Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

A Comprehensive Guide to Understand Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are basically the tiny black seeds originated from the Salvia hispanica plant. The plant (a member of the mint family) originates from Central and South America. As an ingredient, the seeds are incredibly versatile. Of particular note is their ability to absorb liquid and form a gel, which means they can be used to thicken sauces, used as an egg replacement and make a sugar-free jam.

Chia seeds may appear to be like a modern fad, but their use actually goes back hundreds of years. Many Native American tribes, for example, the Maidu, Chumash, and Costanoan, ate chia seeds as a important part of their diet. But in earlier times, chia seeds weren't used to considering as staples in breakfast bowls and smoothies. Some people mixed chia seeds with flour to make tortillas, while others combined them with water and cooked them to make a porridge or soup. This exceptional quality seeds had medicinal uses, and were used to treat a range of ailments, from fever to inflammation. When it comes to the uses, benefits of chia seeds a lot that one would hardly think.

What Are the Nutrition Facts of Chia Seeds?

A one-ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds nutrition contains:

Quantity

one-ounce (28 grams)

Fiber

11 grams

Protein

4 grams

Fat

9 grams (5 of which are omega-3s)

Calcium

18% of the RDI

Manganese

30% of the RDI

Magnesium

30% of the RDI

Phosphorus

27% of the RDI

They also contain a well amount of zinc, potassium, vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B1 (thiamine) and vitamin B2. This is particularly remarkable considering that this is just a single ounce, equaling 28 grams or about two tablespoons. This small amount offers only 137 calories and one gram of digestible carbohydrate. Interestingly, if you subtract the fiber — most of which doesn’t end up as usable calories for your body — chia seeds only contain 101 calories per ounce (28 grams). This makes them one of the best sources in the world of several important nutrients, calorie for calorie.

Summary: In spite of their tiny size, chia seeds are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. They’re loaded with fiber, protein, omega-3 fatty acids and various micronutrients.

What Are the Top 5 Health Benefits of Chia Seeds?

Chia seeds are one of the healthiest foods ever been flourished on the planet. They’re contained with nutrients that can have important benefits for your body and brain. Here are to 5 important chia seeds benefits, supported by science. Let’s start with the following points:

  1. Promote Bone Health

A rich source of minerals, Chia seeds are known to be beneficial for bone health, including calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. A 25g portion of chia seeds contains approximately 158mg of calcium that makes a significant contribution when compared to the equivalent amount of milk.

  1. Good for Your Heart and Lower Blood Pressure

Incorporating chia seeds in your diet appears to have cardio-protective benefits, thanks to their poly-unsaturated fat content, high fiber levels and anti-inflammatory properties. Chia seeds and chia flour have also been found to lower blood pressure in those affected by hypertension, the effects were relevant for both medicated and non-medicated participants. However, it’s worth remembering that any dietary change needs to be accompanied by lifestyle and exercise modifications to have any appreciable benefit on heart health.

  1. Improve Blood Sugar Management

Researches examining the effect of chia seeds on blood sugar control in animals showed a development in insulin resistance. This was echoed by similar clinical studies examining the effects of bread made using chia seeds, on reducing blood sugar response in humans.

  1. Reduce the Risk of Diabetes

Chia seeds nutritional information being rich in poly-unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber, makes them especially suited for helping to stabilize blood-sugar levels. Some research has emergeed that chia seeds may be beneficial for overweight and obese patients with type 2 diabetes. However, there is no convincing evidence to suggest chia seeds can directly reduce the risk of diabetes.

  1. Improve Digestive Health

A handful of chia seeds of about 25g provides almost 9g fiber which makes a healthy contribution towards the daily recommended intake of 30g. Adequate amount of fiber in the diet is important for digestive health and for maintaining a healthy gut microbiome. A diet rich in fiber pull down the risk of a number of diseases and also reduces all-cause mortality.

Are Chia Seeds Safe for Everyone?

On the whole chia seeds are well-tolerated; however, too much consuming in one sitting may cause abdominal discomfort, constipation and bloating. For this reason, it is imperative to drink lots of water, especially if the seeds have not been pre-soaked. Those with inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis, Crohns disease or diverticulitis may need to regulate their fiber intake and limit their consumption of high fiber foods like chia seeds.

If you are on medication for diabetes or high blood pressure, you may need to lower down your intake of chia seeds because they may enhance the activity of your medication. Refer to your GP or dietitian for guidance. Though nut and seed allergy are well-documented, allergy to chia seeds is rare.

Can Supplying Chia Seeds to Your Diet Help With Weight Loss?

Because chia seeds do have lots of fiber, they promote of a fullness, and so might prevent the overeating that contributes to weight gain. But not a lot of evidence supports the idea that lowing the intake of chia seeds will slim your waistline. For example, a study conducted in Nutrition Research looked at how well chia seeds helped promote weight loss in overweight adults. To their surprise, researchers found that consumption of 50 g of chia seeds – that is about ¼ cup daily did not have any significant effect on body mass or on risk factors for certain diseases, such as inflammation and high blood pressure.

Chia seeds are healthy for several reasons, and contain fiber, protein, calcium, phosphorus, and omega-3s. Some animal studies even show that they increase the feeling of fullness and help with weight loss, but so far, studies on humans and literature reviews haven’t backed up these claims.

The Bottom Line

Enjoy chia seeds for their flavor and to boost your health nutrition level with the fiber, protein, calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3s in your diet. But don't expect a big weight loss boost. Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet (or chia seed) for weight loss. If you want to lose weight, you'll need to follow a healthy, calorie-controlled diet and get more physical activity.

F.A.Q

1 - How much chia should I consume?

There are no hard-and-fast rules on how many chia seeds you should eat daily. But some nutritionist and institutions provide reasonable recommendations, such as Columbia University, which suggests eating 20 g (or a bit under 2 tablespoons of chia twice per day. Obviously, this differs depending on factors such as your age, sex, and weight. Since they’re so dense in fiber, just remember to increase the amount you eat gradually and drink plenty of water.

2 - Are chia seeds safe for all people?

You must be careful before eating chia seeds if you have any food allergies, such as to sesame or mustard seeds — check with your doctor first before adding chia seeds to your diet, Columbia University recommends. Also, if you are on high blood pressure, medication or blood thinners, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult to your doctor before adding chia seeds to your diet. Finally, Columbia University notes that ALA found in large doses in chia seeds, may increase your risk of prostate cancer.

3 - Where can I buy chia seeds?

You can get chia seeds at many local grocery stores — check near the produce or any packaged “superfood” sections, or you may find them in the baking aisle. You could even find them in stores like Home Goods. You can buy chia seeds ground or whole, and the good thing is they last about four to five years in your pantry.

4 - Is there more than one kind of chia seed?

Yes! Chia seeds come in black and white varieties, though their nutritional profile is the same regardless of which color you go with.

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Catherine Martinez

Catherine Martinez joined the company in 2020 after previously working in the wider market research industry. Presently working as Medical Field worker, Catherine is responsible for administering all healthcare related market research, conducted by, both herself and her Medical team. Catherine enjoys having the option to use his insight and skill on a wide scope of tasks and projects

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