Chia seeds may not be the most common item on your shopping list, but they should be because they are packed with nutrition and multiple health benefits! They are easy to digest and even easier to prepare, adding a mild and nutty flavor to smoothies, porridge, and desserts.
Being one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, chia seeds should, without a doubt, be a part of your daily eating routine. You can stick them in salads, make puddings (they gelatinize once they touch the water), put them in smoothies, or use them in replacement for eggs.
Here are reasons to eat more Chia seeds:
1. Boost Your Energy Levels
Chia seeds are high in energy, containing 100 calories per tablespoon. Studies have proven that athletes who include Chia seeds in their diet have more energy than those who don’t, and concluded that it contains the same amount of energy as popular energy drinks. By adding Chia to the foods you already eat, you’ll have more energy and better workout performance for a healthier body.
2. Meet Your Fiber Requirements
Just two tablespoons of Chia seeds meet 33% of your daily requirement for dietary fiber, which is important for proper digestive functioning. It contains soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, which is incredibly good for your digestive and cardiovascular system.
3. Increase Brain Power
Chia seeds are incredibly good for your brain as they contain essential Omega 3 fatty acids which help to improve cognitive function. They also help to reduce memory loss as well as stimulating your happy hormones.
4. Help you to Lose Weight
Because Chia seeds are low in fat and high in fiber they are excellent support for weight loss. They also stimulate the production of leptin in your body, which helps to reduce cravings and keeps hormones balanced.
5. Build Lean and Strong Muscles
100 grams of Chia seeds contains 17 grams of protein, which helps to build lean and strong muscle tissue. They are one of the highest sources of plant protein, which makes it a good idea to add to pre and post-workout drinks and meals.
6. Improve Dental Health
Chia seeds contain 63% calcium per 100 grams, which helps to strengthen your teeth. The high dose of magnesium further helps to promote better calcium absorption, and Vitamin A works to reduce plaque buildup and bacteria.
7. They are Great for Your Heart
When soaked, Chia seeds form a gel-like substance which is evidence of its high amount of soluble dietary fiber. This helps to eliminate plaque buildup in the cardiovascular system, which prevents heart disease. They also contain plenty of antioxidants which helps to prevent free radical damage, keeping your heart strong and healthy.
8. They are Naturally Anti-Inflammatory
Chia seeds contain plenty of alpha-linolenic acids (ALA) and potassium which work together to reduce any inflammation in the body. The excellent dose of Omega 3 fatty acids also helps to reduce inflammation in the brain and skeletal system, which reduces the painful symptoms of chronic inflammation.
9. They are Anti-Ageing Super Foods
Studies have shown that Chia seeds reduce free radical damage from the sun and pollution by as much as 70%, which makes them excellent for maintaining a youthful appearance. They have been celebrated as one of nature’s most powerful sources of antioxidants and are incredible for your skin, hair and entire body.
10. Help to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
The soluble and insoluble fiber that Chia seeds contain have been proven to slow the rate of digestion, absorbing as much as ten times their weight in water. This helps to keep you fuller for longer, but also helps to keep blood sugar levels stable and helps to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.
11. Oxygenate Your Body
Oxygen is our source of life and Chia seeds help to increase the amount of oxygen in our bodies. They are full of blood healthy iron, meeting up to 42% of the recommended daily amount per 100 grams. Iron helps to increase red blood cell count, which boosts the oxygen flow to our vital organs and improves our health significantly.
12. Relieve Stress
Stress is the world’s number one killer, and Chia seeds are the perfect way to relieve it. They contain 83% magnesium, which has been proven to reduce muscle tension and calm nerves. It also helps to stimulate serotonin in the brain, which makes us feel calmer and happier while working on soothing stiff, tired muscles.
13. High In Vitamin C
In fact, chia seeds contain 7x more vitamin C than oranges! As we all know, vitamin C is important for building a healthy immune system and is also needed for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body.
14. Great Source of Amino Acids
Amino acids are the protein building blocks of creating strong, healthy muscles! Just 2 tbsp. of chia seeds contain over 4 grams of protein (nearly 10% of your daily value!).
15. High In Bone-Supporting Manganese & Phosphorous
Not only are chia seeds high in calcium, but they are also loaded with manganese and phosphorous, two crucial minerals involved in bone health. Individuals with low manganese levels also often suffer from the poor bone formation. Phosphorous also helps the body synthesize protein for cell and tissue growth and repair.
16. Fight Belly Fat
Due to the high fiber content in chia seeds, they have a stabilizing effect on blood sugar, which consequently fights insulin resistance (the main factor that contributes to belly fat). Chia seeds also help us get full, faster, due to their high tryptophan content, also helping to regulate appetite, sleep and improve our mood!