Chia seeds (salvia hispanica) have become one of the most popular superfoods in the health community. They’re easy to digest when prepared properly and a very versatile ingredient that adds easily to recipes. Plus, chia seeds benefits are plentiful.
Chia seeds are the best-kept secret of the nutrition industry!
Originally grown in Mexico, the seeds were highly valued for their medicinal properties and nutritional value. In fact, they were even used as currency.
The chia seed is nutrient-dense and packs a punch of energy-boosting power. Aztec warriors ate chia seeds to give them high energy and endurance. They said just one spoonful of chia could sustain them for 24 hours. Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language, and chia seeds were known as “runners’ food” because runners and warriors would use them as fuel while running long distances or during battle.
Chia seeds benefits include promoting¶¶¶¶
healthy skin, reducing signs of aging, supporting the heart and digestive system, building stronger bones and muscles, and more. They’ve even been linked to helping reverse diabetes.
Chia Seed Nutrition Profile
The reason chia seeds are so beneficial is due to them being rich in fiber, omega-3 fats, protein, vitamins and minerals.
Chia seeds also contain essential fatty acids alpha-linolenic and linoleic acid; mucin; strontium’ vitamins A, B, E and D; and minerals, including sulphur, iron, iodine, magnesium, manganese, niacin and thiamine; and they’re a rich source of antioxidants
Top 9 Chia Seeds Benefits
Being rich in so many key nutrients, research has uncovered that regularly eating chia seeds can improve your health in numerous ways. Some of the top chia seeds benefits are:
1. Skin and Aging
Researchers from Mexico uncovered that chia seeds had a total natural phenolic (antioxidants) concentration nearly two times higher than previously reported, and the antioxidant activity was shown to stop up to 70 percent of free radical activity.
chia seeds are one of nature’s riches high-antioxidant foods. Antioxidants speed up the skin’s repair systems and prevent further damage. Taking chia seeds can prevent premature skin aging due to inflammation and free radical damage.
2. Digestive Health
Chia is super-high in fiber, providing nearly 11 grams per ounce. One serving can provide the recommended fiber intake for the day, according to the American Dietetic Association.
Fiber is essential for your body’s ability to balance insulin levels. According to the National Institutes of Health, seeds like flax and chia can be a natural blood sugar balancer due to their high fiber content and healthy fats.
Being high in dietary fiber, chia seeds benefits bowel regularity and healthy stool.
The rich fiber content in chia seeds also helps people feel more full quicker because it absorbs a considerable amount of water and immediately expands in the stomach when eaten.
Also when consumed, chia seeds create a gelatin-like substance in the stomach. This gel-forming action is due to the soluble fiber in chia seeds, and it can work as a prebiotic that supports the growth of probiotics in the gut.
3. Heart Health
Chia seeds’ ability to reverse inflammation, regulate cholesterol and lower blood pressure make it extremely beneficial to consume for heart health. Also, by reversing oxidative stress, someone is less likely to develop atherosclerosis when he or she regularly consumes chia seeds.
Chia seeds )are high in linoleic acid, a fatty acid that helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. For such a tiny seed, chia is quite high in healthy fats, boasting more omega-3s than salmon. Omega-3s work to protect the heart by lowering blood pressure, bad cholesterol and inflammation. Inflammation can put strain on blood vessels and cause heart disease. So by eating chia seeds, you can boost and protect your heart thanks to the omega-3s — just another example of the amazing chia seeds benefits available.
4. Help Treat Diabetes
Because chia seeds are rich in alpha-linolenic acid and fiber, can help prevent metabolic disorders like dyslipidemia (excessive fat in the blood) and insulin resistance, which are two factors in the development of diabetes.
5. Boost Your Energy and Metabolism
By adding a serving of chia seeds a day, you can help boost your metabolism and burn belly fat as well. Studies show that the addition of chia seeds to your diet also reduces visceral adipose tissue, a “belly fat” tissue that effects the metabolism of the body and is a component of obesity.
6. Stronger Bones
Just one ounce of chia seeds has about 18 percent of the recommended daily amount of calcium. Calcium is fundamental in bone health and helps maintain bone strength and mass.
Chia also contains boron, which is another essential nutrient for bone health. Boron helps metabolize calcium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus for healthy growth of bones and muscles.
7. Build Muscle and Lose Weight
Chia seeds also rank among the top plant-based sources of protein. This is another reason this super seed is great to consume for those trying to put on lean muscle, burn fat and balance blood sugar levels.
Chia seeds pack a powerful antioxidant punch to help replace some of those nutrients lost when exercising. They’re high in essential minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, iron and niacin.
One of the characteristics that make chia seeds so unique is they can absorb up to 10 times their own weight in water. Because of this, chia seeds can prolong hydration and improve nutrient absorption of electrolytes. This also slows digestion and keeps you feeling fuller longer, reducing sugar cravings.
Because chia seeds are also high in zinc, they help your body increase leptin. Leptin is a key hormone that regulates appetite, how your body spends energy and regulates your energy levels. It also improves stamina and endurance, making chia a great source of nutrition if you’re looking to get in shape.
8. Fight Breast and Cervical Cancer
Researchers found that it caused cell death of the cancer cells without harming the normal healthy cells. While more research still needs to be done to find out the deeper implications of ALA on other types of cancer, this is a great discovery for women struggling with these increasingly common types of cancer.
Thus, chia seeds are cancer-fighting foods, yet another one of the amazing chia seeds benefits you can get when you consume them.
9. Dental Health
With chia seeds packed with calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A and zinc, it’s no wonder that they’re a top food to help your teeth. Calcium is the building block of your teeth and necessary for tooth health.
Zinc prevents tartar by keeping plaque from mineralizing onto your teeth and has an antibacterial effect that keeps bad breath germs away. Vitamin A and phosphorus are also important for strong teeth and a healthy mouth.
Chia Seeds Benefits During Pregnancy
These tiny seeds pack such a nutritional punch that expectant mothers should also consider incorporating them into their diets. Pregnancy can deplete your body of important nutrients, and eating chia seeds can help replace those lost nutrients while providing a much needed energy boost. Chia seeds are easy to incorporate into your daily routine and benefit not only the mother’s health, but the baby’s development as well.
Here are the top chia seeds benefits for pregnancy and why they’re among the best superfoods for a healthy pregnancy:
1. Great Source of Omega-3s
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for a baby’s brain development. Most people choose to meet their daily requirements by consuming salmon or fish oil supplements. The mercury content in fishtends to make most pregnant women skeptical, so chia is a great alternative. For such a tiny seed, chia is quite high in omega-3 fatty acids. Typically, nuts and seeds with high fat content have short shelf lives before they turn rancid, but chia seeds are so rich in antioxidants they can be kept in storage for up to four years without deterioration.
2. Replenish Lost Nutrients
Pregnancy is very taxing on the body. Chia seeds pack a powerful antioxidant punch to help replace some of those lost nutrients. They’re high in essential minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, iron and niacin.
During the final three months of pregnancy, it’s important to get adequate calcium for proper skeletal development. Chia seeds contain almost five times the amount of calcium as milk. An added bonus: They also contain boron, another critical mineral for bone health.
Iron is essential to develop the red blood cells that transport oxygen through the body. During pregnancy, increased iron intake is necessary to accommodate the mother’s increased blood volume and for the development of the baby’s blood.
Chia seeds have shown possible effectiveness for allergies, angina, athletic performance enhancement, cancer, coronary heart disease, heart attack, hormonal/endocrine disorders, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, stroke and vasodilatation. Some evidence also suggests possible anticoagulant, antioxidant and antiviral effects.
3. Slow Sugar Absorption
High blood sugar makes for a risky pregnancy. It’s been linked to complications such as high birth weight, increase chance of C-section deliveries and preeclampsia. When consumed, chia seeds create a gelatin-like substance in the stomach. This slows digestion and keeps blood sugar levels stable.
4. Energy Booster
In addition to slowing sugar absorption, chia also slows down the process of converting sugars and carbohydrates from the seeds into energy. This slow-burning process, in combination with the high protein content, leads to a sustained energy boost