Chia seeds are from the Salvia hispanica plant and have long been considered nature’s super food.
They are one of the world’s oldest sources of nutrition, documented to have been eaten by the ancient Aztecs and Mayans of South and Central America for their energy-giving abilities.
They can be eaten raw, soaked in juice or water, added to porridge, smoothies and even in baked goods as a replacement for eggs.
Here are eight reasons why Chia seeds are good for you.
Chia seeds are rich in protein that could help reduce appetite and food intake.
The protein in these healthy seeds also helps in building muscle mass, which helps you to reduce your body fat in many ways.
Protein is considered the most weight loss-friendly macronutrient and can curb cravings.
One ounce (about two tablespoons) of chia seeds has 4.7 grams of protein.
They are also gluten-free, making them a good protein source for people with celiac disease or whole grain sensitivities.
Consuming chia seeds might also help you combat depression, so says Ram Rajasekharan a director at the Central Food Technological Research Institute in India.
Chia is believed to enhance your mood when consumed. Being a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, adding the seeds to food or drink is associated with improved mood and behaviour.
‘Reduces risk of colon cancer’
With a perfect blend of 80 percent insoluble versus 20 percent soluble fibre, chia seeds can help lower cholesterol and improve intestinal health.
Regularly taking this super food in recommended quantity has been said to have the possibility to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Promotes cardiovascular health
Just one tablespoon of chia will provide you with 100 percent of your daily requirement for omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Research shows that plant-based omega-3 is essential for a healthy heart by helping to lower cholesterol while maintaining proper artery function.
Both omega-3 ALA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are vital in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, and chia has plenty of it.
Chia seeds are high in insoluble fibre which has been found to improve digestion. Chia seeds turn into a gel when they come in contact with water, which adds to your stool and aids bowel movements.
This is a natural laxative that helps relieve constipation.
Serotonin and melatonin are two important hormones essential for sleep. These two hormones are produced by tryptophan, an amino acid in the body.
Chia seeds, being high in tryptophan, aid good sleep and relaxation.
According to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine, tryptophan is also used for treating numerous sleep disorders.
Boosts energy and metabolism
Chia seeds are packed with B vitamins, zinc, iron, and magnesium – all of which help to boost energy.
In a publication, the University of Illinois suggested using chia seeds to make a healthy drink that can boost your metabolism.
Promotes better bone health
Chia is rich in trace minerals like calcium, magnesium and phosphorus content. A 25g portion of chia contains 157 mg of calcium, more than that in 100ml of milk.
Over time, consumption of chia seeds can improve skeletal health, helping to maintain strong bones, teeth and healthy gums in adults.