There are tons of powerful health benefits of chia seeds that you may not even know about. This superfood is indigenous to Latin America and had been a staple food in the Mayan and Aztec diets for centuries.
The popularity of chia seeds in the Western world is enormous these days. People around the world are obsessed with these seeds and for several important reasons. Chia seeds are little powerhouses loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Enjoy learning some of the best health benefits of chia seeds.
1.Ward off cervical and breast cancers
The study published in the Journal of Molecular Biochemistry (2013) indicated that the alpha lipoic acid found in chia seeds can help to suppress the development and growth of cancer cells in both cervical and breast cervical cancers. The alpha lipoic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid that is known for its potent cancer-fighting properties. The study also showed that this fatty acid caused cell death of the cancer cells but didn’t damage the healthy cells. This is especially great news for women since breast cancer is alarmingly thriving worldwide these days.
2.Build stronger bones and teeth
With chia seeds loaded with phosphorus, calcium, zinc and vitamin A, it’s no wonder healthy eaters consume these seeds to promote their bone health and make their teeth stronger. One serving of chia seeds provides the body with about 18% of the recommended daily intake of calcium, which is 5 times more than milk does. Sure, it doesn’t mean you should ditch milk, but if you need to increase your calcium intake, chia seeds will help.
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3.Drop weight while gaining muscle
Nowadays there are many people trying to build muscle without gaining fat, but few of them know about chia seeds, one of the best plant-based sources of protein. Regular consumption of chia seeds has been shown to help to balance blood sugar levels, promote lean muscle growth, and burn fat. Vegetarians and vegans often get their protein from chia seed puddings, smoothies, and Buddha bowls.
Fitness junkies add chia seeds to almost every pre- and post-workout snack. The thing is, these seeds are fortified with essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, niacin, iron, and zinc, as well as a potent antioxidant punch, which help to restore nutrients lost when working out. Zinc in chia seeds stimulates the leptin production, making a crucial impact on how your body spends energy and regulating your energy levels.
4.Keep blood sugar at bay
Although there’s no proven fact that chia seed consumption can cure or prevent diabetes, many studies have suggested that this superfood can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. That’ s because of their abilities to slow down a digestive system. It’s actually one of the reasons to consume soaked chia seeds instead of raw ones. When the seeds combined with liquid, they create a gelatinous coating that helps to prevent the blood sugar spikes. The frequent blood sugar spikes can cause insulin resistance and lead to diabetes.
Chia seeds are rich in fiber and alpha-linolenic acid that can help to lower the risk of metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance and dyslipidemia (excessive amount of fat in the blood), which are two major factors in the diabetes development.
5.Speed up metabolism and lose belly fat
A research posted in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that eating chia seeds increased workout performance for exercise sessions that lasted 90 minutes the same way sugar-packed sports drinks would. Chia seeds reduce visceral adipose tissue, which is a “belly fat” tissue that can negatively affect your metabolism and lead to obesity. By incorporating a serving of chia seeds into your daily meals – especially breakfasts – you can speed up your metabolism and thus promote belly fat burning.
6.Boost your heart health
Chia seeds boast powerful anti-inflammatory properties and help to regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels. These factors show that chia seeds are vital for your heart health. Regular chia seed consumption has also been shown to combat oxidative stress, preventing heart attack, coronary heart disease (CHD), hyperlipidemia, hormonal/endocrine disorders, hypertension, vasodilatation, and stroke.
As mentioned before, chia seeds are a fabulous source of a fatty acid, linoleic acid, which helps your body absorb a number of crucial fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E, and K. Omega-3s help to keep your heart healthy by decreasing blood pressure, inflammation, and bad cholesterol. Overall body inflammation is often the leading cause of heart disease, so eating 15 grams of chia seeds is a great way to boost your heart health.
7.Improve digestive health
According to the American Dietetic Association, one serving of chia seeds can provide the recommended daily intake of fiber. Fiber is vitally important for your body’s ability to control insulin levels. The National Institutes of Health states that seeds like chia seeds and flax seeds are natural blood sugar balancers thanks to their high contents of healthy fats and plant-based fiber.
Chia seeds help to improve bowel regularity and ensure healthy stool. Since chia seeds absorb a good amount of water and instantly expand in the belly when consumed, chia seeds also help you to feel fuller quicker. Moreover, the gel-forming action of chia seeds in the stomach can work as a healthy prebiotic that maintains the growth of probiotics in your gut.
8.Stay and look younger
Chia seeds are plentiful in powerful antioxidants. The researchers found that today chia seeds have a natural phenolic concentration about two times higher than ever. The strong antioxidant activity of these seeds has been proven to stop more than 70 percent of the harmful free radical activity. Antioxidants in chia seeds enhance the repair systems of your skin and can prevent premature aging.
How to Eat Chia Seeds for Maximum Benefits
Aim to consume a teaspoon of chia seeds a day to reap maximum benefits. Thanks to their nutty taste, you can add these tiny super seeds to any meal or dessert you like. Soak them in a low-fat yogurt overnight for a low-calorie dessert or add some to your quinoa salad to fill you up. The chia seed cooking possibilities are literally endless.
Is There Any Side Effect of Eating Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds are among the safest superfoods to eat, yet make sure you don’t overconsume it. There are almost no side effects of chia seeds, but some people have reported experiencing a mild stomach discomfort.
Chia seeds belong to the category of superfoods and now you know why. Of course, there are many other health benefits they possess, but these eight are the most critical ones. Enjoy!