7 Reasons to Add Chia Seeds to Your Diet
January 4, 2015
You have probably heard of chia seeds, or not. Chia, a flowering plant that is native in Mexico and Guatemala, was not known in North America until the recent decades. The tiny white or dark brown seeds don’t look anything special, but they contain omega-3 fatty acids, which we know to be beneficial to the heart. Unlike other types of seeds, you don’t need to cook chia seeds to be edible. Like nuts, they can be eaten raw.
Here are different benefits of chia seeds:
Although researchers are still studying the potential effects of chia seeds on blood sugar regulation, there’s already a huge number of people who have experienced the benefits of consuming them. Moreover, many experts have pointed out chia seeds as a natural treatment for type 2 diabetes. They have found out that chia can stabilize the blood sugar levels and prevent insulin resistance.
Every 10 grams of chia seeds has about 4 grams of fiber. That makes the wonder seeds one of the best sources of fiber. In fact, an ounce of them gives you roughly one-third the amount of fiber you need in a day. Fiber is good for proper digestion and colon health.
Omega-3 seems to be the most popular type of fatty acid. It’s known to be the heart-friendly fat. It’s not found only in fish. An ounce of chia seeds has 5 grams of omega-3. You can snack on them and get your dose of fatty acids that help fight heart disease.
Minerals for Bones and Teeth
Another reason you should be munching on chia seeds is because of their calcium content. Calcium is an essential mineral for bones and teeth. A good supply of calcium helps prevent osteoporosis and early bone density loss. An ounce of chia seeds gives about 10% of your daily calcium needs.
Chia seeds also contain manganese, another mineral that’s good for bone health. Aside from that, manganese is also necessary in the absorption of thiamine.
Another mineral present in chia that’s good for bone health is phosphorus. An ounce of chia seeds has 27% the amount of phosphorus you need in a day. Take note that this mineral is also needed in protein synthesis.
Vegans should consider chia as one of their protein sources. An ounce of chia seeds yields 10% the amount of protein needed daily. This is cholesterol-free protein.
Helping yourself to a serving of chia seeds helps you control your food intake so that you tend not to overeat. Thanks to tryptophan, which helps control appetite and mood.
Good for the Heart
Chia seeds do not only keep your blood pressure within normal. They also regulate your bad cholesterol. Thanks to chia’s omega-3 and other components, which lower LDL and triglycerides.
Adding chia seeds to your diet shouldn’t be much of a problem. The seeds are tasteless and so won’t alter the taste of your dishes. Mix them with your salads or sprinkle them on your cereal or yogurt.
Learn more about this superfood at chia seeds vs flax seeds.