Chia seeds, also known as salvia hispanica are blossoming all over the market in different types and forms of products. Chia seeds are small, flat and ovular black seeds with a shiny and smooth texture. These seeds are from an ancient crop that belongs to the mint family.
Chia seeds have lots of benefits to serve like their regular consumption helps with weight loss, improves digestion, controls blood sugar levels and lowers down bad cholesterol levels in the body.
These seeds are also very rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acid which plays a major role in keeping your skin and hair healthy.
NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF CHIA SEEDS
Chia seeds contain large amounts essential nutrients in them.
· They have high fiber content.
· They rea rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and various antioxidants.
· They are also an excellent source of minerals like phosphorus, copper, iron, magnesium and calcium.
· With all these nutrients they are also a good source of high quality plant protein.
NUTRITIONAL VALUE (FOR 1 TSP)
Calories - 24.3 kcal
Protein - 0.85 gm
Fats - 1.55 gm
carbohydrate- 2.1 gm
Dietary Fiber - 1.7 gm
Calcium - 31.55 gm
Magnesium - 16.75 gm
Phosphorus - 43 gm
Sodium- 0.8 mg
Potassium - 20.35 gm
BENEFITS OF CHIA SEEDS
1. HELPS IN WEIGTH-LOSS – Fiber in chia seeds helps you feel full for longer periods of time by slowing down digestion of food, thus, suppresses appetite and promotes satiety. This eventually leads to weight loss.
2. IMPROVE DIGESTIVE HEALTH – They are packed with fiber, especially insoluble fiber that adds bulk to your stool and aids bowel movements, thereby relieving constipation and improving digestion.
3. CONTROL BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS - The fiber present in chia seeds helps prevent blood sugar spikes because when you consume food with high amounts of fiber, it will stabilize your blood sugar. and reduces insulin resistance, thus, improve blood sugar control.
4. ENHANCE HEART HEALTH - The omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats in chia seeds help lower blood cholesterol levels and prevent coronary heart disease. They reduce the risk of irregular heartbeat, lowers blood pressure and slow down the accumulation of arterial plaque, thus, promotes heart health.
5. HELPS WITH ENERGY BOOSTING - Chia seeds are packed with B vitamins, zinc, iron, and magnesium – all of which help boost energy.
6. IMPROVES BONE AND TEETH HEALTH - In addition to calcium, chia seeds are also rich in manganese and phosphorous, which are crucial for maintaining strong bones and teeth.
Chia seeds are rich in manganese that helps in the treatment of arthritis. Manganese also has excellent antioxidant properties. It improves metabolism and accelerates wound healing.
7. PREVENT BREAST CANCER - Chia seeds are a good source of alpha-linoleic acid, which can help prevent breast cancer.
8. IMPROVES MENTAL HEALTH - Consuming chia seeds are believed to enhance your mood and help you combat depression.
9. IMPROVES SKIN HEALTH - The antioxidants present in chia seeds are believed to help prevent wrinkles and slow down the signs of aging, thus, beneficial for a healthy skin.
The omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds have been found to increase circulation and reduce dryness and skin inflammation.
WAYS TO INCLUDE CHIA SEEDS IN THE DIET
There are several ways you can consume these healthy seeds. To ensure that your body can absorb all the nutrients, you should soak or grind them, before consumption.
· You can add them to yogurt or oat meal or sprinkle on top of a salad or soup.
· They can be added to lassi, faloodas, fruit smoothies or any milk based desserts.
· They can be soaked and added to porridge, made into pudding or used in baked goods.
· Stir these seeds into salad dressings, sauces, marinades, or cake/muffin/bread batter. Because of their ability to absorb liquid and form a gel, they can also be used to thicken sauces or as an egg replacement.
MYTHS ABOUT CHIA SEEDS
1. MYTH:Chia seeds consumption is a complete diet.
FACT:There is no food that can be termed as a complete meal. Although, chia seeds are a rich source of a number of nutrients, but eating a varied, mostly plant-based diet is important for optimal health.
2. MYTH:Chia seeds increase estrogen levels.
FACT:Though, chia seeds contain lignans, a type of plant estrogen, but is minimal as compared to the body’s normal estrogen production. But, definitely moderation is the key.