CHIA SEEDS: NUTRITION FACTS AND HEALTH BENEFITS
Chia seeds have since become popular as several weight loss diets seem to recommend its consumption. It has held the interests of many dieticians and nutritionist not just for its nutritional value, but for its health benefits and its uses in cooking.
Chia seeds are reportedly one of the most nutritious foods with important health benefits for both the body and the brain. They are originally grown natively in Mexico. Chia seeds are a whole grain food that are organically grown and free of gluten. The tiny black and white seeds are apparently not tiny in nutrients and benefits.
Chia seeds can be consumed as seeds or added to foods and beverages like cereal, smoothie, yoghurt, vegetables, and baked foods. The mode of consumption (either ground or whole) has no effect on the nutritional value.
Chia seeds (1 oz/28.4g)
The basic calorie content of chai seeds is 138 and contents the following per an 1oz
-Total fat 9g 13%
-Saturated fat 0.9g 4%
-Polyunsaturated fat 7g
-Monounsaturated fat 0.7g
-Trans fat 0g
-Cholesterol 0mg 0%
-Sodium 4.5mg 0%
-Potassium 115.4mg 3%
-Total carbohydrate 12g 4%
-Dietary fiber 10g 40%
-Protein 4.7g 9%
-Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%
-Calcium 17% Iron 12%
-Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 23%
Your daily values may vary based on your calorie needs.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHIA SEEDS
- REGULATION OF BLOOD SUGAR
Chia seeds aid in regulating insulin levels. This they can achieve by reducing insulin resistance levels and high levels of insulin in the blood. As a result of the high fiber content of Chia seeds, Chia seeds can serve as blood sugar balancer.
- APPETITE CURBER
Chia seeds have a satiating effect. It gives a feeling of being full and satisfied leading to fewer cravings. When Chia seeds are added to a meal, the meal gives satiety effectively curbing appetite.
Chia seeds absorb a lot of water which makes it expand in the stomach when consumed. This makes you feel full quicker.
IS CHAI SEEDS GOOD FOR WEIGHTLOSS?
- WEIGHT LOSS
While Chia seeds on their own do not magically cause weight loss, when added to weight loss diets, their satiating effects speeds the process of weight loss up.
If you’re trying to tone your muscles, burn fat and balance your blood sugar levels, your diet should not miss Chia seeds at all. Chia seeds are high in calcium, phosphorous, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron and niacin.
- SLOWS THE AGING PROCESS
Studies reveal that the Chia seeds contain antioxidants that stop radical activity. Antioxidants are known to speed up skin repair and protect the skin against further damage. Skin aging resulting from inflammation can be prevented by taking Chia seeds often.
- ENERGY AND METABOLISM BOOST
Chia seeds boosts the body’s metabolism (this could help in burning tummy fat). The calcium found in Chia seed equally helps in maintaining and boosting bone strength and mass.
- FIGHTS AGAINST CANCER CELLS
Studies reveal the Chia seeds cause the death of cancer cells with little or no effect on the healthy cells. Chia seeds contain ‘Alpha Lipoic Acid’ which in an omega-3 fatty acid known for lowering the growth of cancer cells (especially breast and cervical cancer).
- KEEPS DIABETES AWAY
The presence of ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid) and the insulin regulation effects of the Chia seeds help keep diabetes away. There are ongoing studies being conducted on Chia seeds as a treatment for diabetes.
- HEALTHY TEETH
Calcium is known as the building block of the teeth and is essential for healthy teeth. Chia seeds contain not just calcium but zinc which is known to prevent tartar and prevent mouth odor or bad breath.
Chia seeds are small in size but are loaded in nutrients. The interesting fact is that it can easily be incorporated into your diet. It also fits into a gluten free diet. The only concerns are for people on high blood pressure medication. In which case, you should consult with your physical health care giver before consumption.
Chia seeds are beneficial for pregnant women as such they have no reason to avoid its consumption except instructed otherwise by a doctor. It is also beneficial for those into sports as it helps in boosting energy and toning muscles.
You can use it as a spread, pudding, snack, spice up meals, etc.. the list is endless! Also drink it, various ways of enjoying this amazing wonder seed.
Further studies are ongoing with regards to Chia seeds’ direct relationship or link with weight loss.