What are the health benefits of chia seeds? Are chia seeds good for you? Are there any side effects for eating chia seeds? There are usually millions of questions asked when it comes to chia seeds, including it in the diet plan, and knowing the effects and side effects it could have on the body of the human being. Chia seeds carry both; health benefits and side effects, but the health benefits always take over because those side effects only appear in special cases and might even be avoided through paying attention to specific tips. Chia seeds are effective and there are different benefits which we will know through the rest of this article.
Whenever it comes to a specific type of food you are trying for the first time, it is important to know whether it is going to be healthy for you or might bring some side effects along with it. Of course there are millions of things which we try without even thinking about the side effects, but trying something that is totally knew and not just a new dish with some ingredients that you already know, the whole equation will be different.
Chia Seeds Benefits
Chia seeds appeared long time ago and it was mainly used as a healthy source of energy that people could depend on and that is enough to explain the reason why the Incas used it for that reason during their times and also one enough reason to explain why the runners of the old Tarahumara tribe used to drink chia seeds water – chia Iskiate – in order to be able to run for longer distances and with faster pace without getting easily tired.
Looking back at those who were considered the first ones to discover chia seeds and realizing the main reasons behind depending on it, it becomes more interesting to know the other benefits of chia seeds that your body could receive in addition to gaining energy. Chia seeds health benefits are different and the best thing about them is that they could be all gained easily through making the chia Iskiate, which is all about adding the seeds to water and lemon, or even just sprinkling some on any dish being prepared.
Eating chia seeds will eventually provide your body with different minerals and nutrients that will deliver the important benefits to your body, these benefits include:
- First of all, Helping with Weight Loss
This is the first benefit to grab the attention of millions of people out there, which is the ability that chia seeds have when it comes to helping the person lose some weight and shed some pounds. There are different nutrients carried in chia seeds and the one responsible for this benefit is the fiber. Chia seeds are filled with fiber and this fiber expands in the stomach and thus slows down the digestion process, making sure to fill the stomach with fewer amount of food, making the person unable to receive anymore. In addition to the fiber content in chia seeds, the weight loss plan is also affected with the protein content in chia seeds since protein is believed to reduce appetite and food intake.
There were different studies done on those who have tried chia seeds for weight loss, some of them reported that it was an effective addition and plan to follow, while others didn’t witness any change in their body weight. The thing here is that even if you didn’t lose any weight through eating chia seeds, you will definitely gain another benefit which is increasing the amount of omega-3 in the body. It is important to know that eating chia seed only will not give you the chance to lose weight, but you need to create a full diet plan in which chia seed will be a part of, only then the effects will be seen.
- Chia Seeds Could Improve Type-2 Diabetes
In addition to those who are mainly focusing all their attention on losing some weight, there are also those who are looking for other benefits they could gain from chia seeds. Losing weight is of course important for some people, but treating type-2 diabetes is considered a totally different scenario and a more serious condition, but according to some researches done, chia seeds are believed to be effective and could actually help in improving the cases of type-2 diabetes through improving the cardiovascular risks.
According to one study published before in 2007, it was found that a white seeded variant in chia, called Salba, helped with reducing the blood pressure as well as other risk factors associated with type-2 diabetes. In addition to this health condition, chia seeds have been also considered helpful in reducing the LDL (the bad cholesterol) and improve the HDL (the good cholesterol). Not just that, but the fiber that is helpful in filling up the stomach and reducing the amount of food being consumed, is also believed to deal with diabetics by controlling the insulin spikes and keeping the blood pressure stable.
- They are Important for the Health of the Bones
Even though some of the tips given about chia seeds is making sure that the adults who are going to consume them will not suffer from any side effects or other health conditions, it is still considered helpful for those who are suffering from bone problems to consume chia seeds but should always make sure that they are not taking more than the necessary during the day and paying attention to the amount they are consuming.
Among the numerous health benefits of chia seeds, being beneficial for the health of the bones is one of the things that should be mentioned. From the different nutrients that chia seed carries, there are those which are important for the health of the bones, such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and of course the protein in chia seeds. These different nutrients help when it comes to the bones but the most important one of them and the one which is considered high in its amount compared to others is the calcium, the most important one for the health of the bones.
Generally speaking, chia seeds are considered a good source of calcium for those who don’t eat dairy products.
- Chia Seed is a Good Source of Energy
We have mentioned above that the history of chia seeds include the effect it carries on the bodies of people when it comes to providing them with energy, especially for the runners who needed what will keep them going faster and longer. Chia seeds are believed to be the perfect energy drink that a person could depend on when it comes to working out and one which is easy to be prepared; you will need nothing other than adding one tablespoon of chia seeds to your bottle of water and you could also add some lemon slices.
There were different studies and experiments done related to this part and it was found that replacing half the amount of Gatorade with chia seeds did not affect or decrease the performance of the athletes, which means that chia seeds help those athletes increase their endurance level through increasing their intake of nutrients and decreasing their intake of sugar.
- Chia Seed is a Good Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have been always known to be effective for the health of the heart and this brings us to one important conclusion relation to chia seeds which is that it is also beneficial and effective when it comes to the health of the heart. Chia seeds contain a lot of essential fatty acids, particularly those polyunsaturated fats, which are known to be effective when it comes to reducing the risk of heart diseases and strokes. In addition to the effect it carries on the health of the heart, omega-3 is also beneficial to help boost the cognitive function, such as the memory and the mood.
Most of the omega-3 fatty acids found in chia seeds come in the form of Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) which is considered beneficial for the body but at the same time there aren’t a lot of those studies done on it as there are on the EPA and DHA. For those worrying about the saturated fats which they could receive from eating chia seeds, they should not worry because it comes in a very small amount; about 24 grams of polyunsaturated fats and 3 grams of monounsaturated fats in every 100 grams of chia seeds.
- It is a Good Post Workout Supplement
Providing your body with the needed amount of chia seeds before working out is beneficial for gaining energy and being able to work out for a longer period of time, but providing your body with chia seeds after you are done with your workout is beneficial because it replenish minerals and vitamins lost in sweat. Mentioning some of the benefits that chia seeds could provide when it comes to athletes and the workout routines they tend to follow, we have to shed the lights on the effectiveness of chia seeds when it comes to the muscles they are trying to build; the protein in chia seeds helps in this process, not just that, but it carries all the essential amino acids needed for the muscle protein synthesis.
The best thing about chia seeds and adding them to your diet plan is the fact that they could be added to almost everything; they could be added to drinks, it could do its own chia water drink, it could be sprinkled on food, could be added to the different recipes being prepared, and it could be also grinded and used in some of the desserts baked at home.
There are different health benefits of chia seeds that you will find them effective when they are measured on your own personal health. In addition to those mentioned above, chia seeds are still considered effective when it comes to treating breast cancer and are even good for the health of the skin. Chia seeds side effects are so little and they are mainly related to pregnant women and feeding infants, so it is always important to focus on the health benefits and take the precautions needed or even ban chia seeds totally for a specific period of time if you are pregnant or you are breastfeeding.