Chia seeds may be small, but they’re incredibly rich in nutrients. A staple in the ancient Aztec and Maya diets, these seeds have been touted for their health benefits for centuries.
The antioxidants, minerals, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds may promote heart health, support strong bones, and improve blood sugar management (Trusted Source).
What’s more, chia seeds are versatile and can be used in many recipes. Personally, I embrace their gel-like consistency by mixing them with liquid and making chia pudding.
WHAT ARE THE NUTRIENTS IN CHIA SEEDS?
Chia seeds have a lot to offer. And that’s why they have the reputation they do. Look at this quick analysis of 2 tablespoons of seeds:
- 140 calories
- 11 grams of fiber
- 4 grams of protein
- 7 grams of unsaturated fat
- Traces of copper and zinc
- A source of omega-3’s
- A source of vitamins C and E
HOW MUCH CHIA SEEDS SHOULD YOU EAT IN A DAY?
Depending on your gender and age, you should eat between 19 and 38 grams of fiber per day. Around 25 grams is ideal for women. Two tablespoons of chia seeds have 11 grams of fiber. Recommendations for consuming chia seeds runs about 1.5 teaspoons a day (add the seeds to oatmeal and a smoothie, and you’re all set). Then, get the rest from other great sources of fiber, like beets, tomatoes, and broccoli.
WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS TO EAT CHIA SEEDS?
There are several excellent ways to eat chia seeds. As previously mentioned, don’t eat them dry other than sprinkled on a salad. Here are some tasty ideas:
- Add to muffins
- Stir into salad dressings and marinades
- Thicken smoothies and soups
- Add to overnight oats
- Make puddings and jams
- Use as an egg substitute in baking
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 disease.
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.
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