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The Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

The Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

You have probably heard the many claims of chia seeds benefits, most especially on one’s health. These include weight loss and even the lowering blood of sugar levels. But what makes it possible for chia seeds to be so healthy? And are they really a superfood or just another trend? Let’s find out.

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What are the well-known chia seeds benefits?

Chia seeds have become a very popular superfood as of late. And with more people becoming conscious about their health, chia seeds have seen a bigger boost in popularity.

It is common to see chia seeds being sold in grocery stores, and some restaurants even offer chia seeds as a part of their healthy menu.

The secret behind chia seeds as a superfood is that they are chock-full of healthy minerals and nutrients, all of which your body needs. Compared to other types of seeds, chia seeds are more nutrient-dense, which is why they really pack a punch when it comes to your health.

Here’s a breakdown of what exactly is in chia seeds:

People who eat chia seeds benefit from lower blood sugar

Studies conducted on people who ate chia seeds as a part of their daily diet found that eating chia seeds helped with regulating blood sugar levels. In particular, chia seeds have been very effective when combined with a nutritious and balanced diet. These are seen to benefit those with diabetes conditions and obesity.

Chia seeds are high in fiber

Chia seeds also contain a lot of fiber. While other foods also contain fiber, what makes chia seeds different is that it is mostly soluble fiber and mucilage.

These types of fiber are very easily digestible, so your body will not have a hard time digesting them. This makes it very important when it comes to your bowel health since fiber regulates your bowel movement.

The high fiber content also helps slow down digestion and prevents blood sugar spikes from happening.

They help keep you full

Because of their high fiber content, chia seeds can help keep you full for longer. This makes chia seeds a great part of a healthy diet, especially for those who are trying to lose weight.

They contain omega-3 fatty acids

Aside from fiber, chia seeds also contain a lot of omega-3 fatty acids. These are considered healthy fats and help regulate heart rhythm, lowers blood pressure, and also prevents blood clots and inflammation.

By weight, chia seeds contain more omega-3 fatty acids compared to other seeds and grains, making them a must-have for those seeking to eat more healthy meals.

Chia seeds can lower cholesterol levels

In addition to those mentioned above, chia seeds benefit those who eat it by helping lower cholesterol levels.

The high fiber content of chia seeds can help lower cholesterol levels along with omega-3 fatty acids. This makes it very effective as a means of managing high cholesterol, and a great alternative to other grains.

Chia seeds contain essential nutrients and minerals, as well as antioxidants

Lastly, chia seeds are rich in the following nutrients and minerals:

  • Protein
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorus
  • Zinc

In addition, chia seeds also have a lot of antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals that can cause inflammation or even cancer.

Being a nutrient-dense food makes chia seeds a superfood that you should definitely incorporate into your diet, especially if you are looking to lose weight, gain more energy, and relieve bloating.

How can you incorporate chia seeds into your diet?

Now, with all the benefits of chia seeds, how exactly do you go about incorporating it into your diet?

Eat it raw

For one, you can actually eat chia seeds raw. Just sprinkle it into your cereals, add it to your smoothie, or even add it to some brown rice to make it even healthier.

Even without cooking, you will still reap the benefits of eating chia seeds.

Soak it in water

Another thing that people do is to soak it in water to make it easier to mix in other drinks and dishes.

Soaking chia seeds makes them absorb a lot of water, and they take on a gelatinous texture like the seeds of kiwi. This works well when mixed with fruit juices for a healthy and refreshing drink.

In Mexico in particular, chia seeds are consumed this way, by soaking them in either water or fresh fruit juice.

Let them sprout

The seeds are not just a healthy part of the chia plant. You can actually let chia seeds sprout, and eat these as a salad.

To do this, just place a layer of chia seeds in a clean container, spray them with water, and cover them with clear plastic wrap. Leave your batch in a sunny area, and wait for it to sprout.

Once the sprouts appear, usually in about 5-7 days, you can add it to your salads and sandwiches for a tasty treat!

Bake with chia seeds

Chia seeds are also great when mixed with bread. If you like baking your own bread, you can mix some chia seeds into the dough to give your bread an instant boost in nutrition.

This makes for a great alternative to white bread since you know exactly what is in your food, and it is free from any preservatives or additives.

Key Takeaways

Though small, chia seeds are packed with nutrition and can greatly improve your diet. Just a sprinkle immediately elevates your dishes and drinks into healthier ones.

Learn more about Healthy Eating here.

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Sources

Chia Seeds Health Benefits | Sutter Health, https://www.sutterhealth.org/ask-an-expert/answers/chia-seeds-health-benefits, Accessed July 29 2020

What Are Chia Seeds, https://www.eatright.org/food/vitamins-and-supplements/nutrient-rich-foods/what-are-chia-seeds, Accessed July 29 2020

Mayo Clinic Minute: Chia – it’s not just a pet – Mayo Clinic News Network, https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-minute-chia-its-not-just-a-pet/, Accessed July 29 2020

Chia Seeds | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/chia-seeds/, Accessed July 29 2020

Nutritional and therapeutic perspectives of Chia (Salvia hispanica L.): a review, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4926888/, Accessed July 29 2020

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Dec 29, 2020
Fact Checked by Chris Icamen
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