Chia seeds are considered as one of the most prized superfoods of recent days. Benefits of chia seeds have been known for a long time and had a significant place in the culture of Tibetans, Americans, Aztecs and Mayans. The seeds got the name from Mayan words; Chia means strength in the language. The chia pets of the 1990s were the first version of the seeds which became so popular globally.
1 ounce of chia seed contains,
• 9gm fat
• 6gm carb
• 11gm fibre
• 4gm protein
• Calcium, which is 18% of the RDI in 1 ounce (28 grams).
The seeds are also loaded with manganese, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, vitamin b3, b1 and b2. Chia seeds are considered as whole grains which are mostly produced organically. People who avoid animal products can get their protein from chia seeds. As icing on the top, these seeds are gluten-free and non- GMO. Plus, benefits of chia seeds include no scope of gaining additional harmful fat to the human body. 2 tablespoons of chia seeds (which is approximately 28 grams) just adds 137 grams of calories to the diet.
These tiny seeds are powerful packages of the following health benefits.
Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants. For this reason, sensitive fat is safeguarded in the body. The antioxidants present in the seeds are also known to fight the free radicals, which in turn slows down the ageing process. Having chia seeds regularly may also quicken the cell repair process and may even give some protection to the body against fatal diseases like cancer.
An important factor in human health is bone strength. People usually face weakened bones with age; Chia seeds can be a good addition to diet to solve this issue. Chia seeds are the storehouse of calcium, protein, phosphorus and magnesium. So if you do not love milk, cheese or any dairy product, chia seeds can offer the calcium required for bone density and strength.
Though it is still a debatable topic amongst the researchers, some of them state that chia seeds are good for the heart. As the seeds are rich in omega 3s, fibre and protein, these can lower cardiac risks like inflammation, belly fat, insulin resistance and triglycerides. Surprisingly, chia seeds are known to have more amount of omega 3s than salmon. The seeds might even shoot up the levels of good HDL cholesterol in the body. According to the results of some studies on chia seeds, it was observed that these seeds enable low blood pressure; which is again a positive factor for the heart.
A 3-month study was carried to understand the effect of chia seeds on people suffering from diabetes. In this study, 20 people were given 37 grams of chia seeds every day. At the end of the study, it was seen that the inflammatory marker hs-CRP was reduced by 40%.
Another 6 months study was carried on people suffering from obesity and type-2 diabetes. These people were kept on a low-calorie diet and were given chia seeds on a regular basis. At the end of 6 months, these people lost a considerable amount of weight. So the researchers arrived at a decision that chia seeds can be a great addition to a weight loss diet. Some dieticians also suggest people suffering from type 2 diabetes should have chia seeds after an intense carb meal so keep the blood sugar in control. Even it was found that having bread with chia seeds controls the rise in blood sugar than having only bread.
Chia seeds have loads of soluble fibre; this fibre absorbs a lot of water present in the stomach and expands in the stomach. This makes people feel full for a long time which in turn reduces the craving for having more food, ultimately leading to weight loss. The protein present in the seeds might also reduce the need for more food. Also, chia seeds do not contain sugar.
In earlier days, chia seeds were consumed to get relief from fever and inflammatory issues. The high fibre content of chia seeds can even provide some hypertension and depression. Moreover, this high fibre food may decrease the diverticulitis flare-ups; fibre absorbed more water in the colon, ensuring easy bowel movements. So the health benefits of chia seeds enhance the overall mortality of human beings.
The dietary fibre of chia seeds prevents constipation. This means a healthy digestive tract; regular bowel movements ensure daily excretion of toxins through bile and stool. What more; health benefits of chia seeds include a fairer complexion and increased levels of energy.
Chia seeds taste bland. For this reason, it is best to add these to food recipes. These seeds can be added to porridge, juices, smoothies, pudding and even to baked food items. Chia seeds can easily replace eggs in vegan cooking. Soak chia seeds in water and eaten once the water turns into a gel. Do not want to toil so hard? You can even have these raw (moist off course). Last but not the least; sprinkle the seeds over rice dishes, cereal, yoghurt, vegetable and fruit salads. As per recent research, adding chia seeds to other dishes actually boosts the nutritious value of the seeds.
• Like all other food items, people should consume chia seeds in a limit.
• If the body is not habituated to regular fibre intake, gradually increase the consumption of the seeds and have a lot of water.
• Always soak the chia seeds in water and then have these. People should not have dry chia seeds.
Benefits of chia seeds are numerous; while these are loaded with protein, vitamins and minerals, to get the best health benefits out of the seeds, one should have them along with other nutritious foods.