8 Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
If you’ve never heard of chia seeds, let alone try it before, then now might be the perfect time to try. Not only are they widely available, but they are also one of the best superfoods to boost your dietary requirements but also let you feel a noticeable difference in your physical health.
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Chia seeds are tiny black seeds derived from the plant Salvia hispanica. Don’t be fooled by its tiny size, they pack loads of healthy nutrients and provide you so much health benefits you’ll be wondering why you never tried it earlier.
Here are eight health benefits of chia seeds that you should know.
1. Nutrient Booster
Chia seeds are very nutrient-dense and pack plenty of healthy nutrients to help you reach your daily recommended intake, so don’t be fooled by its tiny size. 28 grams of chia seeds can contain up to:
- 11 grams of fibre
- 4 grams of protein
- 9 grams of fat
- 18% of the RDI of calcium
- 30% of the RDI of magnesium
- 30% of the RDI of manganese
- 27% of the RDI of phosphorus
- Decent amounts of vitamins, potassium, and zinc.
Chia seeds can be an excellent garnish for people who struggle to eat or for young children who don’t always reach their RDI.
2. Great source of antioxidants
Chia seeds are a great source of antioxidants and have an abundance of it. The antioxidant content in chia seeds helps to maintain and preserve its delicate fats. The antioxidants found in chia seeds are known to combat free radicals that can damage cells and contribute to diseases.
3. Good source of carbohydrates and fibre
Carbohydrates are something to look out for when trying to lose weight, and chia seeds are one of the healthiest sources of carbohydrates available. Twenty-eight grams of chia seeds is made up of 12 grams of carbs.
What makes this a good carbohydrate is that of its 12 grams, 11 of them are fibre. This makes chia seed in the indigestible carb. In theory, this can help to help you feel fuller and decrease your appetite as chia seeds can absorb 10-12 times its weight in water.
4. Natural source of protein
Especially for people on a plant-based diet or have dietary requirements where they cannot consume meat, chia seeds are a great source of natural protein. They contain a good balance of essential amino acids, which will serve as the building blocks of muscle.
If you aren’t eating enough protein or are looking to increase your intake, chia seeds is a light and natural alternative or supplement to meat products.
5. Helps with weight loss
Experts believe that sufficient consumption of chia seeds can help with aiding weight loss. As stated in the previous point, chia seeds are a soluble fibre that helps to absorb water while expanding in your stomach. This will increase fullness and suppress your appetite.
The protein content in chia seeds is also a contributing factor towards weight loss as increased overall muscle mass in the body will lead to a higher metabolism, allowing you to burn fat at a quicker rate. Although this may be correct in theory, more research is needed on the direct effect of chia seeds and weight loss.
6. Strengthens bones
Chia seeds have several nutrients that can help with strengthening bones. The calcium, phosphorus and magnesium content are known to increase bone density. The calcium content in 28 grams of chia seeds can provide an impressive 18% of the RDI, which is higher than most dairy products.
7. May reduce blood sugar levels
Studies have shown that chia seeds may help in reducing blood sugar levels and can be used effectively in combating type 2 diabetes. Blood sugar levels tend to spike after meals, especially on heavy ones or meals that are high in fat and sugar.
This can lead to increased risks of heart disease and chronic disorders. Although more research is needed to conclude the cause and effect relationship between chia seeds and blood sugar levels, human and animal subject research has shown that it can help to lower blood sugar levels after meals.
8. May Reduce Chronic Inflammation
Inflammation is a normal part of your health and occurs as a response from your body in combating infections or injury. Chronic inflammation is usually harder to identify and is longer lasting. Chronic inflammation includes symptoms such as weakness, fatigue, asthma, mouth sores, chest pain, and abdominal pain.
It is usually caused by lifestyle factors, including obesity, smoking, drug use, and chronic stress, to name a few. Healthy foods that are high in fibre and antioxidants can help to reduce inflammation and chia seeds are no different. Although it makes sense in theory, more research is required to conclude the true cause and effect relationship of chia seeds and the reduction of chronic inflammation.
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