We bet it is not just exaggerating that chia seeds known as one of the most ultimate superfoods. These little seeds have a big punch for your health. Along with the benefits, chia seeds are becoming popular in the healthy lifestyle. It is tasteless – so no one probably rejects it due to the taste – also easy to digest to any recipes.
Chia seeds are originally coming from Central American countries, especially Mexico and Guatemala. In the past, these seeds even used for currency and exchanging items with others! Chia seeds – named salvia hispanica – are a treasure for nutrition and health. In this article, we will give you 15 outstanding benefits of chia seeds for health – and, as a bonus – the perfect way to enjoy it during your meal!
Known Since Ages
The nutrient and boosting power of chia seeds were being used as a booster for Aztec warriors for endurance. A spoonful of chia could give them energy lasting for 24 hours! Well, the name itself actually explained it all: Chia – in the Mayan language – means “strength”. Aztec warriors, runners, and athletes also often use chia seeds as their booster before intensive training.
The healthy content of chia seeds come from the fiber, omega-3 fats, vitamins, protein, minerals, also essential fatty acids like linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic. Well, the list of nutrition inside chia seeds could be a long one, so let’s start to see the outstanding benefits of chia seeds for your body:
15 Outstanding Benefits of Chia Seeds for Health
The demand for chia seeds is getting higher as the level of air pollutant constantly giving challenges for the body immune system. Two tablespoons of chia seeds even have twice amount of antioxidants compared to blueberry! Salmon? Well, chia seeds still the champion, as the omega-3 content is 100 percent higher than the famous fish. What are the benefits of chia seeds? Here we go:
1. Balancing Blood Sugar
Good news for a diabetic person, chia seeds can slow down the conversion process of carbohydrate to blood sugar. When you consume chia seeds along with carbohydrate, the enzyme digestion will be slower. This will control the blood sugar level in your body.
American Dietetic Association suggested that fiber is essential for health, and chia seeds have it. Fiber is important in balancing the insulin levels as well. The high fiber content can make people eat in controlled portion due to the full feeling. Chia seeds also help to absorb the amount of water and expand it inside the stomach.
2. Treating Diabetes
To a higher extent of controlling blood sugar, chia seeds are also beneficial in treating diabetes. The research from the University of Litoral, Argentina, which was published in the British Journal of Nutrition, revealed that chia seeds could prevent insulin resistance. Chia seeds also succeed in reducing belly fat tissue, one of the biggest triggers of obesity.
This research was conducted after three weeks consumption of chia seeds to healthy rats. Chia seeds were being used as the main dietary source of fats. It was proved that chia seeds prevent metabolic deviances like dyslipidemia or excessive fat within the blood.
3. Healthy Digest System
As we know fiber is also essential for the digestion process in the human body. One of the researches by the International Journal of Food Science in 2014 revealed that chia seed properties would give benefit for healthy stool and bowel regularity. Even though the form of chia seeds is solid, but when consumed it will be like gelatin. This action works as prebiotic that is very beneficial for the whole digestive system.
4. Energy Booster
Just like what we explained above during Aztec battle era, chia seeds also great to be an energy booster. Consuming chia seeds can boost the performance for intensive workouts – for 90 minutes! This is equal to what sports drinks can do but in a much more natural way.
This was confirmed by the journal from US National Library of Medicine about omega 3 as the means for carbohydrate loading. During that study, there was examination comparing two athletes drinking sports drinks and chia drink. The sugar intake was way different from one another.
So when you are looking for a healthy and natural energy booster, pick chia seeds to boost your energy level. By doing it regularly, you can also enhance your body metabolism system.
5. Strengthening Bones
Who doesn’t want healthy bones for better activity? In fact, chia seeds could fulfill your needs of the daily amount of calcium. As we know, calcium is important in maintaining bone mass and strength. Not only calcium, chia seeds also have boron properties, that can help metabolizing magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and of course calcium for healthier muscles and bones.
6. Building Muscle
One of the recipes that most men take when they are in the effort of building muscle is enhancing the protein intake. Left aside the protein milk for a while, and see the outstanding benefit of chia seeds for building muscle. The rich protein content in chia seeds can help you to build lean muscle, control blood sugar level, and also burn fat.
Chia seeds could absorb water 10 times heavier than their size. By doing this, your body will be hydrated longer and make sure the absorption of electrolytes are improved. This condition also affects your hunger feeling and make sure you can control the urge to consume sugary snacks.
7. Preventing Cancer
The alpha lipoic acid (ALA) content in chia seeds was proved successful in preventing cancer. It works by limiting the growth of cancer cells, specifically in cervical and breast cancers. As we know, those two cancers are the most common nowadays.
Different from chemotherapy, which also destroys the healthy cell, chia seeds kill the cancer cells without harming the healthy one. Good news for women fighting breast cancer, make sure that you put chia seeds as your daily intake. The Journal of Molecular Biochemistry is still researching the effect of chia seeds for other types of cancers.
8. Protecting Teeth
Not only great for the digestive system of the body, chia seeds rich in phosphorus, calcium, vitamin A, and zinc are also great to maintain the quality of your teeth. As we know, calcium is essential for tooth health. Meanwhile, zinc in chia seeds can produce tartar to protect plaque from attaching onto your teeth. With a healthy tooth, there will be no room for germs causing bad breath. As an addition, the phosphorus and vitamin A in chia seeds contribute to building strong teeth.
9. Antioxidants Source
Getting bored of how many times we mention antioxidants? Please don’t be. Chia seeds are the experts in becoming antioxidant for the body. Not only to tackle pollution, antioxidants also play the role to make sure the sensitive fats inside chia seeds are beneficial to the body. Also by making sure that your body has enough antioxidant power, it can protect your body from diseases and aging.
10. Helping Control Weight
Tired of looking for the perfect meal for losing weight? Chia seeds can be your best choice for controlling your body weight. When you put chia seeds in anything of your meal, it will absorb large amounts of water and expand in the stomach. This will make you feel full and make sure the absorption of foods is done well.
By consuming chia seeds regularly, the weight tends to be stable and not easily raising. This is the result of a study conducted in July 2012 about the investigation of chia seed supplementation for 90 overweight women. Each of them was consuming chia seeds for 10 weeks, and there was no increase in body weight.
11. Regulating Cholesterol and Cardiovascular
Chia seeds also have the ability to regulate cholesterol level in your body, thus make sure the heart is healthy and minimizing the risk of high blood pressure. By consuming chia seeds regularly, the possibility of atherosclerosis is lower. The high amount of omega 3 inside chia seeds will protect the heart from bad cholesterol and inflammation.
As we all know, bad cholesterol and inflammation are the main causes of high blood pressure and heart disease. Chia seeds also effective in preventing heart attack or heart disease due to their outstanding properties.
12. Nutrition for Pregnant Women
Pregnant women must fulfill the nutrition needed by the womb and also the body. Especially during the last trimester of pregnancy, the demand for calcium is important for skeletal development. Chia seeds can be the ideal solution due to the calcium content that is five times higher than milk.
Besides calcium, iron is also essential to develop red blood cells, transporting oxygen to the whole body. Pregnant women need the iron intake to make sure that the blood circulation is stable and good for baby’s blood.
Just like what we explained above about the positive impact of chia seeds to the digestive system, they also help the body to detox the toxins. Within unhealthy air and environment nowadays, the body must have detoxification mechanism to make sure the body won’t deposit the toxin. By consuming chia seeds, the toxins can be excreted daily through the stool.
14. Preventing Arthritis
Inflammation is the result of the body’s reaction when something suspicious entering the body, like bacteria, virus, or toxic chemical compounds. One of the most common inflammations is arthritis. Thanks to chia seeds, it can help to protect the body from inflammation of the joints.
15. Good Choice for Diet
Last but not least, chia seeds also easy to be used as your diet element. You can spread it anywhere on your meal or drinks. No need to process it, so the preparation process will be less hassle. Chia seeds can be easily absorbed into water and fat. But make sure that you mix it with liquid, avoid consuming it in solid condition due to the possibility to disturb your swallowing process.
Chia seeds are so easy to find nowadays. Make sure that you incorporate it into your daily menu to gain the maximum benefits. Spread it on your juice, salad, on your favorite bowl of porridge, or even in the baking process. What is your favorite way to enjoy chia seeds? Tell us in the comment section below!