Do you know that small-looking Chia Seeds Benefits are numerous and have been a staple in the ancient Aztec and Maya diet?
Moreover, these small seeds have been touted for their health benefits for centuries.
The antioxidants, minerals, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds make them beneficial for your health.
They are not only a great source of antioxidants, but also help to promote heart health, support strong bones, and improve blood sugar management.
What’s more surprising is that the benefits of chia are versatile and you can use them in a variety of recipes.
You can either have them in their gel-like consistency by mixing them with liquids and making a chia seed pudding, or by simply adding them to water.
Keep on reading to learn more about their nutritional benefits and health benefits in this guide.
Nutritional Value of Chia Seeds
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, USDA, National Nutrient Database, about 28 grams or 1 ounce serving of chia seeds contains:
- 138 calories per ounce
- by weight, they are 6% water
- 46% carbohydrates out of which 83% is fiber
- 34% fat
- 19% protein
Moreover, the nutrients in 3.5 ounces in 100 grams of chia seeds are:
- calories 486
- fat: 30.7 grams
- fiber: 34.4 grams
- sugar: 0 grams
- carbs: 42.1 grams
- protein: 16.5 grams
- water: 6%
Fat content in them contains saturated fats 3.33 grams, monosaturated 2.31 grams, polyunsaturated 23.67 grams, Omega-3 17.83 grams, Omega 6 5.84 gams, and trans fat 0.14 grams.
However, it is important to note that chia seeds are also free of gluten.
Furthermore, chia seeds also contain important minerals and vitamins.
They are abundant in manganese about 23% of the DV, phosphorus, 20% of the DV, zinc 12% of the DV, vitamin B1 (thiamine) 15% of the DV, and vitamin B3 (niacin) 16% of the DV.
Additionally, it contains calcium 14% of the daily value (DV), iron 12% of the DV, selenium, and copper.
It is important to note that the absorption of minerals like iron and zinc may reduce due to the presence of phytic acid in chia seeds.
Now, let’s discuss the Chia Seeds Benefits for your Health.
Chia Seeds Benefits: Easy to Add in Diet
One of the chia seeds benefits just like flax seeds is that you can easily incorporate into your diet.
They taste rather bland, so you can add them to pretty much anything.
Moreover, you will not need to rind, cook or otherwise prepare them, thus, they are a handy addition to your recipes.
You can either eat them raw, soak in juice or add them to oatmeal, pudding, smoothies, and baked goods.
Furthermore, you can also sprinkle them on the top of your cereals, yogurt, vegetables, or rice dishes.
They also work wonders in homemade fritters as a binding agent.
Because of their ability to absorb water and fat, you can use them to thicken sauces and as egg substitutes.
You can also mix them with water that will turn into a gel.
The seeds appear to be well-tolerated and in case you are not used to eating a lot of fiber, you might experience some digestive side effects.
These can be bloating or diarrhea when you eat too many seeds in one sitting.
A common dosage recommendation is 0.7 ounces or 20 grams or about 1.5 tablespoons of chia seeds twice a day.
However, remember to drink enough water to prevent any digestive side effects
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Help Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Another chai seeds benefit is that consuming them may help with blood sugar regulation.
This can be because of their content of fiber and other beneficial compounds.
If you are an individual with diabetes, then you may often struggle with high blood sugar levels.
Consistently high fasting blood sugar levels are often associated with an increased risk of complications like heart diseases, according to studies.
Moreover, animal studies indicate that chia seeds can help to improve insulin sensitivity.
This may help to stabilize blood sugar levels are meals.
research in humans is sparse, however, some older studies show promising results.
Some of these studies suggest that eating bread containing chia seeds helps to lower post-meal rises in blood sugar amount healthy adults.
This is in comparison to those who eat break without chia seeds.
However, more research is required to learn more about the connection between these nutritious seeds and blood sugar regulation.
Chia Seeds Benefits: Contains Bone Nutrients
Chia seeds are high in a number of important nutrients for your bone health.
These include calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Most of the observational studies suggest that getting enough chia seeds is important for maintaining good bone mineral density, which is an indicator of bone strength.
Additionally, ALA in chia seeds also plays an important role in bone health.
Observational studies suggest that consuming this nutrient can also be associated with increase bone mineral density.
Therefore, it is possible that eating chia seeds regularly can help keep your bones strong.
Moreover, according to an animal study, rats who consumed chia seeds daily for about 13 months had increased bone mineral content than a control group.
The authors were of the view that ALA may have contributed to this benefit.
However, some human studies can help to explore the chia seeds benefits for bone health.
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Can help lower your risk of Heart Diseases
As you know that chia seeds are high in fiber and omega 3 fatty acids, thus, consuming them can help to lower your risk of heart disease.
Soluble fiber, the kind primarily found in chia seeds can help to lower total and LDL, bad cholesterol in our blood.
Moreover, according to studies, this, in turn, reduce your risk of heart disease.
Therefore, consuming the omega 3 acids via chia seeds also known as ALA has been linked to decreasing heart disease risk.
Furthermore, according to some studies, chia seed supplements can significantly reduce blood pressure if you have hypertension, or high blood pressure, which is one of the strong risk factors for heart diseases.
Overall, you can say that chia seeds help to benefit heart health, however, more research is required.
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Support Weight Loss
Another one of chia seed benefits is that the fiber and protein in them can help if you are trying to lose weight.
1 ounce or 28 grams of chia seeds has about 10 grams of dietary fiber which means they are a whopping 35% fiber or grams of fiber by weight.
Moreover, most of the fiber that contains is soluble fiber and it absorbs water.
It becomes gel-like and expands in your stomach to slow your digestion had help you feel full after a meal.
Therefore, many people claim that soluble fiber can support appetite regulation and weight loss.
Though the research on this topic is mixed, some studies suggest that eating fiber can play a role in preventing overweight and obesity.
Furthermore, the protein content or grams of protein in chia seeds can also help to reduce appetite and food intake.
According to a study, when individuals consume 0.33 ounces (7 grams) or 5 ounces (14 grams) of chia seeds with yogurt for breakfast helps to increase fullness.
It also helps to reduce food intake in the short term than those who eat chia-free yogurt.
In another study, participants with overweight and type 2 diabetes ate a reduced-calorie diet and took chia seeds regularly.
They experienced greater weight loss than those who received a placebo.
Though chia seeds on your diet are unlikely to cause weight loss alone, they may be a beneficial addition if you are trying to lose weight.
Full with Antioxidants
Chia seeds are a great source of antioxidants.
Antioxidants not only protect the sensitive fats in chia seeds from going rancid, however, also benefits your health.
They do so by neutralizing reactive molecules, i.e. free radicals which can damage the cell compounds if they build up in the body.
For instance, free radical damage often contributes to aging and diseases like cancer.
The specific antioxidants in chia seeds are chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol.
According to studies, all of these have a protective effect on your heart and liver as well as anti-cancer properties.
Potential Health Risks of Consuming Chia Seeds
Though there are numerous chia seeds benefits, however, there are also some risks you should be aware of.
Chia seeds can absorb up o 27 times their weight in water.
According to an incident, a man shows a history of swallowing problems developed an esophageal obstruction after he ate a tablespoon of dry chia seeds and then tried to wash them down with a glass of water.
The seeds formed a thick gel in this esophagus that he was unable to swallow without medical treatment.
This was a rare case, however, it shows the importance of mixing them into another food or liquid before consuming them.
This is especially important if you have any kind of swallowing problem.
Moreover, you should not give small children chia seeds at all.
To prevent disease and achieve good health, it is better to eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods, rather than concentrating on individual foods.
The Bottom Line
Chia seeds’ benefits are numerous and are not only rich in nutrients, omega-3 fats, antioxidants, and fiber but also easy to prepare and add to your diet.
Moreover, studies suggest their various health benefits ranging from weight loss to reduction in the risk of heart disease, however, more research can help to confirm these benefits.
If you want to reap the chia seed benefits, consider incorporating them into your daily diet as they are a great addition to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, baked goods, and more. However, make sure to seek medical advice in certain cases.