7 Amazing Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are all the rage now, and with good reason. This tiny black seed is one of the healthiest foods on the planet.
Although it has gained popularity in the recent past, the chia seed, which looks quite similar to a sesame seed, has been around for hundreds of years. It is grown mainly in South America and is part of the mint family.
Here in Singapore, you can find chia seeds at leading health food stores such as SuperNature, Nature’s Superfoods, Balanced Living and even at the Fairprice Finest supermarket closest to you.
Preparation is easy. Just soak one part of this "superfood" in 10 parts of water or juice and leave it to absorb the liquid for five minutes.
Experts believe that taking one to two tablespoons a day of the concoction will give you many of the seed's benefits, gathered for you in the following pages.
Read on to learn more about the wonders of chia seeds.
Low in calories
One of the main reasons chia seeds are an ideal health food is because it packs a punch in terms of nutrients with fewer calories.
Fourteen grams of chia seeds, which is approximately a tablespoon, contains about 70 calories. Nearly half of these calories are heart-healthy omega-3 fats.
High in fibre
The high fibre content in chia seeds helps regulate bowel movements and increases friendly bacteria in the intestinal tract.
Chia seeds, then, make you feel full, helping you avoid unhealthy binging and snacking.
An amazing source of antioxidants
Antioxidants fight the body’s production of free radicals that cause ageing and dreaded diseases such as cancer.
Antioxidants can be found in supplements. However, experts believe that the best way to get your dose of antioxidants is naturally, through a diet full of fruits, vegetables and of course, chia seeds that contain lots of it.
An excellent source of protein
A 28-gram serving of chia seeds contains 4.4 grams of protein, almost 10 percent of the daily recommended protein intake. This is especially helpful for vegetarians who do not consume animal proteins.
Very high in Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fats are possibly the only type of fat you shouldn't be cutting down on.
The benefits of omega-3 fats range from lowering bad cholesterol levels and alleviating depression to maintaining healthy hair and nails.
This healthy fat can be taken in the form of supplements. Of course, as with almost every nutrient, it is best to get Omega-3 fatty acids through a healthy diet. Get your daily dose of Omega-3 in oily fish such as salmon and from chia seeds.
Lowers the risk of diabetes
Fibre and omega-3 fats, both abundant in chia seeds, are great for diabetics and in reducing belly fat. Diabetic patients, then, can substitute regular white flour for chia flour when preparing bread and other baked goods.
Chia flour can be found at the health food stores mentioned on page one.
High in calcium and other minerals
Another great thing about the chia seed is that it contains 18 percent of the daily recommended calcium intake.
Apart from helping us maintain strong bones, calcium, together with manganese, magnesium and phosphorus, helps us prevent various health issues including high blood pressure.
Do you know any other health benefits of chia seeds? If you do, please leave us a comment below to let us know.