In any conversation surrounding the ancient grains, the name of chia seeds is often the first one to pop up. But how much do you truly know about these seeds? Belonging to the same plant family as mint, these seeds have a long history of cultivation and consumption by mankind.
Chia seeds were first cultivated in Central America and were a staple in the diet of the Aztecs. Having a subtle, nutty flavor, these almost-bland seeds were popular not because of their taste. It is their nutritiousness that has made them famous among men both in the past and in the present.
Wondering what nutrients these seeds contain and how they could benefit you? If you don’t, it won’t be for long, for that’s what we’ll talk about in today’s blog – the health benefits of chia seeds! Stick with us till the end because that’s where we’ve placed the most important one.
Chia seeds can watch your weight management
Can you imagine how much water the tiny chia seeds can absorb? Over 12 times their own weight! This fact, along with their high fiber content, is how these seeds help you watch your weight.
Upon consumption, these fiber-rich seeds soak up a large amount of water in your stomach, giving you the impression of being full for a longer time. Furthermore, the protein present in them also helps curb your appetite.
In other words, eating chia seeds will make you crave lesser food than before, thereby preventing the risk of weight gain.
Chia seeds can keep your bowel movements regulated
It might come as a surprise to many, but chia seeds are more than 30% fibers. Yes, you read that right.
100 grams of chia seeds contain about 34 grams of fibers, making them a fiber-rich food source. And because fibers play a key role in the regulation of your bowel movements, chia seeds work like a charm on all your digestive issues.
Have you noticed how these seeds develop a transparent, gelatinous covering around themselves when soaked in water or any other liquid? Well, this liquid is nothing but soluble fibers that promote the growth of prebiotics in your gut, which results in a healthy digestive system.
Chia seeds can keep your blood sugar levels in check
We’ve already discussed the high density of fibers in chia seeds above, haven’t we? But while promoting healthy digestion is one of their major functions, fibers do a lot more for your body.
Fibers can also decrease the rate at which your body absorbs sugar and fat from the food you consume. This decreased absorption rate prevents your blood sugar levels from spiking, and may also reduce the threat of Type 2 Diabetes.
And because chia seeds are a rich source of fibers (just like flax seeds), they’ll naturally keep your blood sugar levels in check.
Chia seeds are rich in all the essential bone nutrients
It is no secret to us that Calcium, Magnesium, and Phosphorus are the three main minerals that play an indispensable role in keeping your bones strong and healthy. What’s surprising is the rich content of these minerals present in Chia Seeds.
And you don’t have to take our word for it; see for yourself:
Additionally, these seeds also contain a high amount of alpha-linolenic (ALA) fatty acids, which have been associated with an increased bone mineral density in many studies.
Chia seeds can prevent the threat of Cancer
The presence of ALA fatty acids in chia seeds is the leading reason behind them helping with the prevention of Cancer. These fatty acids have been used as an anti-cancer agent in many experimental studies over the years, and have always provided positive results.
In your body, these fatty acids fight with free radicals alongside other antioxidants to prevent cell damage and reduce the threat of Cancer.
Chia seeds – making your skin look younger and healthier!
In the last section, we mentioned how antioxidants fight the free radicals in your body to prevent cell damage.
It is this cell damage that is also the leading cause of aging in humans. In other words, as long as your body can fight these free radicals efficiently, you’ll remain young and healthy.
Luckily for you, chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants; kaempferol, caffeic acid, myricetin, quercetin, and chlorogenic acid, to name a few. And while these antioxidants originally occur to protect the fats of the seeds, they’re mighty helpful to your skin health as well.
Chia seeds can boost your oral health
We’ve already established how chia seeds are a rich source of Calcium, a mineral that’s just as important for the strength of your teeth as it is for your bones.
Chia seeds also contain Zinc, another mineral that plays a key role in your oral health by preventing plaque buildup in your teeth. Zinc also has antibacterial properties and kills all the germs that cause bad breath.
Chia seeds make your heart healthier
All of us will agree that a healthier heart is the key to a healthier life. Well, another one of the health benefits of chia seeds is their nutritional composition. These seeds contain several nutrients that can help your heart get healthier:
- The soluble fiber in these seeds can lower the level of LDL (Low-density Lipoprotein) or bad cholesterol in your blood.
- Chia seeds also contain ALA and omega fatty acids, whose consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.
- Caffeic acid, an antioxidant present in these seeds, has anti-inflammatory properties and fights off inflammation in your body.
And because chronic inflammation is among the leading causes of heart diseases, eating foods rich in caffeic acid is good for your cardiovascular health.
Wrapping it up
With this, we’ve reached the end of our blog. Let’s do a quick revision of all we’ve learned before we take your leave.
We discussed 8 health benefits of chia seeds above, only to discover how nutrient-dense they are. From strengthening our bones and teeth to taking care of our hearts, these tiny seeds can benefit us in more ways than you could’ve imagined.
And the best part is, there are many other ancient grains out there that can do wonders for your health. Want to discover the health benefits of other ancient grains? Head over to The Countdown List to check out other blogs!