9 Reasons Why You Should Add Chia Seeds In Your Diet

Your body needs essential nutrients to function properly. You need nutritious foods to aid you in maintaining your overall health. How important then to know the nutrient content of the foods you frequently ingest. Today, you will learn how beneficial Chia seeds are to your body. Take time to read these 9 Reasons Why You Should Add Chia Seeds In your Diet.

What are Chia Seeds?

Chia Seeds also known as “salvia hispanica” are commonly used as food in some parts of South America, Mexico and United States. They are species of flowering plant in the mint family Lamiaceae. Chia is derived from Nahuatl word “chian” which means oily. [1]

9 Reasons Why You Should Add Chia Seeds In your Diet
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Nutrition Content of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds especially the dried ones are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, dietary minerals, and antioxidants. On top of that, they have a low glycemic load and low sodium content ideal for hypertensive and diabetic persons. Below are the nutrition facts of dried chia seeds:

100 grams of Chia seeds as recorded in Wikipedia will give you:

  • Monounsaturated 2.309
  • Polyunsaturated 23.665
    • omega‑3           17.83 g
    • omega‑6            5.38 g
  • Protein 16.54 g
  • Fiber 34 g (113%)
  • Thiamine 0.62 g (54%)
  • Niacin 8.83 mg (59%)
  • Calcium 631 mg (63%)
  • Iron 7.72 mg (59%)
  • Magnesium 335 mg (94%)
  • Manganese 2.72 mg (130%)
  • Phosphorus 860 mg (123%)
  • Potassium 407 mg (9%)
  • Zinc 4.58 mg (48%)
  • Sodium 16 mg (1%)
  • Riboflavin 0.17 mg (14%)
  • Vitamin A 54 μg (7%)
  • Folate 49 μg (12%)

9 Reasons Why You Should Add Chia Seeds In Your Diet

Here are a few of the many health benefits you get when you add chia seeds to your diet.

1. Helps Prevent Constipation

In 100 grams of chia seeds, there are 34 grams of dietary fiber of which are mostly insoluble fiber. This high fiber food help in promoting regular bowel movement thus prevents you from having constipation. It, therefore, helps in removing toxic wastes in your colon.

2. Lessens Risks of Heart Disease

100 grams serving of Chia seeds have 75% Omega-3 fatty acid. This type of omega-3 fatty acid is the ALA or Alpha Linolenic Acid which is derived from plants.

A certain study published in National Center for Biotechnology Information, US, National Library of Medicine suggests that “ALA intake reduces the incidence of Coronary Heart Disease”. [2] Alongside, the result of two trials shows that consuming ALA-rich foods along with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes reduces the recurrence of coronary heart disease.

Further, the soluble fiber of chia seeds lowers the LDL or “bad cholesterol”. Take note that high levels of LDL increase your risk of heart attack.

In addition, chia seeds also contain a good amount of Vitamin B3 or niacin which helps raise your levels of HDL or “good cholesterol” and at the same time reduces the LDL in your body.

3. Stabilize Blood Sugar

Foods with Low Glycemic Load (GL) helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Huffingtonpost published an interview with a registered dietician, Susan Weiner where she explains that these low GL foods (lower than 10) have little impact on blood sugar while an above 20 GL causes blood sugar spikes.

In 100 grams of chia seeds, the estimated glycemic load is 1. [3] This low GL food when consumed slowly releases energy which keeps your blood sugar levels more stable. Hence it is an ideal food if you are in a close watch of your blood sugar.

4. Promotes Brain Health

Chia seeds have an adequate amount of Vitamin B3 or niacin (about 59% in 100 grams). Niacin aids in proper functioning of your nervous system most especially the brain. Furthermore, this vitamin is vital in the maintenance of healthy brain cells and improves brain memory function according to Dr. Robert Melillo, a specialist in childhood neurological disorders in America. [4]

5. Helps Fight Inflammation

Chia seeds’ omega 3 fatty acid, ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) has anti-inflammatory properties.

A certain study published in National Center for Biotechnology Information, US, National Library of Medicine shows that ALA serves as a potent anti-inflammatory in relation to eye inflammation. [5]

Also, a study published in ScienceDirect which suggests that ALA could stop inflammation in the lining of the colon. [6]

6. Promotes healthy bones and teeth

Who doesn’t want to have strong teeth and bones? Of course, we all do want that. Well, you do give your teeth and bones a favor if you consume foods that have an adequate amount of calcium.

You need much calcium to keep your teeth and bones healthy and strong. According to National Institutes of Health, men and women ages 19 to 50 needs 1,000 mg of calcium a day.

100 grams of Chia seeds provide you 631 mg of calcium (that’s 63% of your daily calcium needs). [7]

Aside from calcium, phosphorous is also needed to build strong bones and teeth. Phosphorous and calcium works together with the formation and strengthening of bones and teeth.

7. Increases Stamina

Iron has many functions in the human body. One of its functions is in red blood cells (hemoglobin) production. Hemoglobin is essential for transferring oxygen from the lungs thru the arteries to all cells throughout the body.

Apart from that, iron has also a part to do in the conversion of blood sugar to energy.

With these reasons, you might want to consider adding chia seeds into your diet. 100 grams of Chia seeds has 59% of your daily iron needs.

8. Boosts Brain Function

Magnesium is a significant mineral for optimal brain function. In addition, magnesium is considered an “anti-stress” mineral as it calms the nerves and relaxes your muscles.

Chia seeds are packed with ample magnesium content. 100 grams provides 335 mg of magnesium, fills about 94% of your daily value based on a 2000 calorie diet.

9. Boosts Metabolism

One of the important functions of manganese is to regulate the body’s metabolism. It helps in the production of enzymes needed for the metabolism of protein and fats.

Manganese also aids in the formation of connective tissues, calcium absorption, and blood-sugar regulation.

Chia seeds contain ample amount of manganese. The 100-gram yields 2.72 mg of manganese which is 130% of your need of this mineral.

Conclusion

To sum up, chia seeds are one of the “superfoods” you should incorporate into your diet.

You may want to add dried chia seeds into your smoothies and juices. Or you may just sprinkle it on your salads and oatmeal.

You can check this superfood in health and wellness sections of supermarkets.

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