Due to increased awareness about the health benefits of including super foods in the diet, various super foods such as Chia seeds and flax seeds have become very popular over the last few years. One of the biggest benefits of Chia seeds over flaxseeds and other super foods is that these do not need to be ground to get all the nutrients. Flaxseeds and various other super foods need to be ground to benefit from the nutrients inside. Also, these tiny little seeds are not just good for adults but these are also great for kids.
These are completely tasteless and can be added to any of the meals kids like. These are rich in a variety of minerals and dietary fiber. Also, consuming a small amount of these seeds on a daily basis can provide many of the essentials minerals and vitamins needed by the body.
You can easily add these seeds to your meals in a variety of ways. For instance, add these seeds to the cereals or smoothie in the morning.
You can also use these as a replacement for eggs. These have a variety of other uses. However, if you are still on the edge on the benefits of adding these tiny little seeds to your diet, here are 12 big ways tiny Chia seeds can improve your health.
1. These Seeds Deliver Massive Amount Of Nutrients Without Any Calories
These tiny seeds are native to South America. Salvia Hispanica is the name of the plant that gives these seeds. These seeds were used by Mayans as well as Aztecs back in the day. In fact, the seeds were used to provide strength to the runners who were used to deliver information during wars. The seeds were important to these ancient civilizations as these were able to provide sustainable energy.
In fact, the ancient Mayan word for strength is Chia. However, even though people in ancient times were aware of the nutritional value of these tiny seeds, it has now taken a number of years in the modern world for the seeds to become popular again. These have exploded in popularity in the past few and these are now consumed by people all over the world.
These pack in a lot of nutritional punch. For instance, around one serving of these seeds (28 grams or 1 ounce) contains 11 g of fiber, 4 g of protein, 9 g of fat, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, calcium, zinc and various vitamins such as vitamin B2, vitamin B3 and vitamin B1.
This is not all. One serving of Chia seeds delivers only 137 calories and just a single gram of digestible carbohydrate. Around two tablespoons of Chia seeds weigh 28 g.
In other words, there is no other food on the planet that supplies such large quantity of nutrients in such a small amount without delivering huge quantities of calories. Also, these are non-GMO and are grown organically. These tiny seeds have everything that is required in a super food.
2. These Are Excellent Source Of Antioxidants
As you are aware, some research studies have reported that antioxidants are good for your body as these help in getting rid of the free radicals that may lead to development of signs of premature ageing and various types of cancer. Other popular sources of antioxidants include fish oil in the form of supplements.
However, research studies have also reported that antioxidants derived from food sources are more effective as compared to those derived from supplements. Antioxidants also help in protecting sensitive fats in the seeds. Blueberries are also one of the other common sources of antioxidants but some research studies have reported that Chia seeds contain more antioxidants than blueberries.
3. All The Carbohydrates In These Tiny Little Seeds Come In The Form Of Fiber
While one serving of Chia seeds contain around 12 g of carbohydrates but 11 of those are fiber which means that your body does not digest these. Therefore, one serving of Chia seeds (28 g) supplies only 1 g of carbohydrate that is digestible. In other words, this is an extremely healthy food that supplies all the major nutrients but does not supply too much carbohydrates or calories.
Also, Chia seeds do not enhance blood sugar. Also, due to high amount of dietary fiber, these tiny seeds can absorb up to 12 times the weight in water which means that these allow you to eat fewer calories.
These seeds are also known to feed friendly bacteria in the intestines. These tiny little seeds are one of the best sources of dietary fiber.
4. Get High-Quality Protein From Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are around 14% protein by weight which means that the amount of protein is very high in these seeds as compared to most of the other plants. Also, the protein in these seeds contain almost all the essential amino acids which means that the protein included in these seeds is usable by the body.
As you are aware, protein is the building block of life and it is considered one of the most weight-loss friendly nutrients as compared to various other nutrients. High protein intake has been known to reduce appetite and it is also known to reduce food cravings.In fact, a high-protein diet has also shown reduction in the desire for nighttime snacking by up to 50%. These tiny little seeds are one of the best sources of protein. This is especially true for people who do not consume any animal products.
5. Chia Seeds Can Also Help You With Weight Loss
Many experts are of the opinion that Chia seeds can also help people with weight loss. Due to high amount of dietary fiber in these seeds, these can absorb large amount of water that help in expanding the stomach which increases the feeling of fullness and helps in slowing down the absorption of food.
The high-quality protein in the seeds also helps in reducing appetite. It is important to keep in mind that Chia seeds on their own are not going to help you in reducing weight. These will help you in feeling full faster which means that you will be able to decrease your food intake and also reduce your snacking. This may lead to weight loss when combined with regular exercise.
6. These Are Rich In Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are known to be highly beneficial and these seeds contain more of these than one of the most well known sources of omega-3 which is the fresh salmon, when compared by weight.
It is important to mention here that the omega-3 included in the Chia seeds are ALA that are not as beneficial as the other form of omega-3 acids.
The ALA in these seeds needs to be converted into DHA and EPA by the body before these can be used. Some research studies have shown that regular consumption of Chia seeds can increase the level of EPA and ALA but not DHA. Therefore, one should consume fatty fish on a regular basis to increase the level of DHA.
7. The Seeds May Lower The Risk Of Type II Diabetes And Deart Disease
Chia seeds can also help in improving metabolic health as these are rich in protein, omega-3 acids and fiber. A number of studies have shown that this is indeed the case. Chia seeds have been known to decrease the level of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and enhance the level of HDL cholesterol while also reducing inflammation.
8. These Are Rich In A Variety Of Bone Nutrients
Chia seeds are also extremely rich in a variety of micronutrients needed for bone health such as magnesium, phosphorus and calcium. A single serving of Chia seeds contains around 18% of recommended daily amount of calcium. Therefore, it is an excellent source of calcium for people who do not consume dairy products or are unable to get the recommended daily intake of calcium from other food sources. In fact, Chia seeds are richer in calcium by weight as compared to most of the dairy products.
9. Chia Seeds Can Help In Improving Your Physical Performance
As mentioned in the beginning, the ancient civilization of Aztecs and Mayans used to consume Chia seeds to fuel their performance. In fact, Chia seeds make for an excellent energy drink as compared to various other sports drinks available in the market today.
A number of research studies have also reported that Chia seeds can help athletes in loading carbohydrates for various endurance events that help in increasing the intake of nutrients while decreasing the intake of sugar.
10. These Can Help With Cardiovascular Diseases
A number of research studies have reported that dietary fiber plays an important role in regulating inflammation and immune system that helps in decreasing the risk of various inflammation related conditions such as diabetes, obesity, cancer and various cardiovascular diseases. Since Chia seeds are rich in dietary fiber, these can help in reducing the level of cholesterol as well as lowering the blood pressure.
11. These May Help In Preventing Diverticulitis
Overconsumption of white flour and processed foods has led to a decrease in the consumption of foods that are rich in dietary fiber. Lack of dietary fiber in the diet has led to increase in the cases of this disorder. Chia seeds are extremely rich in dietary fiber as one single serving of Chia seeds contains around 11 g of dietary fiber. Therefore regular consumption of Chia seeds on a daily basis can help in keeping this disorder away.
12. Use Chia Seeds For Baking
Chia seeds are an excellent substitute for butter in most of the recipes. Almost all the baked goods require use of a lot of oil and butter. You can use Chia seeds to replace half of the butter in each recipe and your food will taste the same with all the health benefits of these tiny little seeds.
Also, the antioxidants in these seeds help in keeping the food fresh for a long period of time. You can add these seeds to waffles, pancakes, muffins, cookies bread and various other foods. Overall, Chia seeds are full of nutrients and help in reducing the risk of various adverse health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Also, research studies have shown that a diet rich in plant-based foods is associated with lower weight, higher energy level and a healthy complexion. Another advantage of Chia seeds is that these are almost flavorless which means that you can easily add these tiny seeds in a variety of ways to almost all of your meals.