Sometimes Chia seeds come up in recipes and you may not know what to expect. Not only do they taste good but they are also very nutritious. They also have benefits that are backed by science. You’ll find information on them and tips below. Here are the benefits of Chia seeds.
What are they?
Chia seed comes from the flowering plant in the mint family. It is native to Guatemala and Mexico. They were eaten as far back as the sixteenth century and the Aztecs used them. They have many purposes once harvested from the flowers.
1. They have many nutrients.
Chia seeds have fiber and healthy fats like omega 3. They have tons of minerals and vitamins as well as protein. When it comes to seeds, these are a complete food source, which is unusual.
2. They have healthy fat in them.
Chia seeds do have a large amount of fat. This may worry you, but don’t despair because these fats are very healthy. A large portion of the fat in chia seeds is Alpha-linolenic acid. Most people do not get enough of this in their diet and we need more of it. There is also contain oleic acid and linoleic acid in Chia. These are both healthy types of fat. Oleic acid has benefits as an anti-inflammatory. Chia seeds also have a large amount of vitamin E which is fat-soluble. It was concluded in the study that Chia seeds are important for healthy nutrition.
3. They are a source of protein for vegetarians.
Vegetarians have many choices for protein. Chia seeds are just one option. Chia seeds should become a common aspect of your vegetarian eating routine. Also, even if you do eat meat, Chia seeds will still give you this same protein and keep you full for a longer period of time.
4. They are an anti-inflammatory.
There has been a lot of research in the past few years about inflammation being a problem associated with many health problems. Omega 3 is a fat that can have anti-inflammatory properties and Chia seeds contain it.
This omega 3 comes from the alpha-linolenic acid in Chia seeds. Unfortunately, it doesn’t convert to forms of DHA and EPA that are usable like would happen if you had a piece of fish, but it does still benefit you.
Another anti-inflammatory property comes from dietary fiber. Chia also has a large amount of this. It also has antioxidant power which helps with its anti-inflammatory properties also.
5. They have a lot of antioxidants.
Chia seeds have a lot of antioxidants contained within them. These antioxidants help some of the fats from going bad, which is highly beneficial to someone who wants to consume them.
Fighting free radicals, Antioxidants are very necessary because they prevent damage to the body via oxidative stress. The bodies cells are damaged by too many free radicals. This can cause poor health conditions to occur. Chia can help with stable molecules it contains thus preventing further damage or illness. This will make the free radicals stabilize.
Researchers from Mexico uncovered that chia seeds antioxidant concentration was nearly 2x higher than previously thought. Seventy percent of the free radical activity was stopped by Chia seeds.
6. They help promote regularity.
There was a study where participants took a chia seed and psyllium husk supplement. , The outcome was that bowel movements were definitely improved for those participants.
When chia seeds take in and absorb water, they become a gel. This helps bowel movements pass as they are moister.
There’s no science yet specifically on Chia and constipation. However, Chia seeds do have a high amount of fiber. They will help get things in balance. One important thing about increasing your fiber intake is to drink more water or things might get worse. The water will assist in flushing out everything.
7. How can they affect diverticulitis?
While there aren’t any studies done on Chia and diverticulitis, some conclusions we can draw are that a diet that doesn’t have much fiber is thought to possibly contribute to its development. Keep in mind that chia has lots of fiber.
Inflammation is also a factor. As stated previously, Chia has omega 3, and while not as beneficial as the omega 3 found in salmon, it does provide some benefit.
8. How can they affect diabetes?
Two groups of diabetics in 2007 were in a randomized control trial. They were given either 37 grams of wheat bran or chia each day for twelve weeks.
The Chia group had a reduction in systolic blood pressure of forty per cent. Their A1C was also lowered. These are both improvements for severe risk factors for the heart associated with individuals that have type 2 diabetes.
9. How can they affect weight loss?
Many experts in the health field might say that Chia seeds assist in healthy weight loss, however, there has not yet been studies that prove this to be true. There was a 2009 study that didn’t show any change in weight for the participants.
However, you’ll feel full for longer when you eat Chia seeds as they have high fiber and protein levels. With all the nutritional benefits they are a great addition to many healthy foods.
10. How can they affect hypertension?
Hormones and peptides that control blood pressure can be regulated with the assistance of Chia seeds. There is not a lot of research but there appears to be a benefit.
More studies will show us more results regarding this, but as mentioned previously, the study with type 2 diabetics showed the group taking chia seeds had a reduction in systolic blood pressure.
11. Chia seeds and bread.
There have been studies done on Chia flour, which is made primarily with chia seed that is ground up. One study replaced hydrogenated oils with chia seeds or chia flour, and it resulted in a decrease around twenty-five per cent in saturated fat content that came from the hydrogenated oil originally in the bread. Hopefully, consumption of bread made from Chia seeds will become more mainstream.
13. How do they improve cardiovascular risk?
As we showed earlier, the 2007 randomized control trial showed reduced systolic blood pressure. An inflammatory molecule, CRP is often seen in heart diseases early stages. So this means that a CRP reduction will have beneficial results for cardiovascular risk factors.
There was a reduction in triglyceride levels in another study. While it cannot be claimed that Chia seed prevents or cures heart disease, it can provide some benefit according to what has been discovered.
Where can you buy Chia seeds?
Chia seeds are popular and considered a superfood. You can find them at most grocery stores today. If not, check your local health food store or even Amazon.