|Health Benefits of Chia Seeds|
Chia seeds are the small, flat and oval-shaped seeds with a glittery and smooth texture. They are of the chia plant (Salvia hispanica). These white to brown or black seeds are native to Mexico and Guatemala. “Chia” in the ancient Mayan language means “strength”. As the name indicates, Chia seeds are extremely rich in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, high quality protein, and numerous essential minerals and antioxidants.
In the recent years, many health conscious people have embraced chia seeds and made them increasingly popular thanks to their high nutritional value and proven health benefits.
Here are the main health benefits of adding chia seeds to your diet:
Increased Blood Levels of Omega-3
Chia seeds are a perfect source of omega-3 fatty acids which are incredibly important for both your body and brain.
Note that it is necessary to convert ALA into active forms, for example EPA to enable your body to use it.
Improved Blood Sugar Control
It’s of optimal importance to have healthy blood sugar levels. According to studies conducted on animals, chia seeds help to decrease insulin resistance and improve blood sugar control. These are essential risk factors for metabolic syndrome, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Moreover, human studies have revealed that bread containing chia seeds causes a lower blood sugar response unlike traditional breads.
Lower Blood Pressure
Chia seeds are your natural treatment for high blood pressure. Remember that people suffering from heart disease have a high risk of getting high blood pressure.
Research has shown that chia seeds and chia flour are effective in lowering blood pressure in people with high levels.
Increased Fiber Intake
Fiber consumption is great for human health but most people don’t get enough of it.
If you want to have improved gut health, consume high fiber foods. It also helps in lowering the risk of catching various diseases.
28 grams of chia seeds contain 9.75 grams of fiber, which amounts to 25% and 39% of the RDI for both men and women. Chia seeds absorb large amounts of water, which increases the food volume in your digestive tract. This makes people much fuller, reducing their food intake.
Digestion and Detoxification
If you add enough fiber to your diet, it prevents constipation and makes the digestive process or track quite healthy. The more you have bowel movements regularly, the more toxins you excrete via the bile and stool.
You need bone health and the higher nutrients with no calories in chia seeds are a good source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and protein. With an impressive calcium content of 18% RDI in 28 grams, your bones will be healthier than when you choose dairy products.
Side Effects of Chia Seeds
Overall, chia seeds are safe to eat. Consumers of the seeds have reported almost no adverse effects. However, avoid possible digestive side effects by drinking a lot of water while eating especially chia seeds that have not been presoaked.
Chia seeds also have phytic acid that lowers the absorption of calcium to some degree.
Taking large doses of omega-3 fats, for example, from fish oils, may cause your blood to be thinning.
Are you taking blood-thinning medications? Then consult with your health provider before adding significant amounts of chia seeds in your foods. Omega-3 fatty acids may also impact your medication.
Chia seeds are highly flexible. Like me, you can put them in your smoothie, soak and add them to porridge, use in baked foods, make into pudding, or sprinkle them on top of salads or yogurt. Since chia seeds absorb liquid and form a gel so well, you can also use them to thicken sauces or as a replacement for an egg.