Despite their tiny size, chia seeds are a powerhouse of different vital nutrients needed by the body. Here are 9 Proven Health Benefits of Chia Seeds and why you should be adding more of them to your diet.
They have a nutty flavor and are easy to include in your food. For instance, they can used to make Coconut Chia
Also, if you don’t happen to like the texture of chia seeds, you can always grind them up. Either way, it’s going to be easily digestible and good for your health.
1. Chia Seeds Can Help Reduce Chronic Inflammation
Inflammation is a normal immune response to injury or infection.
However, chronic inflammation has been linked to metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
An unhealthy lifestyle such as poor diet, lack of exercise, and smoking can increase your risk of inflammation.
According to one study, having 37 grams of chia seeds daily can help reduce inflammatory markers in the blood.
2. Chia Seeds Are High In Antioxidants
Antioxidants are essential elements that prevent or slow down cell damage caused by free radicals.
If not controlled, free radicals can lead to disease and accelerate aging.
Antioxidants in chia seeds may help strengthen the immune system and reduce the risk for different cancers and heart disease.
3. Chia Seeds Provide A Good Source Of Fiber
Chia seeds contain high amounts of soluble fiber, which absorbs water and expands in the stomach. This slows down the absorption of food and keeps you full longer, which prevents overeating and aids weight loss.
The high fiber also helps reduce bloating, constipation, and improve general digestive health.
Two tablespoons of chia seeds have 11 grams of dietary fiber, which is half of what a woman needs in a day and about a third what a man needs.
4. Chia Seeds Can Help Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Chronically elevated sugar levels have been associated with insulin resistance, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Consuming chia seeds have been shown to reduce and stabilize blood sugar levels, which can help increase your insulin sensitivity. Read More.
5. Chia Seeds Are Good For Bone Health
Chia seeds are high in bone beneficial micronutrients, including phosphorus and calcium. According to studies supplementing chia seeds can increase bone density and bone health. Read More.
6. Can Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Disease
Heart disease can be due to many factors, including inflammation, excessive weight gain, and high blood pressure.
Some studies have shown chia seeds can reduce and regulate your blood pressure levels, making them helpful to reduce your risk for heart disease.
7. They Are A Great Source Of Plant-Based Protein
By weight, chia seeds contain 14% of protein, with just two tablespoons providing up to 5 grams of protein.
Protein is the building block of bones, skin, muscles, cartilage, and blood. It’s essential for tissue growth and repair, enzymes, and hormone production.
It also helps reduce appetite and cravings, making you lose weight and prevent unnecessary snacking that can contribute to weight gain.
Chia seeds are a great source of protein, especially for vegans or anyone on a plant-based diet. Read More.
8. Chia Seeds Are A Good Source Of Omega 3
Chia seeds can help increase the level of alpha-linoleic acids in your body, also known as ALA.
ALA is one of the essential fatty acids that the body needs but cannot produce. So it has to be obtained from food.
Other important fatty acids include EPA and DHA (both found in animal foods).
Though ALA is highly present in chia seeds and other plant foods, ALA has to be converted into EPA or DHA before it can be utilized in the body. Unfortunately, the conversion process is inefficient in humans, and only a small percentage of ALA can be converted to either the EPA or DHA.
So, if following a vegan diet, you may want to include a plant-based DHA supplement to avoid running into deficiencies.
Otherwise, ALA can still be used to provide energy to the body.
9. Chia seeds are high in nutrients and low in calories
With all the micronutrients and macronutrients, chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse.
Here are the nutrients to expect from 2 tablespoons of chia seeds.
Fiber – 11 grams
Protein – 5 grams
Unsaturated fats including omega 3 fatty acids – 9 grams
They are also high in micronutrients, including magnesium, calcium, manganese, potassium, vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), and vitamin C.
Apart from including chia seeds in your pudding, smoothie, or oatmeal, how else can you consume these precious tiny seeds?
Exciting ways to eat your chia seeds
1. Chia cereal
This can be a great swap from your usual breakfast cereal
Simply soak chia seeds in your preferred milk substitute
Add your favorite toppings such as fruit, nuts, banana, and spices such as cinnamon or vanilla extract to enhance the taste.
2. Homemade lemonade
Add one and half tablespoons of chia in 2 cups of cold water and let it sit for half an hour.
Squeeze one lemon and add a sweetener of choice.
3. In soup or gravy
Instead of using flour to thicken soups and gravies, soak chia seeds in water and allow the gel to form, then mix it in.
You can also use chia:
- In place of flaxseeds in recipes
- in granola and protein bars
- For Popsicles
- In chia water
- Sprinkle on salads
- In bread crumbs
- As yogurt toppings
- In making crackers
- Add to salad dressing
- Include in a bread recipe, in pancakes, or a base dough for pizza.
9 Proven Health Benefits of Chia Seeds Conclusion
Chia seeds are versatile, and their benefits are endless. Studies suggest that regularly consuming them can lead to a nutritional boost in minerals and vitamins. It can also inhibit inflammation, reduce the risk of heart disease, regulate your blood glucose, and enhance weight loss, among other benefits.
If you’ve not been consuming chia, maybe it’s time. Besides, there are a variety of ways to help you consume them and actually enjoy them.
Other Related Articles
- What Is The Best Vegan Milk?
- 10 Best Vegan Protein Sources
- 10 Foods That Boost The Immune System
- 8 Natural Probiotics For Vegans
- Should Vegans Take Supplements
- 6 Benefits Of A Plant-Based Diet
- Plant Iron Sources
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