Why Chia Seeds Can Be Good for You
Find out why chia seeds are popularly considered a superfood, and learn the benefits it can give you.
Chia seeds have been touted as one of the healthiest foods we have on Earth. They are a rich source of nutrients that help our body and brain function in top shape.
They may be growing in popularity nowadays, but even in old times, the Mayans and the Aztecs have already known the benefits of chia seeds. This superfood was a dietary staple and has been prized especially when it comes to providing them with energy. The word “chia” is actually an ancient Mayan word that means “strength”.
Where do chia seeds come from?
Chia seeds are those edible black seeds from the desert plant Salvia hispanica which is a member of the mint family. They may seem tiny, but they offer large health benefits.
The chia plant is said to be native to Guatemala and Mexico but is now commercially grown in many other countries, including the United States, Australia, Argentina, and Peru.
Chia Seeds and Heart Health
Chia seeds boast a high amount of protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. As such, adding them to your diet may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Research suggests that chia seeds can be beneficial to people with hypertension, as they can help significantly reduce blood pressure. In several rat studies, they have shown that chia seeds can lower triglycerides, inflammation, and insulin resistance which are considered risk factors for heart disease. On the other hand, they also help also increase “good “ HDL cholesterol.
Nonetheless, there are still varying observations and results when it comes to the studies conducted on chia seeds. Scientists believe more research needs to be done to conclusively show their benefits.
Chia Seeds and Weight Loss
Because they are rich in fiber, chia seeds promote healthy digestion, which is then essential to weight loss.
If you would also notice the chia seeds’ gel-like consistency, you will know that they can absorb 10-12 times of their weight in water. Because of this, they promote a feeling of fullness, which in turn makes you slow down the absorption of food. Thus, you eat fewer calories.
In addition, chia seeds’ high-quality protein is considered the most weight loss-friendly macronutrient. It is especially good for people who eat little or no animal products. High protein intake has been found to lower our appetite, as evidenced in the research of David S Weigle.
Try Chia Seeds in Water
There are several ways you can consume chia seeds. Aside from adding them in food (such as salads and trail mix), you can try drinking chia seeds water. Simply add chia seeds into water, and drink it any time of the day. If you want to infuse more flavor, you can add fruit, such as lemon, lime, or orange.
Is there such a thing as too many chia seeds?
Just like anything else, eating (or drinking) in excess can be a bad thing. Keep in mind that excessive fiber intake can lead to diarrhea, constipation, abdominal problems, bloating, and gas. Moreover, if you are not drinking enough water, the likelihood of these problems increases.
In some cases, chia seeds can pose choking risks if they become lodged in the throat. Because the seeds expand, it is best to soak them for at least five to 10 minutes before you consume them. If you are someone with difficulty in swallowing, take extra caution when eating chia seeds.