What are Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds (Salvia hispanica), also called Salba chia or Mexican chia, are the edible seeds of a flowering plant from the mint family. Native to Mexico and Guatemala, the seeds have a long history. They were a vital crop in ancient Aztec and Mesoamerican cultures. The seeds had medicinal applications and made up an important part of the peoples’ diets.
Today, chia grows commercially in many countries including Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Argentina, Australia, and the United States. The seeds are widely recognized as a nutrient-dense addition to healthy diets.
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and powerful antioxidants. Some of these antioxidants include:
- Caffeic acid
- Chlorogenic acid
These nutrients help provide many significant health benefits.
Reduced Free Radicals
Antioxidants found in chia seeds can help to fight free radicals in your body. Free radicals cause oxidative stress and cell damage. Eating foods rich in antioxidants may help to reduce your risk of developing many health issues associated with free radicals, including heart disease, cognitive decline, and certain types of cancer.
Better Heart Health
Chia seeds contain quercetin, an antioxidant that can reduce your risk of developing several health conditions, including heart disease. The seeds also high in fiber, which can help to lower high blood pressure and, in turn, reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
Improved Blood Sugar Levels
Chia seeds are high in fiber. Studies show that fiber may help to reduce insulin resistance and improve blood sugar levels, reducing your risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Research has also found that bread containing chia seeds triggers a lower blood sugar response than traditional bread, which helps to prevent high blood sugar levels.
Chronic inflammation can lead to health conditions like heart disease and cancer. Caffeic acid, an antioxidant found in chia seeds, can help to fight inflammation in the body. Eating chia seeds regularly may also help to reduce inflammatory markers, which often indicate the presence of an inflammatory
Healthier Weight Management
A 1-ounce serving of chia seeds has 39% of your recommended daily allowance of fiber. The soluble fiber in the seeds absorbs water, causing them to expand in your stomach and increase your feeling of fullness when you eat them. By letting you feel fuller despite eating less, chia seeds can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Better Bone Health
Chia seeds have several nutrients that are vital for bone health, including magnesium and phosphorus. A single ounce of the seeds also contains 18% of your recommended daily allowance of calcium, which is vital for healthy bone, muscle, and nerve functioning. When compared gram for gram, chia seeds have more calcium than dairy products.
Chia seeds provide many essential nutrients, including:
Chia seeds are also an incredible source of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that helps to promote a lower omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio — a lower ratio is associated with reduced risks of chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and inflammatory conditions.
Conclusion: In summary, chia seeds has medicinal applications whose growing popularity worldwide is driven by its nutritional profile that offers a wealth of functional benefits. Chia seeds as an excellent source of w-3 fatty acids, which have been associated with many positive physiological functions in human beings. Chia seeds are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and powerful antioxidants. It helps better Heart Health, Better Bone Health, Improved Blood Sugar Levels etc.
Also Read: What are the Health Benefits of Whole30?