Nutrition and Uses: Chia Seeds Health Benefits

Chia Seeds are a great source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids

The health benefits of chia seeds and their uses. Chia Seeds are protein-rich seeds which have been consumed for thousands of years in Central America. These were known as “warrior food” and are still used today all around the world to strengthen the human body.

List of 22 facts and benefits of chia seeds and let’s explain how they affect the human body.

1. Boosting Energy Chia seeds are loaded with healthy omega 3 fats and protein which can boost energy levels. The ancient Mayan and Aztec civilisations would carry a pouch of chia seeds with them into battles for raising energy levels and strength. Chia is one of the highest plant-based sources of protein in the world, along with spirulina.

2. Weight Loss If you are trying to lose weight, we highly recommend consuming chia seeds on a daily basis. The high amount of protein, healthy fats and fibre helps you to feel fuller for longer and less likely to overeat.

3. Gut Health Chia seeds contain a unique fibre which is called mucilaginous fibre. Adding water to these seeds makes them form a gel-like texture which is very healthy for your digestive system. This soluble fibre feeds the friendly bacteria in your intestines and gut and destroys harmful microbes.

4. Digestion As you consume chia your friendly microbes become stronger which helps to correct digestive problems like constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhoea. The mucilaginous fibre can help to absorb excess fluids if you have diarrhoea, whilst also helping for smoother bowel movements if you have constipation.

5. Inflammation Chia seeds contain more omega 3 fats than salmon which helps to reduce inflammation in the body. The essential fatty acids in chia help to build stronger, healthier cell walls and can help to treat problems like joint pain, arthritis, asthma, IBS, bursitis and all other inflammatory diseases.

6. Bone Health These seeds are also considered a superfood for strengthening the bones and protecting against osteoporosis. These contain 5 times more calcium than milk and are also rich in B vitamins and fatty acids which help calcium to be absorbed into the bones. This makes them denser, stronger and less likely to become weakened with age.

7. Exercise Performance As mentioned earlier, chia seeds were often used as “warrior food” by the Mayans and the Aztecs. Nowadays they are often referred to as “runners food” because they are amazing for helping people to recover after exercise. The essential fatty acids help to build red blood cells, get more oxygen in the muscles and speed up recovery time.

8. Blood Sugars The soluble fibre found in chia seeds and essential fatty acids work together to help stabilise blood sugar levels in the body. This can help to improve the health of the pancreas, make you feel more relaxed and generally improve your overall wellbeing.

9. Skin Health Many people are deficient in essential fatty acids like omega 3 and polyunsaturated fats. This can lead to flaky, rough skin and is very common. Consuming chia seeds, flax seeds or flaxseed oil can help to make the skin much better in appearance. The fatty acids help to build stronger skin cells and reduce inflammation.

10. Building Cells Chia seeds are amazing for building stronger hair follicles, stronger nails and healthier skin because of the essential fatty acids they contain. The natural B vitamins found in these seeds also help with this important process.

Chia Seeds Health Benefits & Uses

11. Viruses Herpes Virus If you suffer from cold and flu infections often then you may wish to take a tablespoon of chia seeds as a daily supplement. This can help to suppress viral infections especially the herpes simplex virus, which can affect the lips and genitals.

12. Sunburn As these seeds are very healing to the skin, they may also speed up recovery time if you get a sunburn. Flaxseeds are another great seed to speed up skin recovery, but be sure to grind these before eating them to make them easy to digest. Chia seeds can be consumed directly.

13. Thyroid Function The thyroid is a very important gland in the neck which controls body temperature, metabolism and many other systems. The ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) in chia seeds supports a healthy thyroid gland by helping it to use iodine and make important hormones.

14. Heart Health ALA, a form of omega-3 in chia seeds has been medically proven to help strengthen the heart and protect the cardiovascular system. Omega 3-s reduce inflammation in the arteries to protect against plaque and vascular problems.

15. Eye Health ALA has also been found to support healthy eyes, especially in growing children. Consuming foods rich in omega 3-s regularly lowers the risk of macular degeneration, vision problems, cataracts and dry syndrome.

Chia Seeds health benefits if consumed in daily life

16. Nutrients 100g of chia seeds contains 17.5g of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, 5.8g of Omega 6 Fatty acids, 15.6g of protein, 631mg Calcium, 948mg Phosphorus, 34.4g of fibre, antioxidants and trace amounts of zinc, potassium, copper and manganese.

17. How To Use Unlike flax seeds, chia seeds can be consumed in their whole form, without the need to grind them. The human body absorbs the same nutrients from chia seeds if they are dry, soaked, whole or ground.

18. Drawbacks The high content of ALA, an omega 3 can be very helpful for the body, however, if you are a Vegan or following a plant-based diet, then this will not be enough to meet your daily requirements. ALA has to be converted by the body into DHA and EPA (Omega 3-s) however this conversion is very poor at less than 5 percent. Be sure to supplement your diet with DHA and EPA to get the right balance of omega 3-s.

19. Chia Egg If you have an egg allergy or follow a plant-based diet, you can use chia as a replacement for egg in many different recipes. Simply mix 1 tbsp chia seeds with 2.5 tbsp water. Allow this to rest for 5 minutes and this will form what is known as a “chia egg”, ready to use in cooking and baking. This works well in pancakes, quick bread, cookies, muffins and many more baked recipes.

20. Chia Pudding One of the most popular ways to use chia seeds is to make chia pudding. Simply add 2tbsp chia seeds to a jar and top off with almond milk to make the base recipe. You can then add flavourings of your choice, like raw cocoa powder, vanilla and cinnamon. Add some natural sweetener like erythritol and mix well. Refrigerate overnight in a glass jar. The mixture will become gelatinous and form a very healthy pudding packed full of nutrients.

21. Smoothies Another great way of getting chia into your diet is simply adding a teaspoon to your daily smoothies. The protein and healthy fats in chia make smoothies more filling, making the perfect breakfast drink. We also suggest adding a good super greens powder to your morning smoothies to start your day with a great boost of nutrition.

22. Origins Chia seeds are tiny seeds which come from the Salvia Hispanica, a flowering plant which is in the mint family. These are oval and are usually grey with black and white spots. Chia is the ancient Mayan word for strength and they are still considered to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet. As you can see chia seeds have some fantastic health benefits for the human body, especially when taken on a daily basis.

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