A lot of questions pop in our minds when we think about chia seeds; do they really help in losing some weight? Could they offer us the needed nutrients and minerals to stay as healthy as possible? Do they really work hard in preventing cancer? And a lot more, making the issue of chia seed coming to the top of the surface and becoming one of the most famous seeds consumed out there. There are different other types of seeds, such as flax seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds, which still carries the same benefits but with slight differences between them, and these difference are the things that might give you the chance to decide which one to consume according to your needs.
What are these Chia Seeds?
Chia seeds were famous back in the old days because they were used as medicines, sources of energy, and were also used as foods and drinks, but they are now becoming more famous due to the different effects they carry to the body including their ability to fight and prevent several diseases. The Aztecs and the Mayan were the ones who initiated the use of these seeds and opened the way for them to become more famous.
The Tarahumara Mexican tribe that was famous for its runners, used to create the chia Iskiate for those runners in order to give them the power and energy to run for long distances without getting tired. This Iskiate is a drink that mixes between chia seeds, water, and lime juice. Chia seeds were highly valued by the Aztecs back at their times to the extent that they used to sacrifice them in their religious ceremonies.
These are not the only reasons why it is important to pay more attention to chia seeds and add them to your diet plans, but this flower plant that comes from the mint family, should attract your attention because it does not carry that powerful taste, making it a good addition for all the different recipes out there, and adding it will bring different benefits to the body as well.
Do Chia Seeds Have Calories?
Being one of the most famous types of seeds consumed for the different weight loss programs, one question always comes to the mind of that person who is advised to eat chia seeds in order to get rid of those extra pounds; do they carry any calories or are they free from them? Yes, chia seeds do have calories and they are even high in them, but they help people to lose weight because one or two tablespoons will make the person feel full without the need to eat anything else, making those calories just perfect for the body.
One tablespoon of chia seed, weighing about 14 grams, carries about 70 calories; about 40 of these calories found in chia seeds comes from the fats, 9 calories come from protein, and the rest 20 calories come from carbohydrates. These calories will not affect the body because as much as they will fill it, there are also other benefits for the body such as serving it with other important nutrients and minerals.
Do Chia Seeds Have Gluten?
Speaking about gluten and talking about those people who might have some sensitivity to it, it is important to mention that chia seeds are the perfect choice for them. The best thing about these chia seeds is that they are gluten free, unlike the rest of the seeds. Being free of gluten, it is important to say that chia seeds are not only important for those who are sensitive to gluten, but it is also good for those dealing with carbohydrate intolerance, hypoglycemia, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, as well as those who are trying to avoid gluten containing grains like corn, barley, and wheat.
The celiac disease is considered the extremist form of gluten sensitivity, which is a chronic autoimmune problem that is also referred to as gluten enteropathy. Gluten enteropathy is a disease of the intestines, in which the body creates an attack response against gluten that winds up destroying the tiny, hair-like villi and microvilli that help absorb nutrients in the intestines. This disease can lead to anemia, nutrition deficits and cancer.
Do Chia Seeds Have Fiber?
Fiber is one of the most famous nutrients found in chia seeds and the reason behind it being a good food ingredient when it comes to weight loss. There are two different types of fiber in chia seed; the soluble and the insoluble, and the insoluble ones are referred to as hydrophilic which gives it the chance to expand itself inside the stomach when it comes in contact with liquids. This expansion process is the reason why the stomach will feel filled up with little amounts of chia seeds and will not trigger the feeling of hunger for a longer period of time.
Can Chia Seeds Grow in Your Stomach?
Yes, chia seeds can actually grow in the stomach and this growth is considered healthy and needed especially if the person is trying to lose some weight. Chia seeds are known to have the ability of absorbing 10 times their weight of water and this is mainly the reason why they could expand and grow in the stomach. But the other type of growth which is considered unhealthy and which might make eating or drinking chia seeds something that is a little bit scary is when they start to expand inside the body before reaching the stomach.
There were some researches done on this part and which proved that chia seeds don’t always make it to the stomach to expand, and this is when people should watch out. It was reported that a man ate one tablespoon of dry chia seeds with a glass of water, which in turn resulted in creating a gel-like, semi solid mass that got lodged in his esophagus.
Those who have some problems in swallowing, it is always better to soak the chia seeds before allowing yourself to eat them, because otherwise, you might face the same problem that this person has faced.
Do Chia Seeds Have Iron?
We know that chia seeds are filled with nutrients, antioxidants, and minerals, and among these minerals there are some which are more important than the others. One of these minerals is iron; chia seeds actually carry iron, making it one of the most important superfoods out there. The iron found in chia seeds could actually make them better substitutes for other types of food that people might not be very interested in eating and consuming. For example, the amount of iron found in chia seed is 6 times more than spinach, 1.8 times more than lentils, and 2.4 times more than beef liver, and this is all just in 100 grams of edible portion.
Do Chia Seeds Have Calcium?
In addition to iron, chia seeds carry different other important minerals as well, such as phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, zinc, and calcium. Calcium is important for the body for different reasons and maybe the most important one of them all is the ability it has when it comes to strengthening the bones. Chia seeds carry 5 times more calcium then milk, which is considered a surprising piece of information but one that would make people more encouraged to use it.
Calcium alone might be beneficial for the body for different reasons, but next to the other nutrients and minerals found in the body, chia seeds will eventually deliver different important benefits for the body as a whole. Fiber, calcium, and iron are found in chia seeds, but that is also in addition to omega-3 essential fatty acids, such as alpha linolenic acid, which plays an important role in fighting cancer as well as other diseases.
Do Chia Seeds Lower Cholesterol?
There are different questions related to chia seeds and the benefits which they carry for the human body, but as much as it helps in preventing different diseases, it is also important when it comes to cholesterol because it lowers its risks as well as the different other reasons that might lead to it. Chia seeds can actually lower the level of cholesterol and this happens in different ways and for different reasons.
The fiber found in chia is the first nutrient helping with cholesterol levels because the soluble fiber that forms a gel when it is added to water helps with the digestion process since it takes a while for the digestive system to use and remove it, and thus hydrate the colon and ease digestion; making it easier for the food to move and the nutrients to be absorbed.
On the other hand, the insoluble fiber is the one that makes the person feels full when he/she consumes chia seeds, which will help him/her to lose weight and thus keep the cholesterol level down. The liver uses cholesterol to make its various digestive helping substances including bile acid, bile acid helps in breaking down the food. When the food is moved efficiently and quickly enough through the intestines, the bile acid does not get the chance to linger or get re-absorbed. This process is considered good because it encourages the liver to make more, and thus use more cholesterol.
One of the important essential fatty acids that is not produced by the body but also needed for it is the linoleic acid, and it is important for lowering the cholesterol level because it combines with it in the body to form the membranes that hold the cells together.
The long chain triglycerides can scrub the cholesterol off of the artery wall when they are eaten in the right portions. Dealing with obesity and diabetes are two other important risks that can be dealt with through chia seeds, and when this happens, cholesterol levels will be easily managed as well.
There are different important nutrients and minerals found in chia seeds that could give you the chance to lower the cholesterol level, deal with obesity, and handle diabetes. This seed has the ability to provide the body with different things that it might be in need for such as calcium, fiber, omega-3 essential fatty acids, and not affecting the body with its calories at the same time.