Chia seeds are some of the healthiest food in the world. They are full of nutrients which can have important benefits for your brain as well as your body. These seeds have been a staple in Aztec and Mayan diets for many centuries.
Today, chia seeds draw the interest of many people for their uses in cooking and many health benefits. Chia seeds are a great source of antioxidants and nutrients. Here are 9 health benefits of chia seeds, which can help you improve your overall health.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Chia seeds are a good source of polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Lipid profile of chia seeds is composed of 60% of omega-3 fatty acids, which makes them one of the richest plant-based sources of these fatty acids. The omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce high cholesterol, enhance cognitive performance and reduce inflammation.
Fiber is associated with lowering cholesterol, reducing inflammation and regulating bowel function. These seeds are a great source of fiber, with a whopping 10 grams in just 2 tablespoons. This is 1/3 of the daily recommended intake of fiber.
Chia seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants which help protect your body from cancer, aging and free radicals. In addition, the high antioxidant profile helps them have a long shelf life. Chia seeds can last almost two years without refrigeration.
Only two tablespoons of chia seeds have 18% of the DRI for calcium, 24% for magnesium, 35% for phosphorus and about 50% for manganese. These nutrients can help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent hypertension. They are also a part of DNA synthesis and important for energy metabolism.
Satiety is the feeling of being satisfied and full, which can lower cravings for food between meals. The mix of fiber, protein and the gelling action of chia seeds, when combined with liquids, all contribute to their satiating effects.
The outer layer of these seeds swells when they are mixed with liquids in order to form a gel. This can be used as a replacement for eggs in order to increase the nutrient content of foods and lower cholesterol. Mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water in order to make the egg replacement, and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
Can be digested whole
Unlike flaxseeds, which are also full of fiber, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds don’t need to be grounded to obtain their egg-replacement or nutrient benefits.
One study has shown that chia seeds as a dietary fat source can lower cholesterol levels and triglycerides. The same study also showed that when substituting chia seeds for other fat sources, like corn oil, the ALA was able to reduce central obesity and prevent high triglyceride levels.
Blood sugar regulation
These seeds can also play an important role in the regulation of insulin levels. Chia seeds can decrease abnormally high levels of insulin and reduce insulin resistance in the blood.