Believers believe the legendary health benefits of chia seeds. My understanding of chia seeds and its health benefits is based on what a few people around me have told me. Yes! Google and reference books also helped.
Nutrition dense, generally termed as the super food, chia seeds have become one of the most popular item in nutritional value list. Organically grown, a non-GMO gluten free product, chia seeds is fortified with omega-3 fatty acids and other vital minerals, nutrients and fibers, making it one of the most nutritious food on the planet.
Origin of Salvia hispanica chia seeds
Chia seeds are basically the product of Mexico and are grown there in abundance. Chia means ‘strength’ in the Mayan language and hence it is termed as ‘runner’s food’.
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
The health benefits of chia seeds are immense and a few of the same are listed below…
1. Intake of Chia seeds will improve and increase the energy level
This tiny black seeds have immense impact on the body. Chia seeds increase the metabolism process and synthesize proteins and vitamins in the body to provide the necessary nutrition. A single serving (1 ounce or 28 g) of Chia seeds contain the following constituents.
- Fiber- 11g.
- Fat- 9g.
- Protein- 4g.
- Manganese- 30%
- Calcium- 18%
- Phosphorus- 27%
- Magnesium -30%
- Carbohydrate- 12g
- Traceable amount of Vitamin B3, Vitamin B1, Potassium, Zinc and Vitamin B2.
2. Antioxidants help lower risk of Heart Disease and Type 11 Diabetes
Laden with antioxidant properties, Chia seeds, helps to sustain good health. Production of antioxidants in a body is very important to combat the spread of free radicals.
Chia seeds, being a great source protect the building of fats inside the body and at the same time protects from cancerous cells, ageing, help maintain a good heart and a clear mind. Anti oxidative nature of Chia seeds also helps patients suffering from Type II Diabetes.
3. Ideal for healthy weight loss and even for patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.
An interesting research understanding is that Chia seeds is almost Carb free food as a small serving of it has 11 g of fiber content compared to 12 g of carbohydrate present. Also, fibre present in those seeds increases up to 10-12 times their original size, gradually expanding in your stomach. Advantage is that, these seeds in the stomach in an expanded form create fullness and the absorption process cuts down the necessity of any unwanted munching.
4. A good source of protein, it can help in the muscle building mechanism.
Chia seeds are a good source of protein. There is also a balanced amount of amino acids present which will make the resourceful up-taking of protein from the food by the body. It is seen that Chia seed has by far the most amount of protein compared to other plant products.
5. For a good and healthy heart and low cholesterol levels, Omega-3 fatty acid is a must
Adequate quantity of Omega – 3 Fatty acids means good and healthy Heart. In fact, Chia seeds contain the most amount of Omega-3 compared to salmon, which is considered as the best source.
Chia seeds produce ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid), which unfortunately, cannot be naturally produced within the human body. So, taking an Omega-3 supplement is always recommended.
6. Patients suffering from osteoporosis or any bone related problem can get benefitted a lot by taking Chia seeds in their daily diet
Chia seeds contain calcium which is more than any dietary products. So, in a word it can create wonders for people having low bone density or any problems related to bone. Also the presence of phosphorus and other minerals, tend to increase the absorption capacity of calcium from the food.
7. Different mineral sources make the healthy set of teeth
Zinc has an antibacterial effect on the teeth and destroys the plaque causing bacteria that causes tartar in the teeth. Eating Chia seeds will also protect the mouth from any bacterial infection and bad breath.
8. Improves exercise performance even without the intake of sugary health drinks
Replace energy booster drink with a spoonful of Chai seeds. Experiments conducted with Gatorade, a sugar laced energy drink on one side, and Chia seeds on the other, during a vigorous exercise regime, show the same ‘beneficial’ effect. This effectively proves the ‘Carb effect’ of Chia seeds in athletes.