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Chia seeds, although they are small in size, they are one of the healthiest food that is loaded with powerful nutrients and antioxidants. Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia Hispanica. These tiny black and white seeds are consumed as an energy booster from years. Not only it is versatile, but chia seeds benefits will leave you spellbound. Continue reading to find out about chia seeds nutrition, health benefits, and side effects.
10 Chia Seeds Benefits
1. Very Low in Calories
Chia seeds calories content will definitely give you the reason to add them to your diet. One tablespoon of chia seed contains about 69 calories. The best thing about it is that generally these small seeds are grown organically, plus they are gluten-free and non-GMO.
2. Super High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants fight against free radicals that contribute to damage cell molecules, the aging process, and deadly diseases like cancer. Getting antioxidants from food can prove to be highly beneficial for overall health. Moreover, antioxidants in chia seeds protect sensitive fats in the seeds.
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3. Improves Digestion
One of the major chia seeds benefits is improved digestion. Being a rich fiber source, chia seeds can aid in digestion and improve bowel-related problems like constipation and bowel inflammation. A 100 grams serving of these tiny black seeds contain about 40 grams of dietary fibers.
4. Support Weight Loss
Yes, some foods can provide you energy and also aid in weight loss at the same time. Add chia seeds in smoothies, or mix them with nuts or dry fruits to get most of it. Chia seeds tend to suppress appetite by keeping you full for longer hours. Chia seeds are low in calories and high in good fats that further facilitate in losing weight. Also, chia seeds protein content can reduce food intake by controlling appetite.
5. Packed with Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 acids are necessary for the nervous functioning of our body. Chia seeds are the richest plant-based source of omega acid. It is found as a part of the polyunsaturated fats of these seeds.
6. Control Blood Sugar
High fasting blood sugar levels are associated with type 2 diabetes and can increase the risk of various health issues. Research conducted on animals indicates that chia seeds can control blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity.
7. Reduce the Risk of Heart Diseases
Another chia seeds health benefits is that it lowers the risk of chronic health problems. Chia seeds are rich in protein, fiber, and omega-3 that protects your heart. Studies have found that chia seeds raise HDL (Good) cholesterol and reduce blood pressure. But one has to adopt a healthy life and diet to get desired results.
8. Eases Chronic Inflammation
Inflammation is a result of infection or injury. Although inflammation speeds up the healing process, the excess of it can lead to heart problems, or may even increase the risk of cancer. A study has found that including chia seeds to the diet can reduce inflammation up to 40%.
9. Contain Bone Nutrients
Chia seeds are a good source of calcium protein, phosphorus, and magnesium, which are known to be essential for bone health. It can be considered as a very good option for those who don’t consume dairy products as it just two tablespoons serving of chia seeds offer 18% calcium of required daily intake (RDI).
10. Good Source of Protein
Chia seeds protein content is about 14% by weight, which is quite high as compared to other plant products. Additionally, it also contains essential amino acids that make sure this protein is utilized by the body.
Chia Seeds Nutrition Profile
It will be absolutely fair to give the credit for popularity to chia seeds nutrition. They contain almost everything that one needs for better health.
One tablespoon of Chia seeds approximately contain:
- 2 grams of protein
- 5 grams of fiber
- 6 grams of carbs
- 5 grams of fats (mostly polyunsaturated fats in the form of omega-3 fatty acids)
- 2 mg of phosphorus (11% of Daily Value)
- 7 mg of calcium (8% of DV)
- 5 IU of Vitamin A
- 2 mg of Vitamin C
- 1 mg of Vitamin E
- 8 mg of potassium
- They also contain a decent amount of zinc, manganese, Vitamin B1, B2, and B3.
They are considered to be the richest plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. Apart from this, they also contain essential amino acids that our body cannot produce. Chia seeds nutritional facts will definitely leave you in awe.
Chia Seeds Side Effects
There is no doubt that chia seeds benefit our body to a great extent, but the rule is to consume it in moderation. 1 tablespoon of chia seeds contains 69 calories, which is otherwise not so high, but overconsumption can ruin your weight loss goal.
Another reason why you should always limit its intake is due to its high fiber content. Intake of high fiber can cause digestive issues. It is suggested that you should eat plenty of water with chia seeds to digest it properly. Avoid eating dry chia seeds. Chia seeds usually absorb the water and can expand the person’s throat; thus, you should always use soaked chia seeds.
Other than this, people with digestion or swallowing issues should eat chia seeds in limit or better consult their doctor, whether it is suitable for them or not.
Chia seeds are available in black and white color; however, chia seeds nutrition doesn’t get affected by its color. To get most of it you can add it to yogurt, smoothies, cereals, vegetables, and puddings. 20 grams serving twice a day can be considered as an ideal dosage of chia seeds; however, it may vary as per the age, weight, and sex. All in all, you can add chia seeds to your diet for various health benefits, including weight loss and diabetes.