Why You Need To Start Using Chia Seeds

Why You Need To Start Using Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are small black seeds that come from a Spanish plant called sage. It was an important food in South America to the Maya and Aztec tribes. It has been around for many years but only became famous recently – as it was discovered to be one of the healthiest foods in the world. Chia seeds contain important nutrients for a healthy brain and body. They are considered as whole grains and do not contain any gluten.

Health benefits of chia seeds

Chia seeds have many health benefits for the human body, including:

Rich source of fibre

Even though chia seeds contain a high amount of carbohydrates, most of them are dietary fibre. It has been said that dietary fibre makes up about 40% of the weight of chia seeds – making it one of the best sources of fibre.

Chia seeds are able to absorb about 10-12 times their weight in water. Therefore leading to their transformation in gel easier, expansion in the stomach, felling of fullness and reduction of digestion speed and food absorption. In addition to that, fibre is a food for good intestinal bacteria and beneficial to the digestive system.

Bone health

Chia seeds are an excellent source of calcium, most especially for people who do not consume milk and dairy products. This is because they provide 18% of the recommended daily value of calcium and also protein, magnesium and phosphorus. These components play an important role in promoting our bone health.

Improving the physical performance of athletes

It was noted in one study that athletes can use chia seeds instead of energy drinks.

Reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease

The fact that chia seeds are rich in fibre means that this can reduce high blood pressure and the levels of cholesterol in the blood therefore reducing the risk of getting cardiovascular disease. Chia seeds also contain Omega-3 fats which protect against the formation of blood clots (thrombosis) and tachycardia.

Rich source of protein

Chia seeds are a good source of protein in comparison to other plants. This is because protein makes up about 14% of the weight of chia seeds. In that case, people who don’t get protein from animals are advised to use chia seeds for it.

Reduce the risk of diabetes

The fibres in chia seeds work to regulate the immune system, reduce inflammation and also the problems resulting from it – including diabetes. Chia seeds have been observed to reduce a sudden rise in blood sugar after meals.

Digestive health

A diet high in fibre improves the health of the digestive system, because it avoids constipation and stimulates normal bowel movements.

The nutritional value of chia seeds

100 grams of chia seeds contain

Food componentValue
Water5.8 g
Calories486 calories
Fats30.74 g
Fiber34.4 g
Carbohydrates42.12 g
Protein16.54 g
Iron7.72 mg
Calcium631 mg
Vitamin a54 international units
Magnesium335 mg
Potassium407 mg
Phosphorus860 mg
Niacin8.83 mg
Vitamin c1.6 mg
Zinc4.58 mg
Sodium16 mg

Chia seeds side effects

Despite all the many benefits of chia seeds they may cause some problems for some people.

  • Since they contain large amounts of fibre they may cause some digestive problems such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea, gas, constipation and bloating. It is advised that people with bowel disease reduce their consumption of chia seeds.
  • Unsoaked chia seeds can cause suffocation.
  • Chia seeds may interact with some types of medicines, such as diabetes and blood pressure medicines. Therefore people who regularly take these medicines are advised to consume chia seeds in moderation, to prevent any complications that may affect health.

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