Chia seeds are highly versatile tiny, oval shaped, black to white seeds. These seeds are highly nutritious and have many different health benefits. Chia seeds come for the desert plant Salvia hispanica, native to Central America, mainly Mexico and Guatemala.
Chia seeds can be made into pudding, added to porridge and/or yogurt, used in baked goods, and so much more! The seeds are packed with fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and many minerals. They are not a good source for vitamins, though. They are also loaded with antioxidants and gluten free.
Some of the most abundant minerals that are found in Chia seeds are manganese, phosphorus, copper, selenium, iron, magnesium, and calcium. Many of these minerals are beneficial for heart and bone health, as well as aiding in bodily processes.
Some antioxidants found in chia seeds are: chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, quercetin, and kaempferol. These antioxidants found in chia seeds may help your body in fighting against chronic illnesses; such as osteoporosis, heart disease, and cancer.
More health benefits of chia seeds could be:
- Increasing blood levels of Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Improving blood sugar levels by reducing insulin resistance.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Increased fiber intake.
- Support in weight loss.
- Help with bone health and reduce risk of osteoporosis.
Chia seeds are very easy to incorporate into any diet, but more specifically a healthy diet. Chia seeds are rather bland and take on the flavor of anything that they are mixed into. They can be eaten raw: putting them on top of yogurt, fruit, cereal, pudding, and more. They can be soaked in water or juice, added to oatmeal, porridge, smoothies, and more. Chia seeds become gelatinous when soaked in liquid and can be mixed into many things or made into pudding. They can also be incorporated into baked goods, made into jam, and are great when added to overnight oats. Chia seeds can also be used as a thickening agent or as an egg substitute in most dishes.
There could also be adverse side effects with the increased intake of chia seeds. The suggested serving for the seeds are 1.5-2 tablespoons of chia seeds, twice a day. The best way to avoid any possible digestive side effects is to increase your intake of water, especially if the seeds are not presoaked. The increased intake of fiber can cause digestive discomfort and possibly diarrhea. Another possible adverse effect is that it may have blood-thinning effects. This is due to the increased levels of Omega-3, in very large doses. There is also a possibility that chia seeds could cause an allergic reaction in some people.
Although chia seeds were a dietary staple in the Aztec and Mayan civilizations, there is still so much more research that could be done. There have been many animal studies that have proven a lot of these benefits, but there has not been much research on humans. Chia seeds are a great addition to any diet and are a superfood that all people could benefit from.
Chia Seeds 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits. Healthline.com (2021, June 9) Retrieved April 21, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/chia-seeds
Chia Seeds: 7 Health Benefits. Healthline.com (2022, April 12) Retrieved April 21, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2