Chia Seeds: Health benefits, nutritional value, health risks and how to add chia seeds to your diet


One of the most nutritional edible seeds available to us, chia seeds are among the healthiest superfoods on the planet. It belongs to the salvia hispanica family, native to central and southern Mexico and Guatemala and a part of the mint family. While it’s nutritional values surfaced in recent times, chia seeds date back to the Aztec Civilization in the 16th century.

Rich in fibre, protein and other healthy nutrients, chia seeds can be incorporated with almost everything. Whether you choose to have a wholesome breakfast cereal or drink a delicious smoothie, a spoonful of chia seeds can boost your immunity and provide your body with all the essential nutrients.

Nutritional value in chia seeds
Unlike any other food, chia seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients and vitamins. That said, one cup of chia seeds can provide you with a wholesome of nutrition. Here’s a brief look at what it holds.

– 5 grams (g) fiber
– 2 g protein
– 6 g carbs
– 5 g fat (1 g saturated, 7 g polyunsaturated, 1 g monounsaturated, and 0 g trans)
– 2 milligrams (mg) phosphorus
– 7 mg calcium – 2 mg phosphorus
– 8 mg potassium
– 5 IU vitamin A
– 2 mg vitamin C
– 1 mg vitamin E



Possible health benefits of adding chia seeds to your diet


While chia seeds are loaded with nutrients, it can have a positive impact on both your body and your brain. That said, here are some of the effective health benefits of chia seeds.

Chia seeds can aid weight loss

Chia seeds are rich in fibre and protein, both of which can aid in weight loss. The soluble fibre expands in the stomach and keeps you satiated for a longer period of time, keeping extra and unnecessary calories at bay. Similarly, protein in chia seeds could help reduce appetite and calorie-intake. This facilitates effective and healthy weight loss in the long run.

Packed with antioxidants

Chia seeds are a potential source of antioxidants such as chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol, which can combat the production of free radicals. Therefore, it can assist your body in fighting chronic illnesses like cancer and can prevent premature aging.

Loaded with Omega-3 Fatty Acids

According to a review in the Journal of Food Science and Technology, chia seeds are a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids. This in turn helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and blood clots in people.

Improves bone health

Chia seeds are packed with calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein, which not only enhances energy levels in the body, but also improves bone health and density.

Lowers blood sugar levels

High blood sugar levels can be associated with an increased risk of several chronic diseases, including heart disease. Due to its high fibre content, chia seeds slow down the absorption of sugar, hence decreasing the level of blood sugar in the body.

Health risks associated with chia seeds

Chia seeds come with a load of nutritional values and is a wonderful superfood that goes with almost anything. However, too much of it can also cause various health issues. While one tbsp of chia seeds is sufficient and wholesome, going overboard with it can have a negative effect on you.

Excess consumption of chia seeds can often lead to digestive issues. Its high fibre content can prove too strong for your gut and therefore, it is crucial that you increase your intake gradually and drink a lot of water.

While chia seeds are healthy and nutritious, many studies have claimed that the benefits of chia seeds originate from their incorporation with different wholesome diets.

Some studies have also claimed that eating chia seeds alone can be dangerous too. According to a case study presented to the American College of Gastroenterology in 2014, a patient who first ate chia seeds and then drank some water experienced a blockage in the esophagus. This as per the study was caused because the chia seeds absorbed the water and grew in size and expanded in the throat. Therefore, in order to avoid this, one must either cook them or mix them with water first.

How to add chia seeds to your diet?

There are many ways to incorporate chia seeds in your diet. While it has no significant taste, it can be added to almost anything.

From adding it raw to breakfast cereals, yogurts and salads to blending it with a wholesome smoothie, you can make chia seeds a staple ingredient in all your meals. It can also be mixed in bread batter, soups, muffins, cakes, sauces and many more items.

Given its gelatinous texture when mixed with water, chia seeds can also be used as a replacement for eggs in baking.

20 grams of chia seeds, twice per day, is the right amount of dosage. recommended by experts.

Takeaway

Rich in fibre, protein, omega-3 fatty acid and many other nutrients and vitamins, chia seeds not only help cure various illnesses, but it also aids your weight loss journey.

The best way to eat chia seeds is by incorporating them in your diet. However you must avoid eating excess of it, as it may impact your health negatively.



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