Chia seeds are an ancient superfood – Aztec and Mayan civilizations used these seeds as a mainstay of their diets because of their nutritional value. They’re a concentrated protein source with a fibrous quality to keep you full and provide energy for a long time. The word “chia” actually means strength in the Mayan language and the seeds were known as runner’s fuel.
Chia seeds have many positive benefits!
1) Help with Weight loss
Chia seeds are high in fiber and contain a substance called glucomannan, which is linked to weight loss. Fiber absorbs significant amounts of water, which causes your stomach to expand; in turn, you feel fuller, quicker. Fiber also helps your digestive system run smoothly and regularly – because it’s hard to digest, fiber moves your food more slowly through your gut, allowing more nutrients from the foods you eat to be absorbed in your bloodstream. Proteins found in the seeds can help reduce your appetite.
2) Chia Seeds Are Loaded With Antioxidants
Another area in which chia seeds shine is their high antioxidant content. These antioxidants protect the sensitive fats in the seeds from going rancid. Though the benefits of antioxidant supplements are debated, researchers agree that getting antioxidants from foods can have positive health effects. Most importantly, antioxidants fight the production of free radicals, which can damage cell molecules and contribute to aging and diseases like cancer.
3) They’re High in Many Important Bone Nutrients
Chia seeds are high in several nutrients that are important for bone health. This includes calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein. The calcium content is particularly impressive — 18% of the RDI in a single ounce (28 grams). Gram for gram, this is higher than most dairy products. As a result, chia seeds may be considered an excellent source of calcium for people who don’t eat dairy. However, chia seeds also contain phytic acid, which reduces calcium absorption to some extent.
4) Promotes Oral Health
Your teeth are constructed similarly to your bones. Thus, the vitamins and minerals found in chia seeds equally help build and strengthen your teeth. Besides calcium, Vitamin A and zinc are two more beneficial nutrients found in these little seeds. Zinc prevents plaque from building up on your teeth, which ultimately fights the onset of tartar, too.
5) Manages Blood Sugar Levels
Unhealthy eating habits may cause you to become susceptible to sugar cravings because of varying blood sugar levels. You already know chia seeds are a rich source of fiber, but they are also high in protein and omega-3s. The combination of these can help improve your metabolic health and stabilize your blood sugar levels. For those with pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or type 2 diabetes, controlling their blood sugar levels is a daily health concern. Choosing a high fiber, high protein diet, including healthy chia seeds, can help manage digestion to avoid the spikes and crashes that poor diets and empty calories can cause.