The cute and tiny chia seeds are offering numerous health benefits for human’s body. Coming from mint family flowering plant, chia seeds are becoming popular due to its fiber and omega-3 fats contained that are highly required by human. Adding chia seeds to your daily meals will boost your energy and help you cut down your fat. These small items are even available at health food stores you can find online because of the benefits. So how good this tiny seed is?
Chia Seeds Facts (You Must Know)
Adding chia seeds to your beverages or snacks is truly easy since it has mild flavor that will never ruin the taste of the foods you are eating. You just need to add them to your oatmeal, yogurt or smoothies and reap the benefits. You can just have fun mixing chia seeds with your favorite meals. One of the mostly known benefits of chia seeds for human is its ability in losing weight, is that really helpful?
- Relation between Chia Seeds and Losing Weight
Many dieters are very enthusiastic in including chia seeds in your diet because some sources said that they are useful in cutting weight. Unfortunately, this claim hasn’t been proved by any researches. A research from State University in North Carolina even proved that consuming chia seeds 50 grams daily for 12 weeks didn’t even provide any effect in weight loss. So there is not yet a study proving this little seed is effective for losing some weight. If you want to include it in your diet plan, think again. You surely can add chia seeds to your daily meals, but they can’t help you in losing weight if you don’t have a healthy lifestyle with a combination of regular exercises.
- Antioxidant Activity
While this might not be the best option for losing weight, chia seeds are great for providing your body with antioxidant. Consuming chia seeds can lead to a healthier life because this is better than processed foods. So don’t look this seed as a supplement to make you powerful and healthy, but look at this as a healthy food just like you are eating vegetables and fruit. You can just add one or two tablespoons of chia seeds to your meals twice daily to reap its benefits. Those with sesame allergies or doing medications of high blood pressure shouldn’t take this unless you have confirmed it with your doctor to ensure that this is safe for you to eat them.
- Nutrients Booster
Not only antioxidants, but you can also find protein, fiber, calcium and even omega-3 fatty acids by eating them. Just don’t think about how to lose weight by eating seeds. There is no magic behind foods for weight loss because you always need exercises and healthy lifestyle to get slimmer bodies. You can’t depend only on eating certain foods and done. Everything needs plan since one kind of food can’t provide all the required nutrients for your body, as one thing can’t make you lose weight quickly.
Chia seeds nutrition
How can such tiny pieces contain numerous benefits that your body can reap? The answer is simple. There are excellent nutrients packed inside the small size of chia seeds and here are some of them.
- Low Calories
There is nothing better than eating foods without having to worry about your weight. With just an ounce of chia seeds you can get 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, 5 grams of Omega-3 and only 137 calories. Simply adding two tablespoons of chia seeds to your meals and you will get all those packed nutrients easily. They are also organic and gluten free making them more natural. The fiber content in chia seeds can even help to cut down the amount of calories to make them safer for dieters.
It has been mentioned that antioxidants is one of the most essential nutrients you can find from chia seeds. You don’t have to consume antioxidant supplements that might not be significantly effective for your body and replace them with chia seeds as they are much more natural. Antioxidants are very important for human because they help to fight free radicals, which are the cause of aging signs and cancer. With the richness of antioxidants containing, you don’t have to spend your money for the expensive supplements just to boost your body with them. The high amount of antioxidants can even make them last longer without having to be refrigerated.
The amount of carbohydrates in chi seeds is quite high, about 12 grams per one ounce, but almost all of them, about 11 grams, come in the forms of indigested carbohydrates called fiber. So they are not really bad for your body or weight. Fiber can’t be called as carbohydrates because they don’t make your blood sugar increased. In the other word, the amount of carbohydrate in chia seeds is only 1 gram, which is very safe for those who concerns with their carbohydrates intake. This is why chia seeds can make your stomach feeling full because they turn into gel making your stomach feel like it doesn’t need to eat more calories. So if you need low calorie foods that can make you feeling full, add this to your smoothie or cereal and you will get the high amount of fiber.
Another reason why chia seeds can give you the fullness without adding calories is its great quality of protein. Eating protein can reduce your appetite so that you don’t have the feeling of eating more and more. It is great to have chia seeds for your dinner to prevent you from eating snacks at night. Those who don’t eat enough animal products or experience deficiency of protein can eat chia seeds daily for replacement. It is also a great idea to make some healthy snacks using chia seeds to include in your diet menu.
Although chia seeds containing high omega-3, the types are different from the one you find from salmon or other fatty fish. Omeg-3 from chia seeds are ALA while salmon has EPA and DHA, which are better and more beneficial. So no matter how much amount of omega-3 contained in chia seeds, even higher than salmon, they can’t still beat the benefits of DHA and EPA. So don’t just depend on chia seeds when it comes to fulfill your body with omega-3 because they don’t have enough. You still have to eat fatty fish for adding what your body needs.
- Bone Nutrients
Calcium and phosphorus are popular nutrients for bones and both of them are available in chia seeds. The amount of calcium in chia seeds is quite high, even higher than the ones contained in dairy products. Not only calcium and phosphorus, chia seeds are also packed with protein, as has been mentioned before, and protein. If you don’t like dairy products, you can eat this instead to give your bones the calcium required.
Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
- Feeling Fullness
Snacking is one of the reasons of obesity. It is so hard to avoid snacking especially at night when you are craving of unhealthy foods. This is why chia seeds are very helpful in helping your diet program, remember it is only helping not reducing your weight at all, by giving you the fullness in your belly. The fiber in chia seeds can turn to gel when it gets contact with water. It happens in your stomach it is expanding making you feeling full and preventing you from craving of more snacks. Maybe this is why chi seeds are called helpful in losing weight because they are great in controlling your craving habit. Not only fiber, tryptophan can be also found in chia seeds and this is nice for controlling your appetite while making your mood better.
- Increasing Good Cholesterol (HDL)
You have good cholesterol in your body that should be increased, but some people have higher bad cholesterol making their risks in experiencing dangerous diseases bigger. Chia foods are great in increasing the level of HDL or the good cholesterol in your body and it can be a solution for your diet.
- Stabilizing Blood Sugar
Insulin resistance is dangerous for your health, but consuming chia seeds can decrease. Too much insulin in your blood is not good for your blood sugar level, so you need to stabilize it by eating the right food. Not only harmful, but insulin resistance is also influence the added of fat in your belly, which must be annoying.
- Strengthening Bones and Teeth
As calcium and phosphorus are some of the mineral types that can be found in chia seeds, they are automatically give a great impact to your teeth and bones. This is good to prevent osteoporosis from happening earlier by eating healthy, organic foods like this. The amount of phosphorus in the seeds is even reaching 27 percent of your body required. Manganese is also available in chia seeds in a quite high amount, with only one serving can provide 28 grams of this nutrient to improve the health of your bones.
- Improving Heart Health
With the increasing of HDL or good cholesterol in your body, your heart health can be automatically maintained. So if you are afraid of the health of your heart, you can try including chia seeds in your daily meals.
- Easy Digestion
If you usually ground flax seeds before eating them, you don’t need to do that to consume chia seeds. You can simply sprinkle them in your salad and done. There is no need to spend a lot of time and energy grounding your chia seeds.
- Improving Metabolic Health
Cholesterol and high blood pressure are dangerous for your health, but eating chia seeds with the content of omega-3, protein and fiber can help to lower the level of LDL and raise the HDL. However, this should be helped with other healthy foods because only chia seeds can’t help much with high blood pressure. Reducing the risks is possible using chia seeds, but treating or healing the disease might not be possible without the help of other medicines or foods. Some studies even showed that there is no effect in using chia seeds for lowering blood pressure or cholesterol, so again don’t depend on it.
- Treating Types 2 Diabetes
Diabetes type 2 symptoms can be reduced by consuming certain amount of chia seeds. It has been proven with a study. There are 20 patients with diabetes consuming chia seeds in 37 grams for 12 weeks and there are some improvements in the symptoms such as lower blood pressure. The blood sugar is also slightly gone down too, although it is not really significant, but it still helps. Considering chia seeds are packed with fiber, they should be great for lowering blood sugar. However, this still needs a research or study to prove. It is useful for treating diabetes because chia seeds are able to make your digestion slower. Long term effects of type 2 diabetes in the body is very dengerous, so preventing is the best options.
- Easy to Use
What is meant by flexible here is chia seeds can be added to many kinds of foods and beverages without changing the taste. It is nutty, but bland. It doesn’t give a significantly different taste in the foods it is added. If you include this in your diet, that would be quite easy. Just mix them with your juice, smoothies or sprinkle to your yogurt or porridges and eat them. Making cupcakes with chia seeds can be a great idea too. Your pasta sauce can be also added with chia seeds to make it thicker as they are good in absorbing water. Getting too much of chia seeds will make your digestive system work better especially if you are not used in getting too much fiber. One tablespoon is enough for regular daily intake or one and a half if you think you need more than that.
- Boosting Energy
When you eat something especially in the morning to start your day, your main purpose is probably to boost your energy to get all your activities done properly. Adding chia seeds to your breakfast can be a nice idea as they contain vitamins B, thiamine and niacin, which can turn the foods in your body into energy. They are also good nutrition for nervous system and brain.
- Increasing Iron Intake
Everyone needs iron to help the oxygen in their bodies carried all over the required areas. Providing iron to your body is simple. Just eat about two tablespoons of chia seeds daily and you have covered the 12 percent of the required iron for your body. By consuming iron properly, the red blood cells in your body are formed and they are useful in carrying oxygen.
- Absorbing Vitamin E
Vitamin E is very important especially for your skin. Your body’s ability in absorbing vitamin E can be increased by eating chia seeds daily since they have selenium that function as a form of antioxidant. The amount of selenium for every an ounce of chia seeds is about 15 micrograms. Protecting your body from free radicals is quite easy using this small seed, but you surely can’t depend only on this super food.
- Improving Nerves Function
Magnesium and Copper contained in chia seeds are important nutrients for your nerve system. They keep it healthy and function properly. Also, they are required for boosting your metabolism while forming the red blood cells. Magnesium amount for every an ounce of chia seeds is about 98 milligrams while copper amount is quite low, only about 0.3 milligrams.
Chia Seeds Benefits for Beauty
Chia seeds are well known for their health benefits that can keep your energy boosted, your bones strengthen and many others. However, one more interesting fact about this seed is that your beauty can get a great impact after consuming them. So not only they are small, bland in taste, easy to add, cheap, good for your health, but also great for your beauty.
- Fighting Acne and Wrinkles
If omega-3 is well known for its health and beauty benefits, chia seeds are also packed with high level of this fatty acid your skin needs. However you still have to combine chia seeds with fatty fish because these two have different types of omega-3 contained. Omega-3 is excellent for your health, hair and skin. They work by keeping your depression low so that your skin won’t feel stress and this is a good prevention for wrinkles and acne. Whenever you are feeling depression, it will always influence your skin condition.
- Providing Smoother Skin
Not only the omega-3 from chia seeds that is needed for your skin, but also the richness of antioxidant containing essential. You can maintain the smoothness and softness of your skin by eating chai seeds regularly. Protecting your skin from free radicals that can make the stress by showing some aging signs like wrinkles can be simple done by taking this healthy seed. You can end up with more glowing, smoother skin and healthier nails as well.
- Making Livelier Skin
While hormones and depression provide a significant impact to your skin health, the level of insulin in your body does the same thing. The stability of sugar level in your blood should be maintained to prevent you from craving of snacks and unhealthy foods especially at night. Most people don’t care what they eat, whether it is sugary or fatty foods, when they are craving. Once it happens, the insulin levels in your body will be unstable and you need the fiber from chia seeds, which comes in quite a high amount, to boost them. Stabilizing the insulin levels will make you feel calm without having to feel craving of snacks every day. Fiber can make you feel full for quite a long time and your digestive system can be also maintained at the same time. The type of fiber found in chia seeds is unique because they are easy to absorb by water so that your skin will not get the bad impact of your craving habit.
- Combating Aging Signs
Using its zinc content, chia seeds are helpful in making your skin supple while fighting inflammation. Zinc is known as one of the most essentials mineral for preventing aging signs. The good news is that zinc in chia seeds is available in a great amount that your skin can reap the benefits.
- Improving Skin Radiance
Healthy skin comes from healthy body and mind as your body gets stress, the skin will feel the same. One of the essential minerals chia seeds provide for your body is magnesium, which is great in regulating blood sugar, functioning your nerve system and increasing your energy. When these three benefits for your body can be reaped, the blood can flow properly and this is very important for your skin. The function of magnesium is to stabilize the levels of hormone in your body, which is one of the factors of healthy skin. When your blood is flowing well, your skin will radiate and look lively.
- Leading to Firmer Skin
Women are surely familiar with collagen as it is usually found in beauty products and supplements. Collagen is believed to help skin firmer, stronger and smoother. This is mostly used for anti-aging, but younger women are also enthusiastic with this component. Collagen comes from protein and formed by amino acid. This is also what chia seeds are offering for your body although there are many other foods that are higher in the protein level. The most interesting is the protein from chia seeds is easy to absorb so you can include them in your diet to give more opportunities for your body for getting more collagen.
- Preventing Bloated Skin
The level of potassium in chia seeds is quite rich and this is helpful in blood pressure regulation. The look of bloated on your skin can be caused by the stress that you feel when your blood pressure is high. Calming your blood pressure with potassium will make your skin calmer too. Stay away from any processed or salty foods for a while to keep your blood level and heart beat stable and preventing from feeling nervous.
- Controlling Body Weight
Remember that chia seeds can’t help you lose some weight, since there hasn’t been any research about this, but it can help you control it. Eating chia seeds will make your stomach feel full due to its soluble fiber. So it can prevent you from eating more foods especially at night. You can make control the feeling of appetite inside yourself by adding one serving of chia seeds to your favorite healthy foods. Don’t take this too much just because it is packed with fiber because your stomach might get upset.
- Moisturizing Skin
If dairy products like milk are known for their richness of calcium, chia seeds have higher level than them. So if you need calcium for keeping your skin moisturized, then you can add this to your diet. Especially for those who can’t stand dairy products due to certain allergens, this can be a nice solution. The bonuses are getting your teeth and bones stronger.
So what to not like from this cute and healthy food? You can use this to complete your other healthy foods for your daily meals so that the nutrients required by your body can be well fulfilled. Keep in mind that you can’t get all the good vitamins and minerals from only one kind of food. There should be a combination, which means you can’t just depend on all those benefits for the health and beauty to chia seeds, but you need to add other proper health super foods to your diet.
How to Add Chia Seeds to Your Meals
It has been said before that chia seeds are bland in taste, so it can’t ruin the taste of the foods they are added in. also, you don’t need to ground them just to get the nutrients offered. Simply sprinkle them over your foods and done. However, sometimes you might need to know how to interestingly and nicely add them to your foods so that you can taste the great nutty sensation of the seeds while still enjoying your foods. Here are some ideas to try.
- Chia Smoothies
One of the easiest ways to eat chia is by making them into smoothies. Combine them with your favorite milk and fruit will end up in a healthy and tasty smoothie. If you don’t like milk, water is fine since chia has already had calcium. You can choose any kind of fruit that is your favorite and this fresh smoothie can provide protein, fiber, omega-3, antioxidants and many other essential minerals to your body.
- Chia Oatmeal
If you need something to make your stomach feeling full in the morning while boosting your energy before the lunch comes, add chia seeds to your oatmeal can be an excellent idea. Oatmeal and chia seeds, both of them can prevent you from craving because they provide fullness in your stomach. Combine them with milk, any kind of milk that you love, and enjoy. Not only oatmeal, yogurt and cereal are also great couples for chia seeds.
- Chia Chocolate Cookies
Chocolate cookies can be healthy if you know how to make them healthy. Mostly dieters will avoid eating chocolate cookies because they can add more calories. However when you add the right ingredients, you don’t have to worry about the calories. Combination of chocolate and chia seeds is excellent since both of them are providing anti-inflammatory properties. You can exclude sugar from the recipe and make your own homemade healthy cookies with chocolate and chia seeds for your snacks.
- Chia Spread
Making jam is easier using chia seeds because they can turn to gel when mixed with water. Usually you need pectin for gelling your fruit jam and make it thick, but pectin is low in nutrition. It has more carbohydrates than fiber while chia seeds have more fiber than carbohydrates. So not only can be used as a gelling component, but chia seeds can add more nutrition to your jam. This is all natural and healthy.
- Chia Meatballs
When making meatballs you need to add eggs and gluten to stick the meat together while making it tastier. However some people can’t tolerate both of them so they should find a solution as a sticking agent. Chia seeds with their gelling ability can be mixed with meat to make healthy and tasty meatballs. Make your own meatballs at home for your family can provide them more vitamins and minerals required.
- Chia Pudding
Still about its gelling action, chia seeds can be added to your pudding to make it thicker. Whether it is fruit or chocolate pudding, chia seeds won’t change their original taste while still offering more vitamins and minerals. Make chia seeds pudding as your dessert will help to stop your craving habit.
- Chia Yogurt
Adding chia seeds to your yogurt is extremely easy. You can just sprinkle them on top of your yogurt as your breakfast without having to ground them like flaxseed. They can still provide the expected nutrients even when they are eaten whole. If you want it to be tastier to make your yogurt thicker, you can firstly soak the chia seeds in the water until they turn to gel. Once they become gel, add them to your yogurt and mix them well. You can still get the fullness after consuming this yogurt because it is rich in fiber from the chia seeds. Start your morning with this healthy food can boost your energy, improve your metabolism and stabilize your mood for doing your activities properly.
So there is nothing difficult to use chia seeds in your daily meals. You don’t need to cook or ground them. Just mix or sprinkle to your healthy foods for adding more nutrients.
Chia Seeds Side Effects
Everything has the good and bad sides, so have chia seeds. They are indeed packed with numerous vitamins and minerals, but they also lead to some bad impacts to your body if not used properly. This can be a good warning for preventing you taking this food too much.
Omega-3 contained in chia seeds is quite high. This is why those who are under treatments by consuming blood thinners shouldn’t eat them. It is better to talk with your doctor first before taking actions. Omega-3 can have the same effect as blood thinners, which means that when you take the two of them, your body can get too much blood thinners that could make you bleeding. Also, its ability in lowering blood pressure makes it bad for people experience in low blood pressure. If you are planning to have a surgery, you shouldn’t take this as well unless you have consulted it with your doctor.
- Gastrointestinal Effects
Chia seeds contain high level of fiber, which is good for your digestion. However, when they are taken too much, you can experience some gastrointestinal problems such as bloating and diarrhea. These might be not really harmful for your body, but they are truly uncomfortable. You need to know the best way to consume and use chia seeds in your foods to prevent such problems happen.
This case can be rare, but there are still some allergic symptoms that might appear after consuming chia seeds such as watery eyes and rashes or even vomiting and breathing problem if the symptoms are severe. The allergens happen usually caused by the relation between chia seeds and certain kinds of foods that you eat together. Eating the same kinds of plants similar with chia seeds like thyme can lead to cross reaction that causes allergens. If you want them not to happen, then you shouldn’t eat chia seeds together with the same family plants.
There is a chemical property in chia seeds that can make certain people being addictive after eating them. This might not happen for most people, only the sensitive ones so if you think you don’t feel addictive by them, and then it is fine. Those sensitive people can take chia seeds in small amount for a short period by giving it a break before eating them again to prevent addiction.
This is a condition when your stomach is filled with gas. This is not a serious problem, but this can be uncomfortable. It is mostly caused by eating too much chia seeds more than your body should take daily. It is recommended that you take only one to one and a half tablespoons of chia seeds daily to prevent you from getting too much of them.
Toxicity can happen if you don’t carefully choose chia seeds when buying them. You never know how they have been grown since many of them are grown with pesticides containing harmful chemicals. You can’t see which chia seeds are free of pesticides and which are not simply by seeing them. This is why choosing the right place to buy your chia seeds to ensure they are completely organic is very important.
- Vitamin B17 Overdose
It is better to not consume vitamin B17 supplement if you love eating chia seeds because they already had high level of vitamin B17. Taking both of them can lead the risk of vitamin B17 overdose. Some medicines or oil containing apricot kernels are also packed with vitamin B17, so you should carefully check what is inside the medicines or treatments you are taking. The best way is actually to consult it with your doctor before including chia seeds in your diet.
- Certain Medications Awareness
People who are doing certain medications related with diabetes or blood pressure shouldn’t take chia seeds without caution. You need to talk with your doctor first to ensure they are safe to consume. Considering that chia seeds lead to blood thinning and low blood pressure, you must check their safety first before eating them.
- Low Blood Pressure
Chia seeds can make your blood pressure low, which is good for those with high blood pressure. However if your blood pressure is already low, it might be better to not consume chia seeds before consulting with your doctor.
Things to Know before Consuming Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are beneficial with all their vitamins and minerals, but not all chia seeds are organic depending on how they are growing. To make sure that you don’t get the bad impacts of consuming chia seeds, here are some useful tips.
- Certified Chia Seeds
To make sure that the chia seeds you are going to buy are organic, check whether or not they are certified. Usually chia seeds from China are not organic. Always buy the ones with pure certification since they are usually organic.
- Small Amount Start
Eating chia seeds are the same you are eating certain herbs or foods for the first time. You don’t know how your body will react so you need to check it first. Start it with small amount and see the result. If there is nothing wrong with your stomach or you don’t feel anything wrong with your body, then you can continue eating them. Some symptoms of allergens are commonly rashes and swelling and itching especially around the lips. Stop eating them when allergic symptoms appear. Some advanced allergic symptoms like the feeling of tight in the throat or lip swelling should be treated medically, so go immediately to the hospital to get the right treatment.
Sometimes you don’t feel any allergic symptoms appear whether inside or outside your body, but you might feel dizzy after eating them. This can be caused by your blood pressure since chia seeds tend to make blood pressure lower. You shouldn’t take this when you are experiencing of low blood pressure.
- Digestive System Condition
There are many people out there who don’t get enough fiber from their foods. This is why when their stomach gets more fiber than usual, they need some adjustment. This is common to feel bloated in your stomach since it can be a sign that your stomach is not used to the high amount of fiber containing in chia seeds. This can be eliminated slowly as the stomach start getting used to it. However if this keeps happening, you have to stop it for a while and ask your doctor if there are some harmful reactions from your body when eating chia seeds.
Just because certain foods are healthy doesn’t mean you can’t eat plenty of them and leaving the other foods. Combining various healthy foods are still required because your body need more than the ones containing in one food. Also taking the right amount of any kinds of foods is very important since no matter how great the foods are there will be still some side effects if they are taken too much.