Chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that can be absorbed by the body as seeds (unlike flaxseeds). One ounce (about 2 tablespoons) contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals.
The mild, nutty flavor of chia seeds makes them easy to add to foods and beverages. They are most often sprinkled on cereal, sauces, vegetables, rice dishes, or yogurt or mixed into drinks and baked goods. They can also be mixed with water and made into a gel.
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
1. Aids in digestion:
Chia seeds are enriched with fiber. Every 100 gram will give you close to 40g of dietary fiber. Fiber is an excellent agent for digestion and helps keep bowel-related ailments (like constipation) away. Fiber also helps in relieving from bowel inflammation, irritability and helps in regulating cholesterol levels as well.
2. Weight Loss:
Believe it or not, seeds are the new superfoods as not only are they rich in fiber but provide energy too. Just a handful of chia seeds when mixed with nuts and dry fruits or included in smoothies or shakes can help you keep full for longer. These can soak a lot of liquid and expand in the stomach, which helps in suppressing appetite, warding off untimely hunger pangs, preventing binge-eating, and thereby facilitating weight-loss. Every 100g of chia seeds has close to 480 calories and 30g of fat out of which polyunsaturated fats (good/essential fats including omega 3, 6) make up to 23g.
3. Omega 3 Dose:
Omega 3 is extremely important for our body’s functioning. Chia seeds are one of the highest sources of plant-based omega acid, also known as Alpha Linolenic Acid (AHA). These are a part of polyunsaturated fats which are the ‘good fats‘ and extremely essential for the nervous functioning of our body.
4. Essential Minerals and Antioxidants:
Chia seeds are loaded with essential nutrients and are suitable to give your daily diet a power boost. They are full of antioxidants that are linked with acting against inflammation, growth of cancer cells, ageing and age-related cognitive decline. Just a couple of spoons of chia seeds can make for 30 percent of your daily manganese requirement and 18% of your daily calcium requirement.
5. Maintains Blood Sugar and Cholesterol:
Chia seeds are good for your overall digestive and metabolic health. Some of the most recent studies have linked chia seed consumption with healthyblood sugar levels, HDL (good cholesterol), cholesterol as well as reduced levels of triglycerides (blood fat) and LDL (bad cholesterol). These can safely be consumed by diabetics and can also aid in maintaining healthy heart and bones. For all those who are gluten-allergic, there is some good news – chia seeds are absolutely gluten free!