8 Incredible Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

Today, superfoods are gaining its importance far and wide due to its role in healthy eating. Everyday, a new superfood gets introduced in the market with an aim to bring a healthy lifestyle. Chia seed is one of them.

Health benefits of chia seeds were quite famous, centuries back. Today it is regaining its importance and here is why.

Introduction

Chia seeds belong to the family Labiatae from the plant Salvia hispanica, related to mint. Their popularity among all the superfoods has increased lately and we cannot thank enough of that. Do not go with its tiny size, these seeds can do wonders in your healthy lifestyle.

So, why is chia seeds popular? In the ancient world, these tiny seeds were used as energy boosters.

Reason being that chia seed contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein, carbohydrates, calcium and antioxidants.

health benefits of chia seeds

Chia seeds are 100% natural and whole grain with extremely low calorie content. They are naturally gluten free and a boon to all the weight watchers. Chia seeds are black and white in color and nutty in flavor. They can be easily included in the diet by just mixing chia seeds in water.

While the health benefits of chia seeds in weight loss is a most frequent question that we hear, let’s discuss even more interesting facts about these tiny seeds today.

Also Read: Weight Loss Tricks That Doesn’t Work!

Chia Seeds Nutritional Facts[1]

Name

Amount (per 100g)

Energy

486 Kcal

Protein

16.5g

Carbohydrate

42.1

Total Lipid

30.7

Dietary Fiber

34.4

Potassium

407

Zinc

4.6

Iron

6.6

8 Health Benefits Of Chia Seeds

1. Chia seeds are fiber rich

Nearly half the weight of chia seeds is fiber. In fact the entire carbohydrate content in chia seeds are fiber. This enables chia seeds to absorb water as much as their weight, forming a gel like structure around the seed. [2]

The fiber in chia seeds nourishes the friendly bacteria in your intestine. This keeps your gut flora full and healthy [3]. Due to its maximum fiber content chia seeds are known as one of the best sources of fiber in the world.

Also Read: 11 Fiber Rich Foods You Should Include In Your Diet

2. Chia seeds contains high-antioxidant content

Antioxidants are required by our bodies to fight against several oxidative damages created by free radicals. These antioxidants should be included in a diet through different food sources.

Chia seeds are a potential source of antioxidants. Hence they are believed to have effects on cardiac, anti-aging effects and hepatic protective effects. These properties have led to utilization of these natural seeds for better health. [4] 

3. Chia seeds are low in calorie

Chia seeds are a whole grain food that are naturally gluten free. An ounce of chia seeds contains only 101 calories which is surprisingly very low for a whole-grain. This makes it a best alternative for regular grains, especially for weight watchers.

4. Natural source of Omega-3 fatty acid

Omega-3 fatty acids are unsaturated fats. They benefit in protecting your cardiovascular system. These fats are essential for your body but it cannot produce them on its own. Hence it becomes important to get it from food or supplements. 

chia seeds in a bowl

Chia seeds can be your topmost options for these fats. They are a great source of Alpha-Linolenic Acid, highly beneficial for heart health. These seeds can be easily added in your daily diet. [5]

5. Chia seeds is beneficial in weight loss

Many nutritionists today recommend addition of chia seeds as an obesity control measure. Due to its high fiber content, addition of these seeds in the diet can make you feel fuller for longer. This will prevent you from overeating.

As mentioned earlier, chia seeds are low in calories, this could be beneficial in your diets as a replacement for other whole grains. However, there is very little evidence on the effect of chia seeds on weight loss.

Also Read: 13 Superfoods For Weight Loss

6. Benefits in maintaining heart health

The high content of omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds promotes the raise of HDL cholesterol. This prevents the risks of heart attack and stroke.

The richness of chia seeds in fiber and protein also helps in protecting from the risks of heart diseases. 

7. Increases bone strength

The unusually high content of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber in chia seeds comes with numerous health benefits. Consistently consuming chia seeds for a long term has brought improvement of health in many individuals. 

Some studies have shown that long term consumption of chia seeds has helped in managing body weight and composition. It has had its effect over the musculoskeletal system as well. [6]

8. Reduces blood sugar levels

Chia seeds are known to consist of potential factors that may be of great help for diabetes patients. These tiny seeds with richness of fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids, are involved in reducing the LDL cholesterol and also raise in HDL cholesterol.

Practically, it is not proven that chia seeds alone can be more effective in treating diabetic patients. But, with health benefits of such a limit, it is definitely effective in terms of preventing lifestyle disorders like diabetes.[7]

Can Chia Seeds Help You Lose Weight?

As per the chia seeds performance over our body, they bulge up into a jelly-like in your stomach after consuming them. This makes you feel fuller and you eat less. Ultimately helps lose weight. 

But consuming chia seeds at a maximum amount is not really a right approach. Because chia seeds weight loss benefits are not evident. It sure is nutritious and serves you well in terms of health improvements. And maybe a little effect over your weight. 

Chia seeds weight loss benefits are yet to be proven with facts and experiments. It is necessary to remember that weight loss is a result of both exercise and healthy diet. Chia seeds are a part of it and not the only factor.

Addition of chia seeds in daily diet has shown considerable improvement in health. But it is to be consumed in control, especially for the ones who could have food allergies or high blood pressure. We recommend you to check with your doctor or nutritionists before adding chia seeds in your diet.

Difference Between Chia Seeds And Sabja Seeds

Chia seeds and sabja seeds look alike and it is common to be confused as the same. Both these seeds have several health benefits and also contain medicinal properties.  But what is the difference between them? You might wonder. So here it is.

Difference Between Chia Seeds & Sabja Seeds

Image Source

Chia seeds are oval in shape with a color mix of black and white. Sabja seeds are like tiny grass rice. When you put sabja seeds in water, they swell up in seconds. But chia seeds have to be soaked in water for sometime to bulge up. 

When it comes to flavor, Sabja seeds have this mild flavor of basil leaves. This can be sensed even in the drinks or desserts where these seeds are utilized.

Chia seeds on the other hand is tasteless and has no flavor in it. They can be included in any kind of dishes and you will see no difference.

Nutritional facts of both these seeds are extremely beneficial. But as per several researches, chia seeds tops as better than sabja.

Chia seeds contain high amounts of antioxidants, proteins, several vitamins and minerals.  Sabja seeds are majorly known for its iron content.[8]

Also Read: How to lose weight through sabja seeds

How Can You Use Chia Seeds

1. Add it in your drinking water

Nothing big or time consuming. Add 1 tsp of chia seeds in hot water and leave it for 5-10 minutes. Have this drink in the morning or night before you sleep. Serves you right!

You can also add herbal spices like turmeric or cinnamon powder into this water. 

2. Add it in your morning smoothie

Again, chia seeds goes with all, especially because of its flavorless property. Sprinkle 1-2 tsp of chia seeds over your breakfast smoothie and you are good to go. This fills you up for a longer period of time.

3. Add it to your fruit juice

You can also add these chia seeds into your fruit juice. 

4. Chia seed pudding

Ingredients:

  • Milk – 1 or 2 cups
  • Chia seeds – 3-4tsp
  • Sweetener (Sugar or Jaggery or honey)

chia seeds pudding for weight loss

Instructions:

  • Take 1-2 cups of milk in a jar or a large cup. Add 3-4 tsp of chia seeds (Take as per your choice for the consistency you like).
  • Mix it well until there are no clumps in between. Add honey or any sweetener of your choice. Mix it well.
  • Close the jar and keep it in the fridge for 2 hours. You can have this as a dessert. 

Conclusion

Certainly enjoy these chia seeds for their health benefits and its content of fiber, protein, calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3’s in your diet. Expecting a big weight loss may disappoint you. Because it may not perform its magic in all of them. 

Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, weight loss requires a lot more effort and perseverance from each one of us. A proper diet, a regular workout and a dietician/nutritionist to guide you, a best way to lose weight.

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FAQ’s

1. Is it OK to eat chia seeds every day?

A. Yes! Definitely! Chia seeds are highly nutritious. They comprise several health benefits, especially in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

But too much of anything is poisonous. Hence it is important to have limits in its consumption. Otherwise, chia seeds side effects might haunt you. 

To start with, add 1-2 tsp of chia seeds in your daily diet. Once your body gets acquainted with it, increase your intake.

2. How much chia seeds should I eat to lose weight?

A. If you are consuming it for the first time, then start with 1- 2 tsp in your daily diet. Once your body gets acquainted with it, increase your intake.

3. How long should you soak chia seeds?

A. Chia seeds can be consumed by just adding it in your drinking water. Soak it in a cup of water (Hot or Cold) for 10-20 minutes. The seeds bulge up, forming a gel structure around it. These soaked seeds can be kept in the fridge for nearly a week.

4. Can chia seeds reduce belly fat?

A. Consistent consumption of chia seeds for a long term has shown significant improvement in maintaining body weight. These seeds are rich in protein and fiber content. Hence they help in reducing appetite and you eat less. Ultimately you tend to lose your belly fat.

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