5 excellent health benefits of chia seeds to know about
Rich in essential nutrients, chia seeds are the edible parts of a flowering plant called Salvia hispanica, which is native to central and southern Mexico. These small seeds were a staple in the ancient Maya and Aztec diets. Chia seeds improve blood sugar management, build strong bones, and promote heart health. Here are five health benefits of chia seeds that you must know about.
Here's what our expert says
- Chia seeds should become a regular part of a nutritious meal because of the many benefits they offer.
- Mucilage of chia seeds is a soluble fiber that binds water, helps reduce cholesterol, and provides bulk to the food that they are added in.
- Chia seeds are also rich in calcium, omega-3-fatty acids, and antioxidants which are great for bone, heart, skin, and overall health.
Supports weight loss
Packed with protein and fiber, chia seeds can help you stay full for longer and tackle cravings, which can help in weight loss. The soluble fiber in these seeds absorbs water which causes them to expand in your stomach and ensures fullness. Notably, 28 grams of chia seeds contain 10 grams of dietary fiber. Daily consumption reduces visceral adipose tissues or belly fat.
Boosts heart health
High in fiber, heart-healthy fats, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds are great for your cardiovascular health and prevent the risk of heart ailments. The soluble fiber in these seeds helps lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol in your blood, reducing the risk of heart diseases. They also prevent signs of inflammation, maintain cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and reduce oxidative stress levels.
Great for bone health
High in essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, chia seeds help maintain good bone mineral density, which indicates bone strength. They can help also treat bone-related conditions like osteoporosis. The alpha-lipoic acid in these seeds also helps in increasing bone mineral density. One ounce of chia seeds can fulfill 30% of our body's magnesium needs and 18% of calcium requirements.
Gives you healthy skin
Rich in essential antioxidants, chia seeds fight off free radicals and help prevent oxidative stress and skin damage. They soothe and reduce skin inflammation, strengthen the skin's barrier against sun damage, and promote faster tissue repair. They also reduce acne and pimples. These seeds boost skin luminosity and elasticity, protects your skin from environmental damage, and prevent early signs of aging.
Manages blood sugar levels
The high content of fiber and alpha-linolenic acid in chia seeds also helps manage the blood sugar levels in your body. These seeds are also effective against type 2 diabetes. According to animal studies, chia seeds may improve insulin sensitivity, which might help stabilize blood sugar levels after meals. Another study showed that eating bread containing chia seeds helps lower post-meal blood sugar spikes.