Chia seeds are the seeds of the flowering plant Salvia hispanica, which is a member of the mint family. In recent years, these seeds have become a popular so-called superfood. “Chia” means strength. These are pseudo-grains rightly named so as they are rich in dietary fiber, protein, and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Moreover, 30g of chia seeds have almost 138 calories, 9 grams of fat, 10 grams of fiber, 189.3 mg of calcium, 265 mg phosphorus and 1 mg of zinc. Diets high in fiber have been proven helpful for weight loss.
As part of a healthy diet and active lifestyle, chia seeds can make it easier for one to lose weight by suppressing one’s appetite and providing essential nutrients. Once the water is absorbed, the seeds create a protective gel layer which is responsible for giving chia-based beverages and puddings their unique texture. These have several antioxidants and are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Some research has proven omega-3 intake to the reduced risk of depression, inflammatory bowel disease, and childhood allergies. Omega-3 fatty acids present in chia seeds may also lower the risk of heart disease.
Benefits of Chia Seeds:
- Antioxidant enriched: They are incredibly rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants protect the sensitive nutrients in the seeds from spoiling when consumed they also protect the body from free radicals that can cause premature aging and cancer. Because of this protective layer, chia seeds have a substantial shelf life of two years without refrigeration.
- Appetite-suppressant: Chia seeds are full of dietary fiber, including both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber gives them their gel-like quality when mixed with a liquid. They have a tendency to absorb up to 10 times their weight in water, which causes them to form a bulky gel. This gel not only acts as an appetite suppressant but also slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and therefore prevents blood sugar spikes.
- Good for dental health: The vitamins and nutrients found in chia seeds such as calcium, phosphorus, zinc, etc help maintain dental health.
- Good in treatment of celiac disease: They are gluten-free and also a popular protein source for people with celiac disease or whole-grain sensitivities.
- Promote weight loss: Chia seeds are also considerably high in fibre. Fibre found in these satisfies one’s cravings, helps in keeping fuller longer. Fiber keeps the stomach healthy, allowing one to properly get rid of any excess waste from the body. These are great for weight loss as they are rich in antioxidants, protein, healthy fats, that help flush out toxins, build lean muscle mass, reduce inflammation, and keep you full for a long duration. So, one should incorporate chia seeds in their diet plan.
- Increases the energy levels: A sedentary lifestyle is one of the major reasons for weight gain. These seeds give energy and make you feel more active. When you want to gain lean muscle mass, the energy requirement of the body also increases. Chia seeds not only increases your energy levels but also accelerates your metabolic rate.
- High Production of Leptin: Leptin is a hormone that inhibits hunger that is produced by adipose tissue (fat cells). Some scientists have proven that the more protein you consume the more production of leptin occurs. Chia seeds are a good source of protein thus gives a kick to leptin production. This is in turn, helps in preventing overeating and maintains a healthy body composition.