Chia seeds are one of the healthiest foods that you can have on this planet. They are loaded with nutrients and have important benefits on your body and brain. They also increase the energy levels, balance blood sugar levels and also improve heart health. Check out the health benefits of chia seeds in this article.
Chia seeds are frequently used as the star ingredient in many healthy eating recipes. They are used in a range of baked goods, in protein bars and also in smoothies. They add a pop of flavor and texture to your favorite foods.
What are chia seeds?
Chia seeds come from the desert plant known as Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family. Chia seeds have become one of the most popular superfoods in the health and food industry now. These are tiny black seeds that are tasty and easy to digest if prepared properly and can be a very interesting ingredient that work well in many recipes. Not only that; they offer a variety of important nutrients, including fiber, protein, manganese and calcium, along with plenty of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds are a whole-grain food, usually grown organically.
Health Benefits of Chia seeds
Chia seeds health benefits include promoting healthy skin, reduction in the signs of aging, supporting the heart and the digestive system, building stronger bones, helping in weight loss and much more.
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#1. They offer many nutrients and the calorie content is less
Chia is the ancient Mayan word for "strength." These tiny seeds are a powerpack addition to your diet. They contain fibre, protein, fat, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B3, potassium, Vitamin B1 and Vitamin B2. Just two tablespoons of chia seeds contain all these nutrients. Check out the other health benefits of chia seeds below.
#2. Promotes skin health and digestive health
Chia seeds are packed with antioxidants, having powerful benefits for skin health. As one of the most high-antioxidant foods on the planet, adding chia seeds to your diet may help fight premature aging and protect the skin cells against free radical damage. Chia is loaded with fiber, squeezing nearly 11 grams of fiber into a single teaspoon. This takes care of your entire fibre needs for the day. Because of their rich fiber content, chia seeds benefit digestive health by promoting regularity and increasing stool frequency to prevent constipation. The fiber in chia seeds also absorbs a good amount of water and expands in the stomach, helping to keep you feeling fuller for longer, thus helping in weight loss.
#3. Improves heart health
One of the most powerful health benefits of chia seeds is their ability to reduce inflammation and decrease several risk factors of heart disease. Chia seeds are especially high in omega-3 fatty acids, and have higher omega-3 than the salmon. Omega-3s work to protect the heart by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol levels and inflammation.
#4. Balance blood sugar
Chia seeds can help maintain normal blood sugar levels. This helps to fight diabetes and insulin resistance. Adding chia seeds to a high-sugar diet prevented changes in blood sugar and regulates the lipid levels.
#5. Energy bites
Chia seeds are famous for providing energy to the body. Chia seeds are often used by athletes as it helps boost exercise performance. The protein in chia seeds can help build muscle mass and increase strength to help fuel workouts.
#6. Fights Cancer growth
Chia seeds are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid found in many plant foods.Researchers have also found that including chia seeds in the diet can cause cell death of the cancer cells without harming the normal healthy cells in the body. This is still debatable but is worth trying for people struggling with common types of cancer.
Also read: Homemade Lotus Seeds Kheer For Babies
Health Risks of Chia seeds:
#1. Low blood pressure and bleeding
Chia seeds are a high source of Omega-3 fatty acids. But they can actually cause your blood to thin out. It could also cause your blood pressure to lower drastically if you already deal with BP issues. If you already have low blood pressure or if you are already taking prescribed blood thinners, make sure to check with your practitioner first before starting chia seeds.
#2. Gastrointestinal issues
Too much of Chia seeds can cause diarrhea, bloating, constipation and excessive intestinal gas. These gastro issues may affect your body. Always ask you doctor the best way to eat chia seeds to avoid stomach ailments.
#3. Affect blood sugar
While chia seeds may help regulate your glucose level, they may also not be good for the drugs you might take for your sugar levels. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, make sure to ask for professional advice when eating chia seeds.
Chia seed allergies are uncommon but can be seen in rare cases. Allergic symptoms can include rashes, hives and watery eyes. Food allergies like trouble breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, and swelling of the tongue may also occur.
#5. During pregnancy
Most health authorities advise pregnant and breastfeeding women to stay on the safe side and avoid having chia seeds. It is not proven if chia seeds affect pregnant women or the fetus but it's better to skip on the seeds for nine months.
How to eat Chia seeds?
Chia seeds can be eaten raw or prepared in a number of dishes. Sprinkle ground or whole chia seeds on cereal, rice, yogurt or vegetables.Chia seeds are very absorbent. Once mixed with other ingredients they develop a gelatinous texture making it easy to eat and digest.
Also read: Are Strawberries Safe For Babies?
Strawberry and cream Chia Pudding
- 16 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled
- 1 1/2 cups (or one 13 1/2-ounce can) coconut milk
- 1/4 cup honey, or to taste
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 3/4 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- Place the strawberries, coconut milk, honey, vanilla, and lime zest in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Place the chia seeds in a large bowl, pour the strawberry mixture on top, and whisk thoroughly. Let stand for 10 minutes and whisk again.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 3 days. Stir the pudding before serving. The longer it sits, the thicker the pudding will become; if you find that it is too thick, whisk in a little water (or coconut water, if you have some on hand).
- Spoon into individual cups or bowls and garnish
2. Banana and Almond Porridge with Chia seeds
- 1/4 Cup Oats
- 1 tsp Chia seeds
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1/2 Banana, chopped
- 1 Tbsp Dates, chopped
- 2 tsp Almonds, sliced
- 2 tsp Cinnamon powder
- 1 Saffron thread
- 1 Tbsp Honey
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- Gather all the ingredients.
- Soak the oats in water for a few minutes, and in another bowl soak chia seeds in water for 10 minutes.
- In a pan over medium flame, heat up the milk and add banana, dates, almonds and cinnamon.
- Add the saffron thread to the milk. After 30 seconds, add the oats and cook with the milk.
- After 1 minute, when the porridge is the right consistency and oats are cooked through, remove the pan from flame and pour the porridge into a serving bowl.
- Stir honey through the porridge and garnish with chia seeds.
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