Chia seed plant is a species of flowering plant of mint family and is one of the healthiest and nutritious foods on our planet. These tiny little seeds are dark brown to blackish in colour and are loaded with almost all nutrients that are highly required for a human body to function smoothly. The best part about these seeds is they are easy to digest. The scientific name of chia seeds plant is Salvia hispanica that is natively found in South America. The name Chia is an ancient Mayan word which means strength. According to a world health and medicines conference, a study claimed that chia seeds contain eight times more Omega 3 fatty acids than salmon, seven times more vitamin C than oranges, five times more calcium than milk, three times more iron than spinach and two times more potassium than a banana. Chia seeds have numerous benefits but have some side effects too. Let’s get to the list of benefits and side effects of chia seeds.
Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia Seeds Contain Fiber Making it Beneficial for Digestive System
Chia seeds are highly fibrous and all the carbs present in these seeds are fibre which makes chia seeds a best option for fibrous diet which makes your stomach feel full for a long time. Fibre present in chia seeds feed the friendly bacteria in your stomach which keeps digestion smooth. Chia seeds are 40% fibre and the benefit is they curb your frequent hunger pangs.
Chia Seeds are Rich in all Nutrients and Low in Calories
Chia seeds are small packets with huge benefits. They have 11 gm of fibre, 4 gm protein, 9 gm omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, niacin, thiamine, antioxidants and vitamin B2. Chia seeds are gluten free and have zero calories making it very beneficial for the overall health. What else you need to add into your diet for a good health?
Chia Seeds are Great Source of Antioxidants
Chia seeds have the goodness of antioxidants which is not only beneficial but also very essential for strong and disease free health. Antioxidants not only keep diseases at bay but also strengthen immunity and boost metabolism. Antioxidants protect the body from the damage caused by free radicals which is a worthy benefit to consume 1 ounce of chia seeds a day.
Highly Rich in Protein
You can get a goodness of a decent amount of protein from the chia seeds and the benefits of protein are well known to us. They have also amino acids to make use of protein properly in our body which helps in weight loss and balancing your appetite.
Weight Loss Benefits of Chia Seeds
If you’re looking for weight loss, you’re reading the right page. Yes, chia seeds can significantly help you in reducing your extra weight. They are highly fibrous, low in calories and a good protein loaded food that helps you to achieve flat stomach. The best ever benefit of chia seeds you can ever have!
Benefits of Chia Seeds in Fighting Blood & Cardiovascular Disorders
Be it cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, heart issues or blood sugar every health issue can be solved by consuming a specific amount of chia seeds a day. Chia seeds are very beneficial for balancing cholesterol, blood pressure, reducing diabetes and heart strokes.
Great Substitute of Milk
Chia seeds contain five times more calcium than milk which means you can switch from a glass of milk to 1 ounce of chia seeds a day. Besides calcium, chia seeds have healthy fats called omega 3 fatty acids that are essential for healthy body. Now munch some chia seeds everyday with the benefits and goodness of calcium and healthy fats.
Chia Seeds are Beneficial for Promoting Better Bone Health
When you get enough calcium, your bones become stronger and healthier. Calcium and potassium are beneficial for bone health. People with bone issues and osteoporosis conditions or low bone density can opt for chia seeds to include them in their regular diet.
Chia Seeds Help Improve Digestion
Chia seeds are fibrous and proteinaceous which helps in smooth digestion. Fibrous foods always keep intestines clean and your motion smooth. Chia seeds keep your bowel movement smooth regularly and also prevents constipation which is another great benefit of having this super food.
Skin Health Benefits of Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants, vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids which are the prime factors behind your great skin health. Antioxidants protect your skin from the damage of free radicals, vitamin E keeps your skin smooth and glowing and omega 3 fatty acids hydrate your skin with moisture which is very essential for a younger looking skin.
Stimulates Metabolism and Boosts Energy
Chia seeds are highly fibrous hence enhance the digestion process which means improved metabolism and more energy production for body. Chia seeds are beneficial for those who love to stay fit by workouts and exercises because they are good source of raw energy.
Chia Seeds Can Help Fight Against Cervical and Breast Cancer
Another serious benefit of incorporating chia seeds into your diet is it can help fight against cervical and breast cancer. Chia seeds have a decent amount of alpha lineic acid which is an omega 3 fatty acid that significantly inhibits the growth of cancer cells in breast and cervix according to Journal of Molecular Biochemistry.
Side Effects of Chia Seeds
Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer
As compared to benefits, the side effects of chia seeds are very less but needs attention too. Chia seeds are rich in alpha lineic acid which is an omega 3 fatty acid, the prime suspect behind the emergence of prostate cancer.
A very critical side effect associated with chia seeds is the difficulty in swallowing chia seeds because these seeds absorb water up to 27 times of their weight which give rise to esophageal obstruction when someone tries to eat a spoon of chia seeds followed by water.
No doubt chia seeds are great for digestion but regular intake or initial intakes of chia seeds can lead to side effects like diarrhea, bloating and flatulence. However, it depends on the body system of individuals, some might get these symptoms after a long period of consuming chia seeds and some on the initial days of consuming chia seeds in their diet.
Many people have allergies to different foods. The side effects of chia seeds can also cause different allergies to different people such nausea, skin rashes, vomiting, hives, breathing difficulty, swelling of mouth and tongue, and diarrhea.
Low Blood Pressure
High amount of omega 3 fatty acids present in chia seeds can have another serious side effect that is it can cause low blood pressure. Why? That’s because the excess of omega 3 fatty acids thin out your blood causing low blood pressure.
Benefits of chia seeds are numerous and are also recommended by doctors to incorporate in your diet for a healthy body and system. But excess and irregular intake of chia seeds can cause several side effects affecting your health adversely. Hence, 20 gm of chia seeds is usually advised to consume a day which is 1.5 tablespoons but it is advisable to seek the advice of your doctor and nutritionist to know for certain if you could benefit from adding Chia seeds in your diet or not.