If you are trying to get healthier, then you must be looking for things to include in your diet that will help you get closer to your goal. One of the things that dieticians, health experts and nutritionists swear by, and have been taking the world by storm is the good old chia seeds.
There are numerous benefits of chia seeds that have proven time and again why we all need to include these seeds in our diets. They have been a staple in Mayan and Aztec cooking culture, and now they are being recognised worldwide for their numerous good qualities.
While these seeds, native to Central America seem small in size, they pack a punch when it comes to nutrition. Here is everything you need to know about it so that you too can instil it in the diet of you and your loved ones.
Mere two tbsps. of chia seeds contains 4.7 grams of proteins and 138 calories. Not just this, chia seeds have a lot of fibre, omega-3-fatty acids, proteins and other micronutrients that you require for the proper functioning of your body.
High level of anti-oxidants
We all know that anti-oxidants are required by our body in generous amounts for proper functioning. One of the benefits of chia seeds includes the high amount of various kinds of anti-oxidants.
The main function of anti-oxidants is to help neutralise free radicals in our body that can damage our body if allowed to persist.
Chia seeds have many different kinds of anti-oxidants, some of them known to have anti-cancer properties, such as – chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol. These also have good effects on our heart and liver.
Great source of omega fatty acids
The best benefit of chia seeds, according to us is that it is a wonderful plant-based source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These are required by your body in a good amount so that you can perform your daily function without your organs going through mini breakdowns.
Chia Seeds are good for your bones
Another important benefit of chia seeds is that they contain a lot of minerals that are good for your bones. These include calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
Regular consumption of chia seeds will help you keep your bone density at subpar levels, and you can have increased mineral bone density.
Chia seeds will keep you full
If you have a good bowl of oats, chia seeds, fruits and nuts. You will not have to feel hungry, tired or fatigued until lunch. There are many wonderful recipes on the internet that you can learn to make. A wonderful benefit of chia seeds is that you can prep them in advance. Hence, a couple of hours devoted to cutting and prepping your food for the week to come will reduce stress on you and also make you eat healthily.
Chia seeds help with pooping
Yes, you read that right. The fibre content helps make your body absorb all the nutrients and then get to the process of pooping quick enough. If you have been feeling constipated or such, we recommend a cup of chia pudding with bananas.
Helps reduce blood sugar levels
Chia seeds are good at reducing blood sugar levels and keeping your heart’s health in check as well. They are often used as substitutes for eggs because of their good protein content and can help keep your organs healthy and functioning.
There is research being done on how one of the newly discovered benefits of chia seeds could be their contribution to insulin sensitivity.
Since they are rich in fibre, the process of digestion is slowed. It also helps reduce the chances of increased blood sugar levels. The same reason is responsible for the feeling of fullness in your body after you eat the seeds.
Chia seeds make for good post-workout meals
When you are fatigued after a rather strenuous exercise session, we recommend you eat chia seeds. This is another benefit of chia seeds, they are full of protein. They will make you get all your energy back in no time. They also contain all the essential amino acids that you need to function without tiring.
How to eat chia seeds?
Another benefit of chia seeds is that they are easy to eat. You don’t need to make elaborate meals for consumption, you can use them in smoothies, fruit bowls, yoghurts and whatnot. The beauty of chia seeds is that you can also use them in fancy foods,. And as mentioned above, as a replacement for eggs, both in taste and texture.
If you have just begun your chia seeds journey, we recommend you try chia seed pudding. It is easy to make, easy to consume and very tasty. You can add more ingredients depending on your taste palette.
All you need is 2 tbsps. of chia seeds, half a cup of milk (you can choose any kind you want, whether cow or oat or almond). Also any sweetener of your choice (we recommend maple syrup or honey).
Keep it in the fridge overnight and top it with fruits, dry fruits, a little dash of cinnamon and enjoy. You can also add other things such as chocolate syrup, peanut butter and such. Chia seeds taste good with a variety of flavours so you aren’t lost for choice.
Who should avoid chia seeds?
If you have digestive issues, you should steer clear of chia seeds. Because they have high fibre content, and you will not be able to digest them throughout the day.
If you have issues when it comes to swallowing, you should not eat chia seeds as they are mucilaginous. Also, it can easily get stuck in your throat.
Like all good things, there are multiple benefits of chia seeds but not without being accompanied by some downsides. It is better to be safe than sorry and avoid things that can harm you more instead of benefitting you.
Overall, as mentioned above, chia seeds are indeed very beneficial. If you have someone in your family who is immunocompromised chia seeds can be a good supplement for a variety of nutrients and minerals. It can also help them with digestion.
It is fully justified why we consider them superfoods, after all, the benefits of chia seeds are numerous.