Chia! A Way to Perfect Health.
Have you ever wondered if something is missing in your diet that could turn around your health altogether?
It’s among the healthiest food termed as a superfood. Nutrition value is quite high that provide perfect health.
1. Chia Seed Is Rich Source Of Nutrients
Chia Seeds Provides Antioxidant That Protects From Degenerative Disease
Antioxidants have been attracting mass including health enthusiast to researchers since a long time. There are many types of antioxidants available ranging from its efficiency in nourishing to protecting.
There are many roles of antioxidant in our health and well-being, it is vital to include foods that contain a high amount of antioxidant.
An antioxidant is nutrient that we require for proper development of the body. Along with, it’s responsible for protecting from free radicals which responsible for the cause of degenerative diseases like cancer, Alzheimer, aging and much more. (1, 2)
People are focusing on eating healthy diets, including nutrient-rich foods and even going for supplements to meet the need in our day to day life.
Taking antioxidant supplement is not entirely safe. For that, chia seed can be the best alternative for the supplement. (3)
High antioxidants in chia seeds are also found to protect fat from getting rancid. (4)
Another reason to eat is its high flavonoids like chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol that have antioxidants property.
Contains High Amount Of Healthy Fiber
Another nutrient that makes chia seeds unique is fiber.
1 ounce (28 g) contains 12.3 gram of carbohydrate from with 10.6 gram is fiber. With 42% fiber, it is the best source of fiber in the world.
Fiber is required for better digestion, absorption, and detoxification. It doesn’t get digested by the body.
Due to fiber, chia seeds absorbs water 10-12 times their weight to become gel like and expands stomach. (9)
It’s responsible for fullness and allows to burn calorie slowly to prevent over-eating. Also good bacteria in the gut feed on soluble fiber that are crucial for overall health. (10).
Provides All Essential Amino Acids
A great delicacy for vegetarian trying to get enough protein!
By weight, chia seeds contain 9% protein. Not only that, it’s the best source of vegetarian food that contains each essential amino acids required. High protein doesn’t make it special but it’s complete amino acid profile. (11)
Our body need protein for many purposes like building cells, healing muscles, prevent calorie craving, and many other functions. So chia seed is a perfect solution for perfect health.
Omega 3 fatty acid
Another nutrient that chia seed provide is Omega 3 which is considered similar that salmon provides.
Few test has found that chia mostly contains (Alpha Linolenic Acid) ALA which is then converted into active form EPA and DHA. But the human body is not able to convert ALA to EPA or DHA.
Chia seed contains a good amount of Omega 3 but not effective as it’s not able to convert into an active form. DHA are required for the development of brain cells which chia lack but fish contains high DHA-rich Omega 3 fatty acid.
Amazing List Of Nutrients
With dense nutrients, it contains some nutrients in large quantity. They are as below: (12)
28 gram of chia seeds contains:
- Fiber: 10.6g which is 42% of RDA.
- Protein: 4.4g which is 9% of RDA.
- Calcium: 177mg which is 18% of RDA.
- Fat: 9 gram
- Manganese: 0.6mg which is 30% of RDA.
- Magnesium: 95mg which is 30% of RDA.
- Phosphorous: 244mg which is 27% of RDA.
Wrap Up: Chia seeds provides a lot amount of nutrients that are required for normal functioning proper development of body. Its nutritional content nourishes and protects from multiple health problems.
2. Chia Seed Improves Metabolism and Help To Lose Weight
Weight loss or distributed metabolism is the biggest health concern around the world. During past few years, the rise of health issues is directly or indirectly related to weight gain or disturbed metabolism.
Disturbed metabolism is responsible for weight gain. This is also another reason for weight gain like unhealthy diet.
In past few year, chia seed is loved by every fitness enthusiast and it has many reasons. Helping to lose weight and healthy metabolism is top in the list.
Primary reason for healthy weight loss is its fiber content. 2 teaspoon of chia seed contains 10 gram of fiber. Fiber absorbs a large amount of water to form a gel alike which expands the stomach. This keeps the feeling of fullness, satiety and slows the absorption of foods. (13)
Absorption of water by fiber play lead role in maintaining a healthy weight. With a higher amount of water in the body, absorption of nutrients and electrolyte increases. While slow absorption of nutrients provides energy for longer prevent unwanted craving.
In a study, patients with metabolic syndrome drank a beverage containing chia seeds for two months experienced weight loss. (16)
Another nutrient that helps to burn calories and lose weight is protein. High protein content of chia makes it very special. Protein helps to reduce appetite and food intake.
Although there is very few evidence of weight loss due to chia seed. But protein content makes it remarkable in maintaining a healthy weight.
There are few proofs of weight loss with chia, but it’s a great addition to the diet. Protein and fiber content is remarkable to make to highly beneficial for health or for maintaining healthy weight.
A study has shown that consuming chia reduces adipose tissue that affects the metabolism and is a component of metabolism.
If Chia is consumed before a meal, one will tend to eat less at the next meal, leads to decreased food consumption. Though it provides a good amount of nutrition, experts believe that it doesn’t mean a replacement for actual meals.
By making a minor change, one can get immense benefits. One can get the required amount of nutrition without adding a considerable amount of food.
Overall chia is a great source of healthy nutrients for healthy weight and a perfect replacement for the protein supplement. But just depending on single food isn’t a right decision. To get maximum benefit incorporate it into a healthy diet.
Wrap Up: Chia seed boost metabolism to burn more calorie. While fiber and protein keep fuller for long that prevent overeating and help to lose weight.
3. Chia Seed Provides Complete Benefit To Heart
Chia seeds are a rich source of fiber, protein, antioxidants and healthy fatty acids. All these nutrients provide it ability to lower cholesterol and triglycerides , reverse inflammation and lower blood cholesterol. (21, 22)
Oxidative stress is responsible for the development of atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of arthritis and plaque development) increasing the risk of stroke and heart attack.
It contains a good amount of antioxidants that helps to reduce the oxidative stress damage. Along with, it provide a good amount of Omega 3 that increase absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like Vitamin A, D, E and K.
Omega 3 is also beneficial for heart health as it lowers inflammation, bad cholesterol and blood pressure. Inflammation is responsible for damage to arteries and blood vessels increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
A study found that chia seeds provide benefits to heart but the result was quite low with just eating chia. It is a healthy food for the heart, but to gain overall benefit include it with a healthy diet. (23)
Wrap Up: With high antioxdiants it protects from risk of atherosclerosis that is responsible for heart and stroke.
4. Provides All Nutrients Required For Healthy Development Of Bone
Chia seed is packed with essential nutrients required for development and protection of bone health.
For a better bone strength and mass, calcium is an essential nutrient. While, it also requires other nutrients like manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus for absorption and metabolism of calcium.
One ounce of chia seeds provides 18% of calcium, 30% of manganese and magnesium and 35 % of phosphorous.
Another nutrient to be considered for bone health is Boron which helps to metabolize calcium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus.
All these nutrients in chia seeds help in the development of stronger bone.
Wrap up: With high calcium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorous, it provide all nutrients required for bone development.
5. Chia Seeds Nourish and Protect From Skin Aging
Premature aging is common due to increased in inflammation and damage caused due to free radicals.
Antioxidant plays a major role in lowering inflammation and free radicals damage to skin or cells.
For healthy skin, it can be a perfect food due to high antioxidants content.
In a recent study, it was found that chia seed seeds has 1.8 fold higher antioxidant phenolic content than the previous study and stop free radical activity by 68.88% which is quite remarkable. (24)
Wrap up: Chia seeds high phenoloic content protect skin damage from free radicals and slow down aging.
6. Fiber Keeps Digestive System Healthy
Our daily diet lack required fiber. Lack of fiber is responsible for many of health problem.
But, chia seeds can be great to fill the gap and need of fiber in the diet.
Chia seeds are super rich in fiber which is beneficial for healthy digestive system. One ounce provides 10 grams of fiber which is 42% of daily required fiber.
Dietary fiber in foods helps to regulate bowel moment and healthy stool. As it contains soluble fiber, it absorbs 10 times more water that expands the stomach, that curbs hunger and suppresses appetite responsible for weight loss.
Along with, those soluble fiber is fed by healthy gut bacteria in intestine increasing the digestion and absorption food nutrients. It acts as an excellent prebiotic that boost probiotic growth in the gut. (25, 26)
Digestive disorders can be kept away by just adding a few Chia seeds to one’s diet! While excessive consumption can reverse the effect since they contain lots of fiber.
It could lead to stomach upsets. Always accompany Chia consumption with large amounts of water to prevent stomach upset.
Wrap up: Dietary fiber helps in digestion and keep away from digestive disorders.
7. Chia Boost Sports Performace Similar As Sports Drink
Chia seed is among the great food for increasing and keeping the energy level high in endurance sports that last longer. A study found that consuming chia seeds boost energy level similar as sugar-loaded drinks.
In a study, half of the athletes were provided with half chia drink and half Gatorade drink while the half group was provided with 100% Gatorade drink. (27)
No difference was found after running 10 km long run. Both the team performed same with 100% sugar-loaded drink or half sugar-loaded drink.
With this study, it can be concluded that chia can help to load carbs for longer endurance events.
Along with it contains a high amount of zinc that increases body leptin. Leptin is a hormone that controls the body appetite and also energy level. It is found to boost energy level, stamina, and endurance for sports activity.
Wrap up: Chia boost athletic performance similar like any sugar loaded sports drink.
8. With All Essential Amino Acids, Chia Boost Muscle Growth
Want to build muscle to get a lean body?
If you are vegetarian, then it would be a tough process to get compete-protein.
Non-vegetarian foods contain complete protein that is required for the development of muscle.
A complete protein comprises of essential and non-essential protein (amino acid). We need essential protein from food as our body can’t synthesize it while our body can synthesize non-essential protein.
Without complete amino acids, it would be a tough time for a vegetarian to gain muscle.
But Chia seeds can be the best option for vegetarian to get complete nine essential protein.
Some of other complete sources of protein are soy, hemp, quinoa and amaranth.
1 ounce (28 gram) provide 4 gram of complete protein that makes it a perfect addition for people looking for an alternative for non-vegetarian diet.
Wrap up: With compete nine essential amino acid, chia helps to build muscle quicker.
9. Protects From Breast and cervical cancer
Chia seeds are rich in Omega 3 which is known as alpha linolenic acid (or ALAs). Journal of Molecular Biochemistry found that it can limit the growth of breast and cervical cancer.
ALA is responsible for Apoptosis in breast and cervical cancer without harming healthy cells.
Apoptosis is body natural process to get rid of damaged or useless cells, but it is reversed in cancer allowing uncontrolled growth of cells.
European Journal of Cancer in 2000 published that including ALA reduce the risk of breast carcinoma.
Chia is found to protect from cancer due to its ALA as well as other essential nutrients like fiber and zinc improving its cancer-fighting property. While it also contains other antioxidants that are helpful in protecting from free radicals or inflammation responsible for multiple cancer. (28, 29)
Wrap up: With high Omega 3, zinc and fiber it protects from breast and cervical cancer.
10. Provides Complete Nutrition For Dental Health
With many benefits, healthy teeth are also on the list due to its high nutrient. 28 gram of chia contains 18% of required calcium that is responsible for the development of healthy teeth.
While it also contains other nutrients that play an important role in healthy oral.
- Zinc has an antibacterial property that prevents the development of plaque on teeth.
- Vitamin A and phosphorus keep teeth strong and provide healthy mouth.
- Boron and magnesium increase absorption of calcium.
- Omega 3 acids increase absorption of Vitamin D, responsible for absorption of Calcium.
Wrap up: With high amount of Calcium, Zinc, Vitamin A, Phosphorus, boron, magnesium, Omega 3, it provide complete benefit to teeth.
11. A Healthy Food To Stay Protected From Diabetes
Chia seeds are found highly beneficial for diabetes.
A study done on rats found that it prevented the onset of dyslipidemia and insulin resistance. Their blood sugar level didn’t change instead of adding 65% sugar with Chia seeds as primary diet for 3 weeks.
In a study done on 20 people, half were provided with 37 gram of chia seeds while other were provided with 37-gram wheat germ for 12 weeks. (30)
People consuming chia had great result compared to wheat germ group.
- Blood pressure went down by 3-6 mm/Hg
- Inflammatory marker hs-CRP drop by 40%
- vWF dropped by 40%
High fiber content can be considered for its role in preventing sugar surge. You can get the benefit of fiber and stay protected from the sudden increase in sugar level from the meal by adding chia seeds.
Wrap up: High Fiber is found to prevent sudden increase in blood sugar and increase insulin resistance.
12. Helps In Healthy Detoxification
The high amount of fiber also improves the process of waste excretion from the body. It helps the excretion of toxins much quickly from the system, accumulation of which is otherwise hazardous.
Toxins naturally congregate in the intestine and can lead to multiple diseases. It also provides relief to people who have difficulty in bowel movements.
Detoxification also protects from colon cancer.
Wrap up: Fiber helps in healthy detoxiifcation that protect from multiple diseases and also from colon cancer.
13. Protects From Arthritis
Chia seeds are suggested by Arthritis Foundation due to its anti-inflammatory ALA content. (31)
Along with fiber and antioxidant, it is responsible for protecting from arthritis.
Wrap up: Anti-inflammatory nutrients like Omega 3, antioxidant and fiber protect from arthrities.
14. Replenish Lost Nutrients
Ensuring that children get their recommended amount of nutrition every day is a major hassle for parents, especially in the case of parents who have children with eating problems.
Mix, few Chia seeds in a meal as children will not notice the difference. Chia seeds don’t affect the taste of the food or its appearance in a major way.
Nutritionists also recommend that pregnant women can add Chia to their diet. Pregnant women need Omega 3s for the developing fetus and their brain health.
While it also important nutrients like iron, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, zinc, niacin and magnesium that can help to replenish nutrients required during pregnancy.
As per WebMD, there is no side-effect found after eating chia. They suggest to avoid it as safe side, as effect of chia while pregnancy or breast-feeding it yet not known.
Consult your doctor for proper guidance if you are planning to include chia seeds in your diet.
Wrap up: Chia seeds are very healthy and can help to replinsh essetial nutrients. It can increase the nutrition value of children’s meal.
Chia seeds are safe to consume. There is no severe health condition found after eating chia seeds. But few precaution that should be taken.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Avoid it as there is no enough proof for its safety.
High triglycerides: Some type of chia seeds have been found to increase triglycerides. Prefer Salba chia seeds as it doesn’t significantly increase triglycerides.
Prostate cancer: Many concern has arisen due to its high ALA content. Few studies have found that consuming high ALA has linked to prostate cancer. If you have prostate cancer or at risk avoid eating it. While it is safe to eat in limited quantity.
Chia seeds contain multiple nutrients which make it highly beneficial. To get maximum benefit it is best to enjoy with well-balanced diet. It is a best addition to diet instead of depending on it completely.
How To Make Chia Seeds a Part Of Your Daily Diet?
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics prescribe the use of Chia seeds in any which way is possible. Nutritionists recommend that 15g/0.53oz (one tablespoon) of chia can be consumed each day.
Chia seeds can be simply consumed every day, by adding a small quantity of it in everyday diet. Sprinkle a few seeds on your toast, add a little to your Italian seasoning or pepper your morning quota of eggs with Chia seeds.
A few seeds in morning cereal bowl not only add taste, but also add high nutritional value to your entire day’s diet. Sprinkle few seeds to fruit juices and smoothies or mix them in soups and salads.
Some of Amazing Facts
Bearing the scientific name of Salvia Hispanica, Chia plants belong to the larger family of Mint. The plants produce seeds in brown-black color, sometimes interspersed with a dash of white.
The Chia plant is a native of Mexico and is a primary production crop as it provides the right climatic conditions for the plant’s development. Evidence also suggests that it was also grown by the Aztecs, who were an ethnic group that occupied parts of Central Mexico between the fourteenth and the sixteenth centuries.
Research also demonstrates that the Chia plants carry the same value as that of food crops in Pre-Columbian societies.
The plant is valuable not only for its seeds which bear potential health benefits but also for its purple or white flowers for its aesthetic appeal. Indeed, we have a lot to learn from our Aztec ancestors on our diets!
It wasn’t a very popular food crop in modern times until three decades ago when researcher Dr. Wayne Coates brought its benefits to light. Dr. Coates dedicated his life to ground-breaking research in the field of food crop production, especially that of Chia seeds.
He stumbled upon the amazing positive effects of the Chia seeds when he was finding alternative food crops for the Argentinian farmers to grow.
The suitability to Argentinian weather conditions was his major concern. Dr. Chia’s research aims at making the Chia seeds available for rampant consumption so that every individual can avail himself/herself of its associated health benefits.
For his undying dedication to this self-founded cause, Dr. Coates is often fondly referred to as ‘Dr. Chia’. His dedication to the research of Chia seeds is a life-long process though he has been involved in this for the past twenty-five years.
The little Chia seeds are a storehouse of protein, vitamin and minerals. They contain high amounts of calcium, manganese and phosphorous and are a major source of healthy Omega-3 fats.
Chia seeds come with the added advantage of being able to be eaten whole or pounded, as compared to its more popular counterpart flax seeds which necessarily have to be ground before consumption.
The medicinal properties of these magical seeds were discovered by Barrie Rogers in 2009 when he suffered a back injury.
Unwilling to go home to Ireland with excruciating pain, Barrie tried using the much-recommended Chia seeds, which were known for their inflammatory properties.