Chia seeds are praised for their slightly sweet flavour and amazing nutritive abilities and can be added to practically any cuisine of your choice, from smoothies to salads.
When it comes to health foods, seeds and nuts are often regarded as the healthiest source of essential nutrients we need on a daily basis. You might have heard about chia seeds as a special ingredient added in select recipes.
Though not everyone may have used it to cook food but these seeds are probably familiar to anybody who pays even a passing attention to their food.
For good reasons, this previously unnoticed culinary item has swiftly attracted a lot of attention. In reality, it is receiving all the attention as a mainstay superfood. These seeds may appear small, but they are mostly packed with high levels of protein, fibre, and omega 3.
Let us reassure you that chia seeds are worth all the hype, despite being the newest superfood at the moment. Chia seeds have been consumed by people for countless years.
These seeds are obtained from Salvia hispanica, a desert plant that belongs to the mint family and provides a tonne of nutrition in a tiny package. According to nutrition experts, chia seeds are a powerhouse of essential nutrients.
But what are chia seeds exactly? Why are they good for our body? How can we make them a part of our diets? Here is everything you need to know about these seeds.
What are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds, as their name implies, are tiny, round “seeds” that can be black, white, or brown in hue. It comes from the flowering plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family.
It is a crop that can be sustained and requires minimal water to thrive. Superfood chia seeds are surprisingly simple to absorb. This adaptable component has the capacity to absorb liquids up to 12 times its weight.
Chia seeds really create a gel around themselves when combined with liquid, which is what gives the mixture its distinctly unique texture. Chia seeds are a tiny but powerful ingredient that can transform any ordinary dish into a balanced, nutritious meal.
Numerous nutrients, including fibre, protein, manganese, calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids, are present in chia seeds.
Naturally, these have several health advantages. Chia seed consumption regularly helps to support healthy skin, stronger bones, and a reduction in the visible signs of aging.
Chia seeds were once known as the runner’s diet because they provided energy for soldiers who engaged in long distance running or prolonged combat. They are said to have the ability to cleanse the blood and enhance digestion in Ayurveda.
Additionally, it promotes renal function and provides the highest level of hydration. You can always rely on a chia seed recipe to give you a surge of energy because the word “chia” literally means “strength” in Mayan.
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Nutritional Profile of Chia Seeds:
Chia seeds are an absolute nutritional powerhouse. They are rich in calcium, manganese, phosphorus, fibre, protein, and even calcium.
Additionally, they are a great source of omega-3s and antioxidants (polyunsaturated fatty acids.) According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one ounce, or 28 grammes, of dried chia seeds has the following nutritional value:
One serving of dried chia seeds can therefore include about 137 calories, 5 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber, 12 grams of carbohydrates, and 9 grams of fat, of which 8 grams are heart-healthy fats.
Chia seeds also contain high levels of the vitamins A, B, E, and D, as well as minerals like iron, iodine, copper, magnesium, niacin, and thiamine. These nutrients are all found in addition to all the others.
What are the advantages of Chia Seeds for health?
Chia seeds offer a wealth of nutritional and health benefits since they are nutrient-dense. Indeed, according to specialists, chia seeds are great for a diet that promotes weight loss.
Not only that, but they are also known to strengthen the heart, encourage improved digestion, and aid in controlling your appetite. Additionally, chia seeds are known to protect from diabetes and cancer.
Continue reading to learn in detail the remarkable health advantages you can derive from consumption of chia seeds and why you should start including them in your diet right away.
1. Promotes Healthy Digestion
Chia seeds can meet up to 44% of your daily fibre needs thanks to their abundance of over 11 grams of fibre per ounce. They help to improve digestion because they are high in fibre.
The high amount of fibre in chia seeds may treat just about anything, whether it’s the prevention of constipation or a healthy bowel movement. Additionally, it acts as a prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria in the gut.
Not only that, but it also helps you feel full for a long time by absorbing the correct amount of water. It assists in breaking any eating habits that are excessive.
2. Builds stamina and improves performance
Chia seeds are well known for being an ideal snack for athletes. They have the capacity to provide all the necessary energy by supplying vital carbohydrates and boosting the muscles’ ability to store glycogen.
Studies have also revealed that chia eating improves exercise performance and workouts more so than the use of sports beverages. In addition, unlike sports drinks, it doesn’t contain extra sugar, preservatives, or tastes, making it a surprisingly potent ingredient in energy drinks.
Chia seeds are also incredibly high in protein, which aids the body in gaining strength and muscle building. The seeds have been shown in studies to be a good post-workout food because they support the repair of muscle tissues and significantly speed up muscle recovery.
3. Helps manage body weight
Chia seeds naturally contain a lot of protein, which helps to build leaner, stronger muscles and to burn fat while controlling hunger and appetite. In fact, research has indicated that consuming more chia seeds can boost weight loss.
It functions by lowering calorie intake while reducing any food cravings. Another study demonstrates the effectiveness of chia seeds for weight loss by lowering ghrelin levels, a hormone that stimulates appetite.
The best part is that chia seeds for weight loss work since they decrease appetite while keeping the body’s energy levels stable.
4. Maintains healthy vision
Just one of the many varieties of seeds that support superior vision is chia, due to its abundance of supply in Vitamin E. Vitamin E shields the cells in your eyes from potential damage from free radicals.
In particular, this vitamin can aid in the prevention of macular degeneration and cataracts, or at the very least, halt their advancement.
Moreover, they contain more omega-3 fatty acids than flax seeds or salmon, as well as more calcium and antioxidants than blueberries and milk.
Include them in your daily diet to prevent lens and retina oxidative damage and to improve your eyes’ general health.
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5. Regulates blood sugar
Chia seeds can actively aid in controlling the body’s blood sugar levels. Chia seeds have been found in studies to aid in the control of normal blood sugar levels due to its high content of fibre and alpha-linolenic acid.
In actuality, it aids in the battle against type 2 diabetes.
6. Supports Heart Health
Chia seeds are incredibly high in fibre, antioxidants, and heart-healthy lipids. This is what makes them so excellent for the health of our hearts. It aids in the management of cardiovascular disorders as well as the prevention of these conditions.
It is well recognised to stop any inflammation-related symptoms while also controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Chia seeds actively control cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and inflammation because of their high omega-3 fatty acid content. By doing this, the risk of coronary heart disease is reduced.
7. Promotes dental hygiene
Calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and vitamin A are all abundant in chia seeds, which contribute to the general improvement of dental and oral health.
While zinc aids in preventing the formation of tartar and the mineralization of teeth brought on by plaque, calcium, the component of teeth, contributes to maintaining general health.
Additionally, zinc has a lot of antimicrobial properties that aid in preventing foul breath. For healthier, stronger teeth, vitamin A and phosphorus are also quite important.
8. Beneficial to bone health
Chia seeds are loaded with large amounts of nutrients that support bone health and help increase bone density and bone strength.
It’s even been linked to major bone-related diseases like osteoporosis. Chia seeds function as a nourishment for the bones since they include large amounts of calcium and manganese.
This is so because calcium is crucial for maintaining bone density and strength. Additionally, manganese has a crucial role in bone metabolism.
It is astounding that just one ounce of chia seeds can provide our body’s requirements for 30 percent of manganese and 18 percent of calcium.
9. Helps in maintaining healthy and glowing skin
Antioxidants found in chia seeds are remarkably abundant and effectively combat free radicals. This prevents oxidative stress and any skin damage brought on by dangerous free radicals.
Additionally, it encourages quicker tissue recovery and safeguards against any potential skin injury. When it comes to antioxidant content, chia seeds are among the food items that rank highest.
You must take into account incorporating it into your diet to stop any early signs of aging and to offer protection from any environmental harm.
9. Curtails cancer spread
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is a form of omega-3 fatty acid that has the ability to combat cancer, and chia seeds are a great source of this fatty acid.
Alpha-linolenic acid has been found in studies published in the Journal of Molecular Biochemistry to be an efficient way to lower cancer-causing cells in the breast and the cervix.
It’s almost astonishing how effectively chia seeds can kill cancerous cells while sparing all other body cells from damage.
How can you include chia seeds in your diet?
Chia seeds also have the outstanding advantage of being quite simple to add into our everyday diet. Their flavour is unique but not overpowering, tasting almost exactly like poppy seeds.
Additionally, they have the ability to give your food a fantastic texture. They can be a useful addition to practically all of your recipes because they don’t need to be cooked first.
Consume them uncooked or simply sprinkle on your sweets, rice, yoghurt, veggies, smoothies, cereal, or even juices; they’ll mix in without overpowering the flavour.
Moreover, because of their rich gel like texture when soaked in warm water, chia seeds can be used in recipes in place of eggs to improve the consistency of sauces.
No matter which variety you choose—black, white, milled, pre-hydrated, or dried—chia seeds are all quite simple to include in a regular diet. However, preferring to include dried chia in recipes is the simplest way to utilize its health benefitting properties.
In addition, for better skin health, people choose chia seed oil, which may be used topically. It’s crucial to choose organic chia seeds no matter what variety you choose.
All you need to know is which chia seeds recipes are the most efficient after you know what to choose from the grocery store aisles.
Chia seeds must be used in moderation, just like any other food item. Because of their high fibre content, excess consumption may cause adverse effects including stomach discomfort if they are consumed in excess, although these effects can typically be avoided by drinking lots of water.
Include these super nutritious seeds in your daily diet and make the most of their delicious flavour.