The World is going Gaga over this chia Seed. The internet is flooded with recipes of chia seed and how to use them. Well, they do taste great and also pack a punch in the nutrition department and have many science-backed health benefits too. So I’ve gathered a whole bunch of information so that you can also see how many health benefits chia seeds actually have.
What Is Chia?
According to Wikipedia, ” Salvia hispanica, commonly known as chia Seed, is a species of flowering plant in the mint family, Lamiaceae, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala.”
It’s an ancient seed that dates back to the 16th-century and is thought to be used by Aztecs. The seeds themselves are harvested from the flowers and can be used for multiple purposes, which are covered in details below.
10 Health benefits of Chia Seeds
1. Chia seeds are packed with nutrients
Chia seeds are full of fiber, healthy fats such as omega 3, protein, and loads of vitamins and minerals. In fact, as far as seeds go, they really are a ‘complete’ food source so we can see why it’s been eaten for centuries.
2. Chia seeds are full of Healthy Fat
Chia seeds contain quite a lot of fat, 30.7 g per 100 g. Now hearing of fat makes you worried, but don’t be because these are super healthy fats. Alpha-linolenic acid is the main fatty acids in chia seeds, which happens to be an essential omega 3 fatty acids. We need more of these in our diet because most of us just don’t get enough of them. They also contain linoleic acid and oleic acid, again both healthy f
orms of fats. Oleic acid, in particular, has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits
, among other things.
3.Great source of vegetarian protein
Vegetarians do have lots of alternative for protein and chia Seed just happen to be one of them. With 17 g protein per 100 serves, you can definitely see these little guys become a regular part of your vegetarian routine. And even if you’re not vegetarian they will still provide a great source of protein to help keep you fuller longer.
4. Chia seeds reduce inflammation
Over the past few years, there’s been a great deal of research that shows inflammation is at the core of many health conditions. One of the main nutrients studied for anti-inflammatory benefits is omega 3. Chia contains 17.8 of omega 3 fats per 100 g. This omega 3 comes from alpha-linolenic acid, which doesn’t convert to the usable forms of EPA & DHA as well as eating something like salmons, but it does still provide benefits. Dietary fiber is also known as an anti-inflammatory agent- something that chia also contains a lot of. And the fact that it has great antioxidant power only contributes to its anti-inflammatory power as well.
5. Chia seeds provide high levels of antioxidants
Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants capacity and “these antioxidants protect the sensitive fats in the seeds from going rancid”. Antioxidants are very important because they help to fight free radicals and prevent oxidative stress and damage to the body. Too many free radicals cause damage to the bodies cell and lead to the development of many conditions. Chia can donate stable molecules to those free radicals and make them normal again, preventing further damage or decline in our health.
6. Chia seed help in Constipation
Chia seeds are soaked overnight and then consumed, this is one of the most common ways of consumption of chia seeds. On soaking the chia seeds they take on a gel-like consistency. This may help with optimal stool formation, in other words, keeping stools moister and easy to pass. There is no solid evidence on chia and constipation but given that it does contain nearly 35 g fiber per 100 g, these tiny seeds are definitely going to help get things moving. The important thing to remember when introducing more high fiber foods is to make sure you drink lots of water. If you don’t, you end up making matters worse. Adding the extra fiber is the right move to make, but you need the water to really help flush things out.
7. Chia seeds boost your Energy Levels
Chia seeds are high in energy, containing 100 calories per tablespoon. Studies have proven that athletes that include chia seeds in their diet have more energy than those who don’t, and concluded that it contains the same amount of energy as popular energy drinks. By adding chia to the foods you already eat, you’ll have more energy and better workout performance for a healthier body.
8. Chia seeds increase Brain Power
Chia seeds are incredibly good for your brain as they contain essential Omega 3 fatty acids which help to improve cognitive function. They also help to reduce memory loss as well as stimulates your happy hormones. They actually set you in a lighter mood, makes you feel lighter and fuller at the same time.
9. Chia seeds help in weight loss
Chia seeds are low in fat and high in fiber. They are excellent support for weight loss. They also stimulate the production of Leptin in your body, which helps to reduce cravings and keeps hormones balanced.
10. Chia seeds are great for your Heart
When soaked, Chia seeds form a gel-like substance which is evidence of its high amount of soluble dietary fiber. This helps to eliminate plaque build up in Cardiovascular System, Which prevents heart disease. They also contain plenty of antioxidants which helps to prevent free radical damage, keeping your heart strong and healthy.
Chia seeds are in fashion and gaining huge popularity because of so many health benefits that it has. No wonder it is worthy to be credited to its enormous health benefits. These are an excellent replacement to eggs in baked dishes, giving the same consistency and binding power. If you prefer them raw, just sprinkle them on cereals or add them to smoothies. How did you like this post? Do comment in the box below. Stay healthy!