Chia seeds are known as superfood full of antioxidants, protein, omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, and fiber. They contain incredible health benefits and acts as a natural laxative. One spoonful of chia seeds is believed to sustain a person for 24 hours. The seeds are usually unprocessed whole-grains which can are absorbed by the body as fully. They are naturally grown without the use of pesticides because they belong to the mint family which happens to be irritable to insects. Chia seeds are useful to the body because they help manage blood sugar, feeds the gut-friendly bacteria and help with bone issues. Now, here are the health benefits of this superfood.
Helps with Weight Loss
Chia seeds are believed to aid in weight loss since their soluble fiber absorbs large amounts of water and expands in the stomach increasing fullness and slowing absorption of food. Additionally, chia seeds are high in protein which reduce appetite and food intake.
A six-month study of obese individuals with type 2 diabetes who were on a reduced calorie diet found that eating chia seeds daily caused a greater decrease in weight than a placebo. Combining chia seeds with a real food based diet has shown to help with weight loss too.
Loaded with Antioxidants
Chia seeds have high antioxidant content which is not only good for the cells but for the skin as well. In fact, they help in slowing down the signs of aging. Also, the antioxidant property of chia seeds helps fight the production of free radicals which contribute to cancer and heart disease. This property makes chia seeds more shelf stable than other seeds.
Contains Quality Proteins
Protein makes up about 14% of chia seeds which is higher compared to most plants. Due to the good balance of essential amino acids in chia seeds, the human body is able to make use of this protein content. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating a high protein diet can reduce hunger and increase satiety. Importantly, consuming chia seeds as shown to lower appetite thus reducing obsessive thoughts about food by 60%. For vegetarians adding chia seeds to their diet can really help with increasing their protein content in the body.
Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Untreated type 2 diabetes is characterized by high fasting blood sugar levels which increase the risk of multiple chronic diseases including heart disease. Furthermore, temporary spikes in blood sugar level can result in adverse health issues when they are excessively high on a regular basis. Studies have shown that chia seeds effectively improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control hence stabilizing blood sugar levels after a meal. Another study found that eating bread with chia seeds lowers the post-meal rise in blood sugar compared to bread that doesn’t have them.
Reduce Chronic Inflammation
Inflammation is a sign of the body’s response to infection or injury. It helps the body fight off bacteria, viruses and infectious agent, although it can cause harm at times. This mainly applies to chronic inflammation which increases the risk of heart disease and cancer. There aren’t any visible signs of chronic inflammation, but it can be determined by measuring inflammatory markers in the blood. An unhealthy lifestyle like smoking, lack of exercise or poor diet can increase the risk of chronic inflammation. Eating 37 grams of chia seeds daily is found to reduce the inflammatory marker hs-CRP by 40%.
Deliver Many Nutrients with Few Calories
Chia seeds have gained a lot of popularity in the modern world as a superfood. People are consuming them for multiple health issues. These tiny black seeds are a powerful nutritional diet. One ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains:
- Fiber: 11 grams
- Calcium: 18% of the RDI
- Protein: 4 grams
- Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are omega 3s)
- Manganese: 30% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 30% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 27% of the RDI
This is incredible considering that this is just a single ounce or about two teaspoons of chia seeds. It translates to 137 calories and one gram of digestible carbohydrates. This makes chia seeds world best source of several important nutrients, calorie for calories.
As opposed to most of the whole grain foods, chia seeds are non-GMO and naturally free of gluten. Consuming chia seeds is quite simple because you can add them to pretty much anything. They are eaten raw, soaked in juice, added to porridge, pudding, smoothies or baked goods. Also, you can sprinkle them on top of cereal, yogurt, vegetable and rice dishes. Incorporating chia seeds in your menu can boost your nutritional value. If you don’t eat chia seeds already, you should definitely consider adding them to your diet right away.
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