Chia seeds are incredibly beneficial for our overall health, and their addition to a daily diet prevents numerous ailments and diseases. These seeds are low in calories, but high in important nutrients, and what’s more, they taste delicious with all the different food groups.
Chia seeds (Salvia hispanica) are one of the most popular superfoods in the health community. They are native to areas of Mexico and Guatemala, but are commonly cultivated in many areas in North and South America.
When prepared properly, they are easy to digest and can be a versatile ingredient in a variety of recipes. They also contain high levels of important nutrients, including fiber, protein, manganese, and calcium, along with plenty of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.
Researchers have also found that the chia seeds benefits are even greater than scientists initially realized, and include promoting healthy skin, building stronger bones, reducing signs of aging, supporting the heart and digestive system, and more.
Here are some of their numerous health benefits:
1. They are full of nutrients
Chia seeds are abundant in nutrients, and a small one-ounce serving of chia seeds contains:
- 11 grams of fiber
- 4 grams of protein
- 9 grams of fats (5 grams of that are omega-3s)
- 18% of daily recommended calcium
- 30% of daily recommended manganese
- 30% of daily recommended magnesium
- 27% of daily recommended phosphorus
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
2. High in antioxidants
These healthy seeds are a rich source of antioxidants, which fight free radicals and prevent premature aging and cancer. Antioxidants also protect the fats in these seeds and improve the health of the skin and hair.
3. Fight chronic inflammation
These miraculous seeds are an excellent way to lower the number of inflammatory markers in the blood. Researchers have found that the introduction of chia seeds into the regular diet leads to about 40% reduction in the inflammatory markers.
4. Improve brain function
Chia seeds improve the function of the brain, by enhancing all elements of brainpower: focus, energy, discipline, intelligence, ambition, and motivation.
5. Improve heart health
Chia seeds lower the risk of heart disease since they are full of fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. Namely, they fight inflammation, regulate blood pressure lower triglycerides and insulin resistance, and prevent the accumulation of belly fat.
6. Low in calories
One ounce of chia seeds contains only about 137 calories and only one gram of carbohydrates. Therefore, chia seeds are a great way to replenish the body with important vitamins and minerals, and still not consume too many calories.
7. Treat constipation
Chia seeds treat constipation, as they convert into a gel when they absorb water, and it adds bulk to the bowel movement, softens it, and makes it easier to pass.
8. Weight loss
Chia seeds are rich in soluble fiber and protein, so they create a feeling of satiety, reduce appetite, and help weight loss.
9. Lower blood sugar
Chia seeds regulate blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity and thus lower the risk of obesity, stroke, asthma, high cholesterol, coronary heart disease, and metabolic syndrome.
10. Treat diverticulosis
The flare-ups in the colon make the passing of bowel movements difficult in the case of diverticulosis, but these seeds absorb excess water in the colon, fight inflammation and treat the condition.
11. Great for vegans
You can use chia seeds instead of eggs in your vegan recipes. Just mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water, wait for 5 minutes, and add them to the recipe.
12. They are easy to add to your diet
These versatile seeds are easy to add to your diet. You can sprinkle them over your cereals, cooked veggies, rice, and Greek yogurt, add them to your smoothies or baked goods, eggs and soups, or just eat them raw.
13. Improved oral health
Chia seeds are rich in calcium, which strengthens the teeth and the jaw, and fights gum inflammation. They contain prevent bad breath.
14. Boost hair growth
Chia seeds provide high amounts of numerous nutrients needed by the hair, such as protein, magnesium, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and accelerate hair growth.
15. Boost energy levels
Chia seeds energize the body and can be a perfect replacement for a sports drink, without the added sugars.
Note that the recommended daily dosage of chia seeds for adults is 40 grams, divided into two portions of 20 grams, consumed twice daily. 20 grams is equal to about 1 1/2 tablespoons.
If you are wondering where to buy these seeds, you should go in the health food section of most grocery stores or order in bulk quantities online.
ou will find various different types of chia seeds, including black chia seeds, white chia seeds, milled seeds, and pre-hydrated chia. You can also find chia seed oil, which can be applied topically to supply the skin with a good amount of hydrating essential fatty acids.
All chia types are beneficial, but make sure you choose organic chia seeds whenever possible and buy them from a reputable retailer to ensure that you are getting high-quality seeds.
Moreover, you can try growing chia at home in either an indoor or outdoor garden.
Just sprinkle the seeds over soil, leave enough space for your plant as they tend to grow tall, with some reaching up to six feet, and water them daily. As soon as you see that most of the petals have fallen off the flowers, start harvesting.
Then, pick the flower heads, place them in paper bags to leave them to dry, and when dried, separate the seeds from the plant and collect them. To increase the amount of chia seeds you consume, just add them to your favorite recipes, salads, oatmeal, cakes, smoothies, sauces, muffins, breads, and cakes.