Nature gives us many gifts, chia seeds are one of them. Scientifically known as Salvia hispanica, Chia seeds come from a flowering plant in the mint family that’s native to Mexico and Guatemala. Chia means “strength” in the Mayan language, and these seeds were known as “runners’ food” because runners and warriors use them as fuel while running long distances.
These tiny seeds which come either in white or dark brown or black color are rich in medicinal and nutritious values. These seeds have the highest content of omega 3 oil just above kiwi seeds, perilla and flax and eight times more omega 3 than salmon. They possess five times more calcium than milk, two times more potassium than a banana, three times more iron than spinach and seven times more vitamin C than oranges. You can eat them whole, milled or add them to your recipes. Below are the 13 benefits of chia seeds which make them a superfood!
1.Improve cardiovascular health
The noteworthy point about these seeds is, they are cholesterol-free! According to a report published by the West Virginia University, the chia seeds can improve heart health and prevent many heart-related diseases as they are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. They also reduce the risk of irregular heartbeat and slow down the accumulation of arterial plaque. Chia seeds also contain potassium and magnesium that help to keep your heart healthy as well as reduce the risk of stroke. They lower the blood pressure as well.
2.Stimulate weight loss
As per a Brazilian study, chia seeds play a role in fat reduction. Chia seeds are most well-known to deliver healthy nutrients to your body. Chia seeds curb your appetite and promote weight loss. One ounce serving of chia seeds provides 138 calories. That’s roughly 9 percent of the daily calorie limit for a 1,500-calorie diet or 7 percent of a 2,000-calorie diet. That’s a significant piece of your daily calorie intake, but you’ll also get a lot of nutritional value for your calorie investment, so chia is a good-to-add ingredient to your weight loss diet.
These seeds are rich in dietary fibers, as rich as 11 grams per ounce(1 ounce= 28 grams). These fibers are also essential to balance insulin levels in the body, benefit bowel regularity, improve digestive transit thereby preventing constipation. If you put a spoonful of these seeds into some water and leave it for twenty minutes, you will return to find a glutinous solution, kind of gel.This gel-like solution moves through your body and cleans up as it goes.The special type of soluble fiber present in it called “mucilage” acts as prebiotic to feed the good bacteria in your gut.
Chia seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and other essential fatty acids. The high levels of essential fatty acids present in these seeds reduce C-reactive protein which increases inflammation. These fatty acids convert into prostaglandins which provide pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects. It is proved that the patients who consumed chia seeds regularly reported reduced inflammation and pain in just a few weeks.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, chia is one of those foods considered to be useful in diabetes treatment. Chia seeds are rich in alpha-linolenic acid and fiber which can help prevent metabolic disorders like dyslipidemia (excessive fat in the blood) and insulin resistance, the two factors in the development of diabetes. Chia’s ability to slow down digestion can be linked to diabetes prevention. The gelatinous coating chia seeds can maintain blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes.
6.Improve hair health
Chia seeds are full of nutrients that forbid hair fall and promote hair growth. Our hair is made up of a protein called keratin while chia seeds are made up of about 23 percent protein. These protein-rich seeds are crucial for hair growth. They also contain copper which delays the graying of hair, an alpha linoleic acid which keeps the scalp moisturized, zinc which is responsible for the production of new hair cells, iron which helps the transport of oxygen to scalp and hair and also prevents premature hair loss in women.Chia seeds provide all the essential amino acids which help to make your hair glossy and shiny.
Chia seeds are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid which can help prevent breast cancer. The chia seed oil appears to reduce tumor growth and metastasis by inhibiting mitosis, which is the replication of cancer cells. In 2013, The Journal of Biochemistry found that alpha linoleic acid limited the growth of cancer cells in both breast and cervical cancer. These seeds are also rich in lignans which have anti-estrogenic effects that inhibit cell growth in breast tumors, thus acting as cancer-fighting foods.
8.Improve skin health
Regular consumption of chia seeds encourages healthy cellular function, increasing skin radiance. The omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds have been found to increase circulation and reduce dryness and skin inflammation. The omega-3s present in them helps protect the skin from UV radiation. Chia seed oil is clinically proven to increase the skin’s hydration. It reduces trans-epidermal water loss and prevents moisture loss.Chia seed oil can also be used as a natural serum. Pour few drops on your hand and apply it lightly on the skin. This will give a healthy glow to your skin. These seeds also prevent your makeup from melting.
Chia seeds, rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are believed to enhance your mood and improve concentration upon regular consumption.Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with improved mood and behavior. These fatty acids can help in fighting depression and mood swings. Consuming chia seeds might also help you fight depression and many other mental disorders.
Chia seeds have antioxidants and phytonutrients in abundance. In fact, it contains 30% more antioxidants than blueberries. It contains Alpha-Lipoic acid, a powerful antioxidant that minimizes fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores whereas the antioxidants are not only good for the cells but for the skin as well as they help slow down the signs of aging.
11.Boost energy and metabolism
Chia seeds are packed with B vitamins, zinc, iron, and magnesium which help boost energy. A study published in the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning” concluded that consuming chia seeds enhanced exercise performance for workouts that lasted 90 minutes the same way a sugar-laden sports drink would, but without any unhealthy sugar. By adding a serving of chia seeds a day, you can help boost your metabolism and burn fat as well. Chia seeds, when taken after working out, can provide protein that helps repair tissues.Thus a smoothie with these seeds can be considered a good workout drink.
12.Good for bones and teeth
Chia seeds are also rich in phosphorus, a mineral that enhances bone health.One ounce of chia seeds has about 18 percent of the recommended daily amount of calcium. Calcium is fundamental to bone health and helps maintain bone strength.Chia also contains boron, which is another essential nutrient for bone health. Boron along with calcium, magnesium, manganese, and phosphorus promotes healthy growth of bones and muscles.
Calcium is the building block of your teeth and necessary for tooth health along with vitamin A, zinc and phosphorus.Zinc has an antibacterial effect that keeps bad breath germs away. Vitamin A and phosphorus are also important for strong teeth and a healthy mouth.
13.Improve brain power
Chia seeds are advantageous to improve your concentration and memory. These seeds help to keep the arteries to your brain clear of plaque, which will improve the communication between your brain cells. The essential fatty acids present in them help to make nerve transmission more efficient and aiding to a better brain functioning. They are also high in Vitamin C and absorb about 10 times their weight in water, keeping you active for a long time.
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