4 Health Benefits Of Eating Chia Seeds
Before the chia seed craze, I thought chia seeds were those things you planted in Chia Pets. I was skeptical of actually eating them. However, these ancient seeds were touted in Mexico among Aztec warriors for their energy-boosting properties. Their benefits extend far beyond fuel, as they promote clear, healthy skin, reinforce strong bones, and support your organ systems.
Better Digestion and Energy
Chia seeds work wonders for your digestive system. If you’re carrying extra bloat, learn how they work to kickstart your metabolism and repair your body.
Are you really what you eat? Sometimes, your diet isn’t as healthy as it should be— no surprises there. You need more fiber, which isn’t as unpleasant as it sounds. Chia seeds are one great source.
At 11 grams per ounce, chia seed fiber meets your daily dietary needs. The fiber inside the seeds curbs your appetite, promotes healthy probiotics in your gut, and regulates your colon. That’s great! The fiber also balances insulin and blood sugar levels.
The zinc in the seeds controls your hunger hormone (leptin), putting a damper on your raging cravings. With leptin in check, you’re less likely to blow your diet on three trays of brownies.
It’s not just the fiber that controls diabetes. Alpha-linolenic acid in chia seeds prevents insulin resistance, too. Folks struggling with a metabolic disease who consumed chia seeds found that they soon reached stable blood sugar levels with no significant changes to their diet. Foods that previously caused insulin spikes were unable to generate the same results when chia seeds were present. The components in chia seeds not only managed diabetes but reversed its effects.
Boost Energy and Metabolism
Insulin regulation is only half the story, though. Chia seeds rev up exercise performance. Head-to-head tests between sugar-laden sports drinks and chia seed drinks showed equal workout performance without the added sugar!
Chia seeds boost your energy levels and target visceral adipose tissue, which is the unhealthy fat around your organs. Their properties blast away belly fat to combat obesity, too.
Everything’s connected. Weathered, dry skin often goes along with brittle bones and sensitive teeth. Chia seeds help connect the dots.
All the latest beauty products tout natural ingredients and big antioxidant levels. A new study found that chia seeds contained twice the amount of antioxidants than what had previously been reported— that means they stop up to 70% of free radical activity.
Chia seeds reduce inflammation and damage from the sun’s radiation, too. Their chemical properties boost skin repair and prevent further damage. The increased ability of your skin to repair itself keeps you looking fresh-faced and youthful.
Healthy skin is wonderful for a beautiful outside, but you need healthy bones for a beautiful inside. One ounce of chia seeds contains 18% of your daily recommended value of calcium. As you age, your body needs more calcium to combat bone degeneration, so the combination of calcium and boron found in chia seeds is superb for long-term health; it fortifies bones and metabolizes other minerals to be absorbed.
Your smile is timeless, or at least it should be. Chipped or brittle teeth are a sign of weakness and possible mineral deficiency. Chia seeds can help with that too. They’re packed with calcium, zinc, and vitamin A, which are wonderful for your teeth.
If you’ve ever wondered why your toothpaste contains zinc, it’s because zinc prevents plaque from mineralizing onto your teeth. As an added bonus, the zinc in chia seeds also has an antibacterial effect, which keeps your breath smelling fresh all day long.
Upping the Fitness
Took the office stairs and now your heart’s pounding? If you’re upping the physical activity in your routine, protect your heart and improve your workouts with chia seeds.
We know chia seeds boost energy, but did you know they also protect your heart? Their antioxidants reverse inflammation, regulate cholesterol, and knock down high blood pressure. All of these effects keep your heart pumping strong through any tough workout.
The seeds’ fatty acids help the body absorb vitamins while boosting omega-3s, and the lowered blood pressure and cholesterol reduce the strain on your heart and blood vessels— no cabinet full of medicines needed!
Build Muscle and Lose Fat
This one’s a double whammy. Chia seeds blast away stubborn belly fat while promoting new muscle growth. If you’re looking for plant-based proteins, chia seeds are a perfect match.
They go beyond your typical protein by absorbing water, providing your muscles with sustainable hydration throughout your workout without making you feel waterlogged. This increased hydration allows for electrolytes and nutrients to pass through your muscles, replenishing exhausted tissue.
Knock Out Cancer
One of the most concerning diseases to treat is cancer, especially more aggressive types like breast and cervical. Thankfully, chia seeds contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a fatty acid that has been shown to limit the growth and spread of cancer cells in breast and cervical cancer.
ALA is also able to target malignant cells without harming your healthy ones, which is a critical difference from chemotherapy treatments. Although more research is required, this is an excellent discovery for these common cancers.
I would highly recommend adding more chia seeds to your diet. My go-to breakfast is a vanilla chia seed pudding, and I find that chia seeds make excellent additives to smoothies, salads, and granola bars. I would especially recommend chia seeds as a vegetarian/vegan source of protein.
Chia seeds are certainly one trend that should stay. Their diverse set of healthful properties makes them an excellent addition to your diet, so get creative and try them out!