Chia is a flowering plant that belongs to the member of the mint family and is frequently referred to as Mexican chia or Salba chia. Chia seeds are nothing but the edible seeds which are frequently grown in the plant. The seeds played a significant role in the peoples’ meals and had multiple medicinal uses.
Chia is grown commercially in Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Argentina, Australia and the United States. Chia seeds are commonly acknowledged as a nutrient-dense supplement to balanced diets.
Despite their diminutive size, chia seeds have been hailed for their health advantages. Chia seeds contain antioxidants, minerals, fibre and omega-3 fatty acids that may help to maintain healthy bones, heart health and blood sugar regulation.
Chia seeds are also adaptable and can be utilised in various dishes. People often make chia pudding by combining them with liquid and enjoying its gel-like consistency.
According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a portion of chia seeds weighing one ounce (28.35 grammes) contains the following.
- 138 calories
- 5.6 grams of protein
- 8.4 grams of fat
- 12 grams of carbohydrates
- 11.2 grams of fibre
- 0 grams sugar
Health Benefits of chia seeds
Powerful antioxidants, vitamins and minerals are found in abundance in chia seeds. These vitamins and minerals contribute to numerous essential health advantages.
Promote weight loss
According to Healthline, Chia seeds provide almost 10 grams of fibre in two teaspoons which amounts to about 35% fibre by weight. Weight loss has been correlated with fibre-rich diets. A 2015 study found that consuming 30 grams of fibre per day could help you lose weight.
Daily use of one ounce of chia seeds can support your weight loss goals. Chia seeds include 10 grams of fibre in an ounce.
Maintains cholesterol level
Consuming chia seeds may lower your risk of heart disease due to their high fibre and omega-3 content. Chia seeds and other sources of soluble fibre can help reduce blood levels of bad cholesterol. This can thus lower your risk of developing heart disease.
Improves bone and teeth health
Chia seeds includes minerals like magnesium and phosphorus, both of which are crucial for keeping strong bones. Additionally, one ounce of the seeds has 18% of the daily recommended calcium intake, which is necessary for strong bones, muscles and nerves.
Chia seeds are high in fibre, with 9.75 grams in a serving of one ounce (oz) of seeds. Additionally, each dish has 4.69 g of protein. Protein and fibre can temporarily reduce appetite by prolonging the feeling of fullness.
Consumption of Chia seeds can increase the amount of fibre in your diet daily. Many people who suffer from diverticulosis or diverticulitis consume a diet that is low in fibre.
Chia seeds are a fantastic fibre source and would be perfectly fine for diverticulosis.
Insoluble fibre included in chia seeds makes you feel fuller for longer and bulks up your stool to prevent constipation. They also provide protein, antioxidants and good fats for the body.
Regulate blood sugar levels
Chia seeds are high in fibre, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. These could lower the chance of developing type 2 diabetes and its complications. The amount of fibre in one ounce (28.35 g) of dry chia seeds is almost 10 g.
Role in cancer
A favourite superfood for fighting cancer is chia seeds. They are renowned for killing malignant cells while not causing harm to the body’s healthy cells. Chia seeds are specifically known to slow the growth of cancer cells in both breast and cervical cancer.
Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse loaded with protein, antioxidants, healthy fats, minerals and vitamins (E, B1, B2 and B3). They are also a fantastic source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which prevent ageing, lessen acne scarring and ensure that your skin looks radiant.
Enhances sleep quality
Tryptophan, an amino acid that modulates sleep patterns by elevating mood, is present in chia seeds. Chia seed-infused juice is beneficial for people who have sleeplessness.
How to consume chia seeds?
You can consume a tablespoon of chia seeds if you’re wondering how to eat them raw, but be aware that they tend to stay in your teeth. If you decide to eat them whole, ensure to hydrate your body well throughout the day.
Additionally, you may incorporate whole chia seeds into cereal mixtures, waffles, muffins, yoghurt, porridge, smoothies and shakes.
Whether you should soak chia seeds before eating is a question for many people. Chia seeds don’t require soaking before consumption. They are safe to consume raw. However, soaking them causes them to “sprout,” releasing the enzyme inhibitors that are employed to preserve the seed.
Soaked in milk
Many chia seed recipes offer fantastic suggestions for chia seed milk pairings. For instance, you may make a delectable chia seed pudding by combining chia seeds with any milk you like, such as goat milk or coconut milk.
Soaked in water
Chia seeds can store up to 12 times their weight in water, making them an excellent way to replace lost fluids. Chia seeds and water can be combined to create a healthy energy drink.
For baked products and recipes, you can also combine chia seeds with water to make an egg alternative that is suitable for vegans.
Another choice is to break down the tough outer shells of the chia seeds before consuming them by grinding them in a coffee grinder or blender. Once more, this facilitates your body’s absorption of more nutrients, including protein.
Most gluten-free recipes, including those for pancakes, muffins, bread and even pasta, can utilise ground chia seeds as a flour. Omega-3-rich seeds should be ground before storing them in your freezer or refrigerator in a sealed glass container.
Chia seeds should be included on any list of superfoods. They are a good source of healthy fat, fibre and antioxidants. Adding chia seeds to your diet is an easy method to increase its nutritional value.
Chia seeds are safe to eat, but some people may experience an allergic reaction. When taking blood pressure medication, consuming chia seeds should be done with caution. If you are worried, discuss it with your doctor.
How much chia seeds should you consume daily?
0.7 ounces (20 grammes, or about 1.5 teaspoons) of chia seeds twice daily is a typical dosage suggestion. To avoid any adverse effects on your digestion, remember to drink lots of water.
Can chia seeds reduce belly fat?
Chia seeds are a great source of protein. As a result, you eat less and feel less hungry. The abundance of protein promotes the growth of lean muscle mass. This assists with weight loss and the reduction of body fat.
Do chia seeds need to be soaked before eating?
Chia seeds can be consumed uncooked, though many choose to soak them first. Consider pulverising and putting them on your cereal or smoothie.