola or chia drinks with the seeds.