Chia seed is called a super food in recent time. Chia is actually a member of the mint family and native to Mexico. Consumed like whole grains, but they’re a pseudo grain. That means they’re the carbohydrate-rich seeds of a nongrass plant. When chia seeds encounter liquid, they expand and form a thick gel.
It was said to be a staple of Aztec and Mayan diets, but were later banned because of their ritualistic religious use. Over the last century or so, they’ve enjoyed a minor following, but recently made a comeback on the market as a potential super food.
Nutritional Facts Of Chia Seeds
One tablespoon (tbsp.) contains :
- 2 grams (g) protein
- 5 g fat (1 g saturated, 7 g polyunsaturated, 1 g monounsaturated, and 0 g trans)
- 6 g carbs
- 5 g fiber
Also contain a number of vitamins and minerals. One tbsp. offers: (4)
- 2 milligrams (mg) phosphorus (about 11 percent of an adult’s recommended daily value, or DV)
- 7 mg calcium (8 percent of DV)
- 8 mg potassium (1 percent of DV)
- 2 mg phosphorus (11 percent of DV)
- 5 IU vitamin A
- 2 mg vitamin C (1 percent of DV)
- 1 mg vitamin E (1 percent of DV)
It a rich source of antioxidants. These antioxidants protect sensitive fats in seeds from getting waste. These antioxidants offer protection to the body from damage caused by free radicals.
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Chia Seeds Benefits:
1. Digestion: it is rich in fiber. Consuming seeds water in morning can give a boost to your digestion and improve bowel movement. A healthy digestion is an essential prerequisite to weight loss.
2. Weight Loss: It contain high amounts of soluble fiber. This is what enables it to absorb 10-12 times weight in water, giving them gel-like.
3. Heart health: It contain impressive amount of omega-3 fatty acids– alpha-linoleic acid or ALA. This make chia seeds good for heart health. Drinking chia seeds water or including it in your daily diet can reduce risk of developing heart disease.
4. Bone health: Calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in chia seeds make them great for bone health as well. It contain 18% of daily recommended intake of calcium. They can be considered to be a great source of calcium for people who don’t consume protein.
5. Blood sugar control: Can improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control. Studies have shown that it can help in stabilizing blood sugar levels after meals. People with diabetes can thus benefit from including chia seeds in their diet. Drinking chia seed water can increase feeling of fullness, slow down absorption of food, thus making you eat fewer calories and aiding weight loss.
3. Protein intake: Chia seeds are made up of 14% protein. They also have an impressive amino acid profile. Protein is a macronutrient essential for both weight loss and build-up of muscles. Eating protein-rich foods can induce feeling of fullness and reduce calorie intake.
How it Helps You to Loose Weight:
One of the healthiest varieties of seeds that are weight loss friendly. They are rich in fiber, protein, good fats, calcium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. There are a number of ways you can include it in your diet. You can sprinkle them in your salads for that extra crunch, or you can have them as part of nuts and fruits mix. Another interesting way of consuming chia seeds is by adding them into water. All you need to do is add chia seeds into water, and consume it first thing in the morning or any other time of the day, and it will provide you many of health benefits. They may therefore help prevent overeating.
Chia seeds are also relatively high in calories and fat. Two tablespoons have 138 calories and 9 grams of fat (1 gram saturated). When used in moderation, it may help you feel more satisfied and less likely to eat too much. Because chia seeds do have lots of fiber, they promote a feeling of fullness, and so might prevent the overeating that contributes to weight gain. But not a lot of evidence to date supports the idea that downing chia seeds will slim your waistline.
Healthy for a variety of reasons, and contain fiber, protein, calcium, phosphorus, and omega-3s. Some animal studies even show that they increase the feeling of fullness and help with weight loss, but so far, literature reviews and studies on humans haven’t backed up these claims.
Chia seeds Health Risk:
Chia seeds pack a lot of nutrition, but you will want to keep portion size in mind if you’re looking to lose or maintain weight. Of course, this rule is true of any food, and most people won’t have trouble with this if they consider the typical 1 tbsp. portion size for chia seeds, which contains only 69 calories.
That said, another potential health risk of eating chia seeds in excess is digestive issues due to their fiber content. If your body isn’t used to regular fiber intake, be sure to increase the amount you eat gradually and drink plenty of water. One case study presented to the American College of Gastroenterology in 2014 described how a patient who first consumed dry chia seeds and then a glass of water ended up with an obstruction in his esophagus — because the chia seeds absorbed the water and expanded in the patient’s throat. To avoid this, don’t eat dry chia seeds — cook them or mix them with water first
What Are the Best Ways to Eat in Your Diet?
It has almost no taste so they blend well with many recipes. They may be combined with any liquid, such as juice or water. Make sure chia seeds have fully expanded before consuming them. Do not eat chia seeds dry, especially if you have difficulty swallowing. Because it absorb many times their weight in water, dry seeds may expand in the esophagus and cause a blockage.
Try adding chia seeds to:
- salad dressing
There are lots of ways to eat it! The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics notes that they can be added raw to dishes like cereal, yogurt, and even vegetables. Because the seeds develop a gelatin-like texture when they absorb water, they are often used to create healthy puddings. (5)
There are no hard-and-fast guidelines on how many chia seeds you should eat daily. But some doctors and institutions offer reasonable recommendations, such as Columbia University, which suggests eating 20 g (or a bit under 2 tbsp.) of chia twice per day. Naturally, this varies depending on factors such as your age, sex, and weight. Because they’re so dense in fiber, just remember to increase the amount you eat gradually and drink plenty of water.
Use caution before eating it if you have any food allergies such as to sesame or mustard seeds — check with your doctor first before adding chia seeds to your diet, Columbia University recommends. Also, if you are on high blood pressure or pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before adding it to your diet.
Chia seeds and heart health
Chia seeds are often marketed as heart-healthy because, though they are tiny little seeds, they’re high in omega-3 fatty acids. However, most of the omega-3 fatty acid in chia seeds is alpha-linoleic acid (ALA)
However, make sure you practice portion control as excess of even chia seeds can have adverse effects on the body.
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