15/07/2021 / Health and Fitness

Benefits of Chia Seeds & Best Ways to Eat Them

The tiny black chia seeds are indeed capable of providing a massive amount of nutrients and work wonders in protecting our bodies from a range of diseases. Including these extremely nutritious chia seeds can fill your day with positivity and good health.

Benefits of Chia Seeds & Best Ways to Eat Them
Mazia AhmedMazia Ahmed

Mazia Ahmed

MSc Nutrition Science, Ph.D. Scholar

Table of Content

Introduction

Have you ever imagined that a simple seed could prove to be amongst the top healthiest foods on the planet? Yes! Blink your eyes because that's true. Those tiny black seeds from Salvia hispanica are indeed capable of providing a massive quantity of nutrients and work wonders in protecting our bodies from a range of diseases. Yes, we are talking about the chia seeds, and these aren't simple at all, at least for those who are aware of their benefits. So, let's check out the top benefits of chia seeds and how they can be consumed in our diet. 

5 Nutritional Contents of Chia Seeds

1. Chia seeds are rich in massive amounts of nutrients: Chia seeds are considered superfoods because of their immense nutritional value. This powerful nutritional booster contains all the essential nutrients that are helpful for sound health. An ounce of these chia seeds contains about 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, 18% Calcium, 30% Manganese, 27% Phosphorus, and a decent quantity of zinc, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B1, Potassium, as well as Vitamin B2. It is interesting to note that all these quantities are present only in a single ounce of chia seeds. Thus, you can imagine what a powerhouse of nutrients these seeds are. 

2. Chia seeds are full of antioxidants: Chia seeds boast of their high antioxidant content. These antioxidants inhibit the production of free radicals and help your body against cell damage. Thus, you get protection from aging as well as fatal diseases like cancer. Besides, the antioxidants preserve the delicate fats in the seeds that are helpful for your body's functioning. 

3. Chia seeds are loaded with fiber: Almost all of the carbohydrates present in chia seeds consist of fiber. And the best part is, chia seeds contain a very low amount of digestible carbohydrates that make them a low-carb food and don't affect your body. Chia doesn't increase your blood glucose level, nor does it raise your body weight. It has a high content of soluble fiber that makes the chia seeds absorb water up to 10-12 times their weight. On water absorption, the chia seeds become gel-like and expand in your stomach, thus keeping your tummy fuller for a long time and results in slow absorption of food which makes you consume fewer calories. Moreover, fiber-containing chia seeds feed good bacteria in your intestine that help in maintaining your gut health. Due to high fiber content, chia seeds improve the passage of bowel movement and help get rid of constipation. 

5 Nutritional Contents of Chia Seeds

4. Chia seeds have high-grade protein: Chia seeds contain a good amount of healthy protein and also maintain a good balance of essential amino acids in your body. A high protein intake helps in weight loss, reduces appetite and cravings for junk food. Chia seeds are especially an excellent source of protein for those who don't prefer consuming animal food.

5. Chia seeds have abundant Omega-3 fatty acids: Chia seeds happen to be a reservoir of Omega-3 fatty acids. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular disorders. Omega-3 fatty acids also minimize the risk of blood clots. Moreover, it reduces blood pressure and also lowers the chances of abnormal heart rhythm.

5 Utmost Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

1. Reduces Chronic Inflammation: Due to the high proportion of protein, fiber, and fatty acids, chia seeds help in reducing the chances of chronic inflammation. Studies show that chia seeds reduce an inflammatory marker known as hs-CRP.

2. Reduces Blood Sugar Level: Chia seeds are known to be effective against high blood sugar levels in human beings. Chia improves insulin sensitivity and stabilizes blood sugar levels. Thus, it keeps blood sugar under control and protects against common disorders or effects related to high blood sugar, such as diabetes, heart problems, and other chronic ailments.

5 Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

3. Chia Seeds have Weight-Loss Agents: According to health experts, chia seeds provide amazing weight loss benefits, much of which come from the high quantity of fiber and protein in them. As mentioned above, its soluble fiber absorbs a large amount of water, leading to lower calorie intake and promoting weight loss. Studies have revealed that the soluble fiber glucomannan dominates a large part of the chia seeds. Glucomannan has some incredible weight loss effects on your body. On the other hand, the protein-rich chia reduces appetite and cravings and ultimately minimizes food intake, which helps lose extra kilos.

4. Helps in Strengthening Bones: Chia seeds are rich in nutrients that help maintain bone health. The nutrients include calcium, phosphorus, protein, and magnesium. Calcium is the fundamental nutrient for increased bone mass, and the calcium content in chia seeds is impressive. A single ounce of chia seeds contains about 18% of the RDA, which is excellent for enhancing your bone density. The content of calcium in chia seeds is higher than most dairy products, as per reports. Thus, chia is an incredible source of calcium intake. 

5. Lowers Risk of Heart Disorders: Chia seeds help reduce high blood pressure and minimize hypertension which is a potential risk factor for most heart disorders. Its protein and omega-3 fatty acids are particularly helpful in improving heart health. 

8 Best Ways to Eat Chia Seeds

There are several ways to incorporate chia seeds into your diet regularly. And it is easy to do so as chia seeds are rather bland in taste and do not possess any characteristic taste or smell. Moreover, you don't need to grind them like the flaxseeds, and hence you can prepare them easily for your everyday meals. Here are some of the ways you can add chia seeds to your daily diet without making your food tasteless or unpalatable. So, check it out.

1. Adding Chia seeds directly to Liquid or Semi-Liquid Foods: An easy way to add chia to your diet is to add it straight to juices, milk, or yogurt. Alternatively, you can also prepare a chia gel beforehand by mixing 1/3rd cup of seeds and 2 cups of warm water and letting it thicken. After a thick gel is prepared, you can add the gel to juice, yogurt, etc.

2. Making Smoothies: Another way to incorporate chia seeds is by adding the seeds or chia gel to your regular fruit or vegetable smoothies. Besides being extremely nutritious, such smoothies are decadent and delicious as well.

3. In Salad Dressing: Chia seeds go well with salad dressings and other ingredients like vinegar, honey, olive oil, lemon juice, etc. The chia seeds make the salad dressing thicker and nutritious as well.

4. Chia Pudding: You can take chia seeds in the form of pudding that tastes amazing and is healthy too. It is a healthy dessert that you can serve in your breakfast by adding chia seeds to almond milk and sprinkling vanilla powder or vanilla beans over it. You can add a dash of cinnamon powder, chocolate chips and drizzle maple syrup to make it extra yummy. Topping your chia pudding with a layer of freshly cut fruits makes it all the tastier. 

5. Baked Food: It is interesting to find that you can even savor chia-filled bakery items at your home. Chia seeds are an essential ingredient of healthy muffins, cakes, and buns and thus, offer you an excellent way to incorporate chia into your daily food regime. Moreover, chia seeds help the baked items remain moist and fluffy and can even be used instead of eggs as a thickening agent. So, try the banana chia muffins or oats chia cakes and enjoy a healthy and tasty breakfast. 

6. Energy Bars or Protein Bars: Chia in the form of bars! Sounds great, right? Yes, you can also make healthy energy bars with chia seeds to satiate your cravings. Use dates, coconut oil, chia seeds, and other dry fruits to make the bars, dry them, and munch on these crunchy, healthy bars any time.

8 best ways to eat chia seeds

7. Chia Jams: Since chia seeds act as a natural thickener or gel, they can be the best ingredients for preparing jam. Making chia jam is easy. You need to combine chia gel, mashed fresh fruits, and sweeteners like sugar, honey, or jaggery and let the mixture sit for a few minutes. After the mixture attains the desired consistency, your fresh chia ham is ready. You can cook the mashed fruits along with sweetener over low to medium flame for about five to seven minutes before adding chia for a thicker consistency. Drizzle this fresh jam over toasts, muffins, and pancakes, and enjoy the goodness.

8. Homemade Chia Drinks: Say no to the expensive store-bought chia drinks and make your healthy chia drink every morning with just some easy ingredients at your home. You need to add 2 to 3 tablespoons of chia seeds to 2 cups of plain or coconut water for your drink and mix 1 cup of fruit juice (any fruit). Stir well and keep the mixture aside to get thickened a bit. And now, your healthy chia drink is all set for a sip. For added freshness, you can also add a few sprigs of mint.  

Word of Wisdom

The tiny black chia seeds are indeed capable of providing a massive quantity of nutrients and work wonders in protecting our bodies from a range of diseases. So, dump your health supplements today and binge on these extremely nutritious chia seeds to explore a dreamy world full of positivity and good health. 


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