Chia seeds are also referred to as Mexican chia or Salba chia. It comes from the plant Salvia hispanica L. The flowers of chia seeds are purple and white. One may underestimate the value of chia seeds as they are small in size but they’re incredibly rich in nutrients. This plant is very temperamental and needs specific growing conditions. The nutrients in chia seeds may support strong bones, improve blood sugar management and promote heart health. The fiber content in chia seeds is mainly soluble fiber and mucilage. This substance is responsible for the gluey texture of moistened chia seeds. As per research found chia seeds may help improve the ratio of good and bad cholesterol in the blood.
Nutritional value of chia seeds
Chia seeds are highly nutritious. 100 grams of these seeds contain about
- calories 480
- fat 30 grams
- carbohydrates 40 grams
- amino acids 20
It also contains 9 essential amino acids namely leucine, valine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, isoleucine, and threonine.
Here are some of the chia seed health benefits
1. Improve sleep
Two hormones are essential for sleep namely melatonin and serotonin. Tryptophan, an amino acid in the body is responsible for producing these two hormones. Because of the tryptophan a person tends to get good sleep and relaxation.
2. Rich with antioxidants
Chia seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants. The high antioxidant content is what makes chia seeds more shelf-stable than other seeds Antioxidants not only help to protect the sensitive fats in chia seeds from going rancid but also benefit health by neutralizing reactive molecules known as free radicals. That can damage cell compounds if they build up in your body. The antioxidants present in chia seeds include caffeic acid, kaempferol, chlorogenic acid, quercetin, and myricetin. All of this has protective effects on your liver, heart, and anticancer properties.
3. Have anti-inflammatory properties
Chronic inflammation can lead to health conditions like heart disease and cancer. Antioxidant, caffeic acid found in chia seeds helps to fight inflammation in the body. Chia seeds also contain protein, omega-3s, and fiber which make it one of the best anti-inflammatory foods from other seeds.
4. Support weight loss
Chia seeds are loaded with fiber, an individual trying to lose weight. The soluble fiber in the chia seeds absorbs water, expands into your stomach, and increases the feeling of fullness when you eat them. Chia seeds let you feel fuller despite eating less, it can help you maintain a healthy weight. Chia seeds are also rich in protein, it could help reduce appetite and food intake.
5. Can improve skin health
Chia seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids that can help to increase circulation and reduce dryness and skin inflammation. Studies found omega-3s also help to protect the skin from UV radiation. Chia seeds may reduce skin sagging and may improve overall skin health.
6. Lower risk of heart disease
As mentioned above chia seeds are high in fiber. It is a soluble fiber that can help to help lower total and LDL cholesterol in your blood. In turn, this can reduce your risk of heart disease. Chia seeds contain omega-3s, and quercetin that has been linked to decreased heart disease risk. Chia seeds can lower certain heart disease risk factors such as oxidative and triglyceride stress levels.
7. Good for bones and teeth
As per research found chia seeds are loaded with calcium that helps to improve skeletal health. Consuming chia seeds is considered an effective way to improve calcium intake. Chia seeds are rich in manganese. As calcium and manganese are important for maintaining strong bones and teeth. These seeds are also rich in phosphorus. This mineral can help to enhance bone health. And the antioxidants present in chia seeds can also protect your teeth from damage.
8. Boost energy and metabolism
Chia seeds are packed with zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, and iron. All of this can help to boost energy. As per research found chia seeds can also boost your metabolism. You can add the seeds to your favorite smoothie and enjoy a refreshing burst of energy.
Use of chia seeds
- Make sure to store the chia seeds in a cool, dark place.
- In case you grind the chia seeds, then store them in an airtight bag or storage container and keep it in your pantry or refrigerator.
- You can simply make a chia pudding by mixing it with milk or fruit juice.
- Chia seeds can be baked by adding them to cakes or bread.
- Make chia soups or smoothies by making a chia gel and adding it in.
- You can add chia seeds to homemade energy bars.
- Simply sprinkling raw chia seeds on oatmeal or a salad.
- You can also make chia sprouts by soaking them.