Chia seeds have received a good amount of attention recently as they have become staples of breakfast bowls among health-conscious individuals. While they appear to be modern fads, they were a part of the diet of Native American tribes hundreds of years ago. In this article, we will be talking about the nutrition facts about Chia seeds.
Despite their size, chia seeds offer a good amount of nutrients. These nutrients offer several health benefits that people have started to recognize in recent years. The following are some of the health benefits offered by chia seeds.
Nutritional Facts about Chia Seeds
1. Chia Seeds Help Reduce Blood Pressure
Chia seeds contain antioxidants offering some health benefits. Chlorogenic acid is an antioxidant that can help reduce blood pressure. Kaempferol is another antioxidant found in chia seeds and is linked to a reduction in the risk of cancer. Chia seeds are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce LDL, atherosclerotic plaque, and slightly lower blood pressure. But the omega-3 in chia seeds are mostly ALA or alpha-linolenic acid. It needs to be converted into docosahexaenoic acid or DHA and eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA before the body can use it. Since humans cannot efficiently convert ALA into these forms, plant omega-3 are not as good as omega-3s available in fish, like salmon. Due to this, it may be advisable to regularly consume fatty fish to supplement the plant-based omega-3s.
2. Most Carbohydrates in Chia Seeds are in the Form of Fiber
A 28-gram serving of chia seeds contains 11 grams of fiber. While fiber is a carbohydrate, it does not affect the blood sugar levels of the body, which is an important nutrition fact on Chia seeds. It is also highly soluble, which means it can absorb up to 12 times its weight in water. Due to this, it becomes a gel-like substance that expands ion the stomach. In this situation, the stomach will feel fuller, which can prevent overeating. A Nutrition Research study showed that chia seeds promoted weight loss among overweight adults.
3. High Fiber Content of Chia Seeds Can Prevent Diverticulitis
Diets with high-fiber content can reduce instances of diverticulosis. Diverticulosis happens when diverticula form on the walls of the digestive tract. When this happens, the inner layer of the intestine pushes against weak areas on the other lining. If left untreated, it may result in diverticulitis. High-fiber diets have been known to treat this condition. Due to this, a diet with chia seeds can reduce the risk of diverticulitis since it allows the colon to absorb water easily and promotes bowel movement.
4. Chia Seeds Are Good Protein Sources
A great nutrition fact about chia seeds is that they are considered as the best sources of protein among all plants. Since they have a good balance of amino acids, the body can use the protein offered by chia seeds. Together with the high fiber content, the protein in chia seeds can help reduce food intake and appetite. But similar top any weight-loss diet, it is still important for lifestyles changes to be made before a significant weight loss is noted. If these lifestyle changes are made, chia seeds can contribute to a successful weight-loss plan.
5. Chia Seeds May Reduce The Risk of Heart Disease
The antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds contribute to the reduction of the risk of heart disease. Chia seeds contain the antioxidant quercetin, which can help lessen the risk of heart disease. The omega-3 fatty acids also contribute to a healthier heart if chia seeds are a part of one’s diet.
6. Nutrients in Chia Seeds Contribute to Bone Health
Chia seeds contain nutrients that can contribute to better bone health. These nutrients include calcium, protein, phosphorus, and magnesium. The calcium content of chia seed is particularly impressive at 18 percent of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) from one ounce or 18 grams. The nutrition fact about chia seeds is that its calcium content is even higher than many dairy products, which makes chia seeds a good source of calcium for people who do not consume dairy products.
7. Chia Seeds Can Fight Chronic Inflammation
An inflammation normally happens when the body responds to an injury or infection. It normally comes in the form of red or swollen skin. While it can help the body fight bacteria and viruses, they can also harm the body. This applies to chronic inflammation, which lined to an increase in the risk of cancer and heart disease. Chia seeds contain caffeic acid, which can help fight inflammation in the body.
8. Manage Blood Sugar Levels
Research in 2017 showed that chia seeds can convert glucose in the body into slow-release carbohydrates, which is beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes. Studies have also shown that chia seeds can improve insulin sensitivity in the body as well as control blood sugar levels. This means chia seeds can stabilize blood sugar levels after a meal. The high-fiber content of chia seeds can also reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
While chia seeds offer several health benefits, it is still important to balance out any diet with lifestyle changes to ensure one can fully take advantage of the health benefits offered by chia seeds.
I hope that this article on chia seeds nutritional facts were helpful. If you are interested, visit the health facts page!