Chia seeds are tiny, but they pack an incredible amount of rich nutrients and are useful in a host of medicinal applications. Famous for their health benefits, these seeds were a staple of the ancient Mayans and Aztec folks.
Today, the versatile chia seeds are widely consumed and commercially grown in many countries including India, the USA, Guatemala, Australia, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, China, and Australia.
Nutrients in chia seeds
Small chia seeds have big benefits to offer. Take a look at the nutritional value and the goodness it packs in just 2 tablespoons:
Fibre: 11 grams
Protein: 4 grams
Unsaturated fat: 7 grams
Traces of zinc and copper
Vitamins C and E
Please Note: Common dosage recommendation for chia seeds is 20 grams (about 1.5 tablespoons) twice per day.
10 proven health benefits of chia seeds
These nutrient-dense seeds provide powerful antioxidants (like kaempferol, chlorogenic acid, quercetin, caffeic acid), vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, and also support strong bones, promote heart health, and regulate blood sugar.
Let us now explore the 10 proven and significant health benefits of chia seeds
1. Promotes heart health
The antioxidant quercetin present in chia seeds reduces the risk of developing any heart disease. The fibre content lowers the low-density lipoproteins (LDL or bad) cholesterol, further reducing cardiovascular ailments.
2. Reduces appetite and supports healthier weight management
Approx. 28 grams of chia seeds have 10 grams of dietary fibre and constitutes 39% of the recommended daily allowance of fibre. These soluble fibres absorb water and become gel-like substances, further expanding in the stomach. So, eating them keeps you feeling full for a longer period of time. Therefore, chia seeds support appetite regulation.
3. Reduces the impact of harmful free radicals
The powerful antioxidants present in chia seeds help in fighting free radicals present in your body. Apart from causing cell damage, free radicals also cause oxidative stress. Therefore, consuming foods high in antioxidants cuts down the various health risks, including cognitive decline, heart disease, and certain cancers.4. Regulates the blood sugar levels
Consuming fibre-rich chia seeds helps in keeping the blood sugar levels in check. Fibre helps in reducing insulin resistance, which further reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic syndromes.
5. Builds up bone health
Loaded with several nutrients and beneficial compounds, chia seeds have a great impact on bone health. The calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium content helps achieve adequate bone mineral density, which is an indicator of good bone strength. They also aid in the better functioning of the nerves and muscles.
Talking about calcium: Do you know that if you compare gram for gram, chia seeds score higher in calcium content than dairy products!
6. Curbs chronic inflammation
Chronic inflammation puts you at risk of cancer, heart diseases, and other cardiovascular conditions. Caffeic acid, the antioxidant present in chia seeds, keeps inflammation at bay, and its regular consumption reduces inflammatory markers.
7. Decreases the prevalence of diverticulosis
Diverticulosis is a condition in which small swollen pouches develop in a person’s digestive tract. High-fiber diets have proven to decrease the prevalence of diverticulitis. Fibre-rich foods like chia seeds absorb water in the colon, which eases bowel movements, thereby reducing the chances of any sudden outburst of diverticulitis.
8. Provides the best source of plant-based protein
Chia seeds are loaded with amino acids, which make the essential protein needed for the body. Just about two tablespoons of these tiny seeds give you 4 grams of protein. Therefore, instead of lean meats, full-fat dairy, or other poultry products, you can easily consume chia seeds to boost your daily protein intake.
9. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3s decrease the risk of thrombosis (blocked blood vessels due to blood clots) and arrhythmias (irregular heart beating) disorders. Chia seeds are laced with rich plant-produced ALA (alpha-linolenic fatty acid) Omega-3 fatty acids. Particularly, the milled chia seeds are known to increase the levels of ALA.
10. Aids digestion and detox
Adequate fibre consumption ensures relief from constipation and supports the regularity for a better and healthier digestive tract. Therefore, chia seeds help promote bowel movements and regular elimination of the toxins in the form of bile and stool.
How to eat chia seeds
Adding chia seeds into your daily diet is very easy. Given their bland taste, these tiny seeds can be added to pretty much anything! Here are a few ways in which you can consume them:
Put the chia seeds in water or mix them with fruit juice or milk to make a chia pudding.
Replace eggs with chia seeds in baked goods (mainly loaves of bread or cakes).
Mix them into your muffin batter.
They make good binding agents while making fritters.
Add to smoothies or soups.
Sprinkle raw seeds on cereal, salads, yogurt, rice dishes, vegetables, or oatmeal.
Soak them to make sprouts.
Add to sauces to thicken them.
Enjoy the chia seeds raw.
Chia seeds facts you must know
Chia seeds can easily absorb around nine times their weight in any given liquid.
Chia seeds can replace eggs when mixed with water.
Chia seeds come under the mint family and can be grown without much use of pesticides.
Chia seeds have a high ratio of selenium, an important antioxidant required for better cell metabolism.
Chia pudding recipe that you must try today!
Combine two tablespoons of chia seeds with a half cup of any milk of your choice. Add one teaspoon of honey or maple syrup (if desired). Stir it evenly for a minute or two and transfer this mixture to small jars. Let the mixture in jars cool in the fridge for a few hours.
Now, add your favourite toppings to your chia pudding before eating. You can add nuts, seeds, or fresh fruit.
If you want to enjoy a burst of flavours, try combinations like mashed strawberry and peanut butter, mango and coconut milk, or banana and cocoa powder.
Chia seeds come with many benefits: they are loaded with nutrients, fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants, plus they are easy to incorporate into the diet. Chia seeds create tiny health wonders ranging from better bowel movement to weight loss and reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Do not exceed the recommended dosage (20 grams or 1.5 tablespoons, twice a day) to reap maximum benefit.
Before you go, discover the best organic chia seeds and other healthy products tailored for your taste on our website.