Nature has gifted us with plenty of edible things in the form of useful herbs, shrubs, and seeds to gorge upon. Amongst such foods that are trending all across the world as a superfood is chia seed. Chia seeds are small edible seeds of the Salvia hispanica plant belonging to the mint family. They are tiny oval grey seeds spotting black and white spots. Counted as one of the healthiest superfoods available to mankind, these seeds are small in size but high in nutritional value. The world is basking under the countless chia seeds benefits and many people have gained better health with a regular dose of omega 3 fatty acids and other nutrients found in just 2 tablespoons of these seeds.
Let us dig deeper to understand whether chia seeds for weight loss are of any use or we better try other health benefits of chia seeds?
Chia Seeds Nutrition
Although small in size, these tiny seeds are power-packed with nutrition. Here is a list of nutrition found in 2 tablespoons of chia seeds as mentioned below:-
- Calories: 140
- Carbohydrates: 12 grams
- Fiber: 10 grams
- Fat: 9 grams
- ALA or Alpha-Linolenic Acid: 5 grams
- Protein: 4.7 grams
Besides, chia seeds carry an ample amount of minerals and vitamins like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B3, and vitamin C. These seeds are also rich in antioxidants like myricetin, quercetin, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and kaempferol.
Top 7 Health Benefits of Eating Chia Seeds
Let us now understand the various health benefits of chia seeds as mentioned below:-
- Good for Gut Health: The topmost health benefits of chia seeds are due to their high fibre content. These small seeds of power are water-soluble and capable of delivering good bacteria to your intestines. This helps in regulating bowel movement and therefore aids digestion. Hence, we can say that consuming chia seeds is good for your overall gut health.
- Promotes Weight Loss: Experts these days are recommending Chia seeds for weight loss. The reason is that they help you feel fuller for longer and as a result curb your appetite. However, make sure to consume just a moderate amount of these seeds because they are otherwise rich in calories and fats. Overeating them may result in obesity.
- Good for Heart Health: These tiny grey seeds are indeed a superfood for your heart health. With a high content of Omega 3 fatty acids, including ALA or Alpha-Linolenic Acid, chia seeds are good for your heart health. As per a recent study, the high content of ALA helps to prevent cardiac diseases. However, make sure not to indulge in high amounts of these seeds, else they may even contradict what we just mentioned.
- Prevents Ageing: When we disclosed the Chia seeds nutrition value, we did mention that these seeds are rich in antioxidants. Besides the antioxidants, chia seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which make them an ideal anti-ageing ingredient. Perhaps, this is the reason that nowadays, several skin products are trying to include these seeds in their formula for more effectiveness.
- Promotes Bone Health: Being a rich source of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, chia seeds are a blessing in disguise for your bone health. Regular but moderate consumption of these seeds will help in increasing the overall bone mineral density. However, don’t just rely on these seeds for your bone health, do continue taking other foods good for your bone health like milk, and other dairy products.
- Soothes Inflammation: When talking about chia seeds benefits, another remarkable benefit worth mentioning is its effect on soothing inflammation. The rich ALA or Alpha-Linolenic Acid in this superfood is found to provide relief from inflammatory symptoms in the body, especially in the blood. A small amount of just 35 grams of these seeds per day is good to deal with inflammation issues in the body.
- Skin Radiation and Hydration: For radiant and bright skin, you need to keep your skin hydrated. Chia seeds being water-soluble and capable of holding a good amount of water in them are therefore considered to be a skin-friendly ingredient. You can rely on these seeds for skin hydration. Moreover, rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and other minerals, these seeds help to give your skin a good elasticity and radiation.
Top 3 Side Effects of Eating Chia Seeds
Like every coin has two sides, we do have some side effects of chia seeds. After going through the list of chia seeds benefits, make sure you are aware of some of its side effects too.
Here are some common side effects of chia seed side as mentioned below:-
- Excessive Amount Risky for Blood Pressure: It is perfectly fine to consume a few chia seeds, rich in omega 3 fatty acids to prevent cardiac issues. However, if you overdo that, you may soon experience issues like low blood pressure. It may also contradict your body if you are already taking some blood thinners.
- Gastrointestinal Problems: By now you must be aware that one of the best health benefits of chia seedsis their rich fibre content. However, excessive intake of these tiny seeds may upset your stomach and you may soon experience gastrointestinal issues. Some symptoms you may then encounter are abdominal pain, constipation, bloating, and diarrhoea.
- Harmful for Mint Allergic People: Since chia seeds belong to the mind family of herbs, people allergic to mint, should stay away from chia seeds. If anyone who is allergic to the mint family herbs and shrubs consumes chia seeds, he/she may experience itching on the tongue or lips, diarrhoea, and vomiting.
You can add these crunchy nutty seeds to almost any dish, be it a smoothie, dessert, or salad. In case, your chia seeds taste bitter, better discard them because chances are that they have gone rancid and may not yield the above-mentioned chia seeds benefits. Always, try to buy pure and organic chia seeds to get the best benefits for your health.