One food that is highly beneficial to your health but is often forgotten is the chia seed. By adding chia seeds to your diet, you are introducing your body to food full of nutrients that can also prevent diseases, obesity, and bowel obstruction. Additionally, they may aid with weight loss, depression, and beauty routines.
Low in calories, one small serving of chia seeds can significantly enhance many different foods. They can turn food that lacks many nutrients into a healthy option, plus they are easy to add to any diet and taste delicious with all the different food groups.
The Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
1. They are packed full of nutrients.
A small one-ounce serving of chia seeds is full of different nutrients, making it easier to hit your nutritional goals each day you eat them. They can be added to many different foods to boost the nutritional intake for that specific meal.
These nutrients include:
- 11 grams of fiber
- 4 grams of protein
- 9 grams of fats (5 grams of that are omega-3s)
- 18% of daily recommended calcium
- 30% of daily recommended manganese
- 30% of daily recommended magnesium
- 27% of daily recommended phosphorus
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
2. They are low in calories.
One ounce of all those nutrients is only about 137 calories. Additionally, it only has one gram of carbohydrates. With this being the case, your body is consuming a large number of required nutrients without consuming a large number of calories or unhealthy carbohydrates.
3. They have a large amount of antioxidants.
Each seed is full of antioxidants. Consuming antioxidants has many positive effects on the body. One of those effects is that they fight free radicals, which can cause quicker aging and can also cause cancer.
Antioxidants also protect the fats that are in chia seeds. A few other benefits of antioxidants are clearer, healthier skin and longer, shinier hair.
4. Chia seeds can aid your weight loss.
With the high soluble fiber and protein content, chia seeds help you lose weight quickly. They absorb a large amount of water and then expand, making your stomach feel more full than it is. The protein reduces your appetite, which should also reduce the amount of food you eat.
Studies have shown that using chia seeds but making no other change does not improve your weight loss. Reducing your calorie intake or increasing the amount of exercise you do while consuming more chia seeds does benefit your health and weight loss journey, though. By adding chia seeds to your diet, you will speed up the weight loss process.
5. They may lower your risk of developing heart disease.
Since chia seeds have high fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, they may lower your risk of heart disease. Some of the health benefits of chia seeds that come from these three nutrients are:
- Lower amounts of triglycerides
- Less inflammation
- Less insulin resistance
- Less amounts of belly fat
- Regulates blood pressure
Each of the benefits listed above helps determine the health of your heart.
6. Lowers blood sugar in the blood.
Chia seeds may help regulate blood sugar levels by improving your body’s insulin sensitivity. This helps keep blood sugar at a healthy level.
High blood sugar (hyperglycemia) can wreak havoc on your body. If you have high blood sugar for a long time, it can cause damage to your blood vessels, nerves, and even your organs.
If you over-indulge in sweet, sugary foods, you can also cause high blood sugar in that way. When this happens, the problems are slightly different but can still be just as severe. These issues include:
- High cholesterol
- Coronary heart disease
- Metabolic syndrome
7. Helps relieve chronic inflammation.
Usually, chronic inflammation goes unnoticed because the only way to determine the issue is by monitoring the inflammatory markers in your blood. Chronic inflammation may include smoking, not enough exercise, or eating unhealthy foods most of the time.
Chia seeds are a common way to lower the number of inflammatory markers in your blood. Studies have shown that it can be reduced by about 40% simply by introducing them into your regular diet.
8. It is easy to add chia seed into your diet.
Chia seeds are so versatile that it is incredibly easy to add them to your regular diet. They are commonly sprinkled over breakfast cereal, Greek yogurt, cooked vegetables, and rice. You can also eat them raw, soak them in juice, or add them to a smoothie or baked product.
Chia seeds can also be used to thicken soup (you will only need a little bit since they can absorb so much liquid or sauce and as a substitute for eggs in specific recipes. By doing this, you can make almost any dish a healthy option.
9. For vegan cooking or for those with an egg allergy, chia seeds are a great substitute.
Another critical aspect is that they can be used as an egg replacement in recipes. To do this, you mix one tablespoon of chia seed with three tablespoons of water and then let it sit together for five minutes before putting it into your recipe.
10. They lead to an increase in overall energy.
The boost of energy that you can get from one serving of chia seed is nearly the same as the boost of energy you would get from a sports drink. The biggest difference between these boosts of energy, however, is that the chia seeds don’t come loaded with added sugars.
11. They can be used as a treatment for diverticulosis.
With diverticulosis, it may be difficult to pass bowel movements due to flare-ups in the colon. Chia seeds have been proven to absorb excess water in the colon, decreasing inflammation and allowing bowel movements to pass easier.
12. They benefit your oral health.
With their high levels of calcium, consuming chia seeds is a great way to improve your overall oral health. In addition to helping your teeth and jaw become stronger, chia seeds benefit gum inflammation since they have anti-inflammatory properties. Another way that chia seeds benefit your oral health is by preventing bad breath due to the high zinc content they contain.
13. They are a brain booster.
One of the many health benefits is that they can enhance our brainpower. There are several elements of brainpower, including:
Chia seeds can enhance any (or all) of these elements to help perform everyday tasks.
14. Relieves constipation
Because they turn into a gel when they get wet, chia seeds can relieve constipation. When the gel develops, it adds bulk to your bowel movement, making it softer and easier to pass.
15. They encourage hair growth
Your hair needs many different nutrients to grow at a healthy rate. Each chia seed contains a number of those required nutrients. Some of the nutrients that are necessary for hair growth include the following:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
How Many Chia Seeds Should I Consume In One Day?
It is recommended that you consume about 40 grams of these seeds each day. You should not do this all at once, however, as that could cause issues for your digestive system. You should split it in half and have 20 grams twice daily. 20 grams is equal to about 1 1/2 tablespoons.
How You Can Consume More Chia Seeds
It is easy to add chia seeds to a variety of your favorite recipes. The seeds are versatile and can go in breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You can even sprinkle some into your snacks.
Some examples of recipes that could be enhanced with chia seeds are:
Final Thoughts On Proven Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
The amount of nutrients in each seed makes this food a superfood in multiple ways. Such a small amount of food offers many nutrients, leading to many health benefits.
From aiding weight loss to preventing heart disease, these tiny seeds seem as if they will benefit all aspects of your life. You can count on them to lessen the effects of diseases, enhance your brainpower, and help your hair grow longer. The proven health benefits of chia seeds seem limitless, and they are extremely easy to incorporate into your everyday diet.