10 Ways to Enjoy the Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

Jessica Lewis
April 26, 2016
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Learn to Enjoy the Benefits of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds have been used since the time of the Aztecs and the Mayansare a wonder for health, being full of nutritious substances which can have a great impact on the human brain and body.

Chia is the Mayan word for power and these seeds have been known to fuel the body with energy. They are being used for hundreds if not thousands of years, chia seeds used to be the main energy source for the Mayans and Aztecs which would consume them either in liquid (oil) form or uncooked. Today chia seeds are known and used more widely, being called “super foods“.

Chia seeds are tiny, beige or black, they have no taste and no smell. Some say it does taste a little like nuts. The seeds absorb water quickly, gaining the consistency of pudding. They can be added to lemonades, yogurt, puddings, salads, eggs and even bread. When consumed uncooked the body receives a hefty dose of Omega 3 fatty acids and also some minerals and vitamins.

Minerals Vitamins Lipids Proximates
631 mg of Calcium (Ca) 1.6 mg of Vitamin C 3.33 g of Fatty acids, total saturated 5.80 g of Water
7.72 mg of Iron, Fe 0.62 mg of Thiamin 2.309 g of Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 486 kcal of Energy
335 mg of Magnesium, Mg 0.17 mg of Riboflavin 23.665 g of Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 16.54 g of Protein
860 mg of Phosphorus, P 8.83 mg of Niacin  0.14 g of Fatty acids, total trans 4612 µg of Lycopene
407 mg of Potassium, K 0.5 mg of Vitamin E  30.74 g of Total lipid (fat)
16 mg of Sodium, Na  42.12 g of Carbohydrate
04.58 mg of Zinc, Zn  34.4 g of Total Dietary Fiber

USDA Nutrient Values and Weights for 100g of Chia Seeds

Benefits of consuming chia seeds

Chia Seeds Keep the Body Fueled

Chia seeds are rich in calcium, fiber, fatty acids and other nutrients that the body needs. 28 grams of seeds offer the body 30% of the daily recommended dose of calcium and manga and 27% magnesium. They also contain vitamins, including B1, B2, B3, and minerals such as zinc and phosphorus. They contain 0 sodium and no gluten, which is always a plus. Containing the same amount of Omega 3 fatty acids as fish and as much as 3 times more the iron than spinach. [1]

Improves the Immune System

Chia seeds are an important ally of the body, by consuming them you also get the protein, omega 3, vitamins, and minerals which strengthen the immune system allowing for a faster recovery or preventing diseases. They have more calcium than milk and more magnesium than broccoli.

Chia Seeds are Full of Antioxidants

Besides all of the above, chia seeds are rich in antioxidants.
Antioxidants are the ones who fight free radicals which deteriorate the cell and thus encourage aging and the apparition of cancer. Long story short, each cell in your body needs oxygen to stay alive, but oxygen also damages the cell. After the damage has been done, free radicals appear and slowly destroy the cell and on a longer time scale may help with the apparition of cancer. Antioxidants do exactly the opposite, helping the cell stay alive, a steady supply of antioxidants is needed constantly.

Prevents Fat Deposits

Chia seeds control the sugar in your blood, because of the high content of iron and fiber, they make you feel fuller, faster and even prevent new fat cells being formed.
Just 2 teaspoons of chia seeds and a glass of water along with your breakfast will stop your cravings and maintain a steady blood sugar level.
Chia seeds regulate the appetite and are very easy to digest, giving a long feeling of saturation. They increase metabolism, improve muscle mass and strengthen the bones. Alongside regular exercises, they help in keeping the body beautiful and harmonious. [2]

Chia Seeds Provide a Natural Source of Energy

If you want something to make you feel more energetic when going to the gym look no further. Chia seeds taken before any hard activity will help in waking your nervous system and hit the gym harder. Hydrating the body, they are also great for athletes. More, they are rich in protein which facilitates energy and cells nutrition. Eaten regularly, chia seeds strengthen body’s endurance.

Prevents Diabetes

The fiber in chia seeds helps with digestion, allowing for a slower digestion absorbing all nutrients and keeping blood glucose levels under controls thus also controlling insulin with no spike in its levels.

Keeps the Heart Healthy

Because of the fatty acid content, chia seeds are known to drop blood pressure and strengthen the muscles of the heart. Bad molester levels decrease while the good cholesterol levels rise to an optimal state. The fatty acids also help with the absorption of A, D, E and K vitamins.

Chia Seeds Help Detoxifying the Body

These seeds can be used in detoxifying mainly the skin, but also the digestive tract. Because they easily absorb water, when eaten, the body retains water and this helps with detoxifying, including sweating. With more water in our bodies, the body retains electrolytes as well.

Chia Seeds Allows Exfoliating the Skin

These seeds can be used to beautify one’s skin. To prepare an exfoliate out of chia seeds, mix one teaspoon of chia seeds with one and a half teaspoons of olive oil or coconut oil and some lemon juice. Leave the resulting mixture for about 2 or 3 minutes until it starts looking like jelly.

Prevents gastrointestinal disorders

Due to their very high level of fiber, chia seeds have many benefits on the human digestive system, helping in a slow digestion of food and thus controlling the level of insulin.
Furthermore, they moisturize very well the colon which prevents bowel inflammation and the occurrence of a gastrointestinal disease.

Simple Chia Seeds Recipe

Chia Seeds Recipe

Add 1/4 cup almond milk + 1/3 can coconut milk + 2 tbsp. chia seeds and some of your favorite berries

Chia Seeds Side Effects and Warnings

There are very few side effects associated with these seeds and although they help the body, some people can negatively react to chia seed. Some examples of negative effects:

  • Some persons may be allergic to these kinds of seeds and nuts.
  • They may create addiction
  • People with really low blood pressure should take in consideration that their blood pressure might drop even further.
  • Because of their high fiber content, when consuming in large amounts, they can cause a stomach discomfort. They have to be eaten in moderation.

With all being said, we can really say that chia seeds deserve their name of “super foods”,  packed full of important nutrients. Being rich in fiber, fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and antioxidants, these seeds have many benefits on the human body and it is recommended to be eaten in moderation.

Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet which can make us healthier overnight. In order to have the desired effect, chia seeds should be consumed together with a healthy lifestyle: healthy food, regular exercise, and a restful sleep.