Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are the new trendy superfood right now and they are worth all the hype. Derived from a desert plant called Salvia hispanica, (member of the mint family) chia seeds have been offering a ton of nourishment in a very small package.
Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, which can improve heart health, reduce cholesterol levels and promote intestinal health. Fiber takes longer to digest and makes you feel satisfied longer, which is how it can help with weight loss and decrease your risk of developing diabetes or heart disease.
Health experts refer to chia seeds as a nutritional powerhouse. But, what exactly are chia seeds? How do they benefit our body? And how to incorporate them into our diets? Here is everything you need to know.
What Are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are the edible seeds of Salvia hispanica, a flowering plant in the mint family (Lamiaceae) native to central and southern Mexico, or of the related Salvia columbariae of the southwestern United States and Mexico.
Chia seeds are oval and gray with black and white spots, having a diameter of around 2 millimeters (0.08 in). The seeds are hygroscopic, absorbing up to 12 times their weight in liquid when soaked and developing a mucilaginous coating that gives chia-based foods and beverages a distinctive gel texture.
Chia Seeds: Facts
Chia seeds are superfoods that are surprisingly easy to digest. This versatile ingredient has the power to absorb around 12 times its weight in liquid. Chia seeds form a gel around them when mixed in liquid, this is what gives them a very distinctive texture.
Further, chia seeds offer a number of nutrients like fiber, protein, manganese, calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. Naturally, these offer a number of health benefits. Additionally, chia seeds work to promote well-nourished skin, visibly reduce signs of aging, boost digestion and promote stronger bones.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture states that one ounce of dried chia seeds (that’s about 28 grams) has the following nutritional value:
Therefore, just one serving of dried chia seeds can have around 137 calories, 5 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber, 12 grams of carbohydrate, and 9 grams of fat, of which 8 grams are heart-healthy fats.
Apart from all the above-listed nutrients chia seeds are also rich in vitamins A, B, E, and D along with minerals like iron, iodine, copper, magnesium, niacin, and thiamine.
Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds
1. Improves Heart Health
Chia seeds are extraordinarily rich in antioxidants, fiber as well as heart-healthy fats. This is what makes them incredibly healthy for heart health.
Chia seeds contain quercetin, an antioxidant that can reduce your risk of developing several health conditions, including heart disease. The seeds are also high in fiber, which can help to lower high blood pressure and, in turn, reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
With high quantities of omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds actively lower blood pressure, manage cholesterol levels and prevent any inflammation. This minimizes any risk of coronary heart disease.
2. Improves Heart Health
Chia seeds are strikingly rich in antioxidants, that effectively work to fight any free radicals. This avoids any skin damage due to harmful free radicals and prevents oxidative stress. Plus, it also promotes faster tissue repair and protection against any potential skin damage.
Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse and are packed with protein, vitamins E, B1, B2, B3, and a score of healthy fats and minerals as well as antioxidants. They are also a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids which delay ageing, reduce acne scars and make sure your skin is shining through!
3. Improves Digestion
The fiber in chia seeds is mainly soluble fiber and mucilage, the substance responsible for the gluey texture of moistened chia seeds. These fibers may help to lower LDL cholesterol and slow down digestion, which can prevent blood sugar spikes after eating a meal and promote a feeling of fullness.
Whether it’s the prevention of constipation or a healthier bowel movement, the fiber content in chia seeds can fix about anything. Further, it also serves as a prebiotic that fuels beneficial bacteria in the gut. Not just that, it even works to absorb the right amount of water that helps you feel full for an extended period of time.
4. Improves Bone Health
Chia seeds are also proven to strengthen bones and bone density. In fact, it is also known to promote serious bone-related conditions like osteoporosis.
Chia seeds have several nutrients that are vital for bone health, including magnesium and phosphorus. A single ounce of the seeds also contains 18% of your recommended daily allowance of calcium, which is vital for healthy bone, muscle, and nerve functioning.
Along with that manganese plays a very important role in bone metabolism. Just one ounce of chia seeds can fulfill 18 percent of our body’s calcium needs and around 30 percent of our manganese requirements which is beyond impressive.
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5. Helps With Weight Loss
Chia seeds are naturally in rich protein that works best to deliver stronger but leaner muscles and help in burning fat while effectively managing hunger and appetite.
In fact, studies have shown that chia seeds consumption reduces visceral adipose tissues, also known as belly fat. Another study proves that chia seeds benefit for weight loss by reducing the levels of ghrelin which is a hormone responsible for hunger stimulation.
However, the best part is chia seeds for weight loss are effective because it reduces hunger while maintaining energy levels of the body.
Eating one ounce of chia seeds per day can help with your weight loss plan. That one ounce of chia seeds provides 10 grams of fiber. Research shows that eating more fiber can result in weight loss.
6. Helps With Oral Health
Chia seeds are a top food for providing nutrients for healthy teeth. Chia seeds are rich in calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and vitamin A which helps in the overall improvement of dental and oral health.
Calcium is the building block for strong teeth, healthy gums and preventing tooth decay. The presence of calcium in chia seeds helps strengthen your teeth, making them great for dental health.
Zinc prevents tartar by preventing plaque from mineralizing onto your teeth and has an anti-bacterial effect that also keeps bad breathe away. Vitamin A and phosphorus are also incredibly vital for better and strong teeth.
7. Promotes Energy Levels
Chia seeds are popular for being the athlete’s food. They deliver all the essential energy by delivering essential carbs and maximizing the storage of glycogen in the muscles.
Studies have also shown that the consumption of chia is better than sports drinks when it comes to enhancing exercise performance and workouts. Chia seeds are also super-rich in their protein content which helps the body to build muscle mass while increasing strength.
Studies have proven that chia seeds are an excellent post-workout meal as they promote the restoration of muscle tissues and effectively reduce muscle recovery time.