Benefits and Uses of Chia seeds
Chia seeds are considered more beneficial than many foods due to their properties and are very good for health. The nutrients present in it work to protect against serious diseases and maintain the health of the skin. This seed is beneficial in the treatment of diseases like anxiety, depression, weak immunity, high cholesterol, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, ulcers and inflammation. Chia seeds also contain good amounts of omega-3, fibres, protein, antioxidants, calcium and fatty acids. Therefore, it can be used for weight loss, healthy pregnancy and to increase fertility.
What are Chia seeds?
Chia seeds are grey and white in colour which looks like basil seeds whose botanical name is 'Salvia Hispanica'. It is also known as Mexican chia or Salba chia in many countries. Chia seeds have been considered an important part of a healthy diet for some time now because it is a very good and healthy base of omega-3 fatty acids, fibres, protein, antioxidants, that's why chia seeds are also called superfoods. Chia seeds are eaten in many ways in your diet such as smoothies, granola bars, breakfast etc.
Benefits of Chia seeds
To reduce weight-
Chia seeds contain protein and fibres which helps in reducing obesity. In fact, the protein and fibres present in chia seeds improve metabolism by preventing the deposition of fat. According to research conducted by Nutrition Research and Practice, consuming chia seeds in the morning breakfast every day can quell hunger for some time. At the same time, research conducted by the Journal of Food Science and Technology shows that the high protein present in chia seeds helps in reducing weight by reducing the feeling of hunger. Therefore, to lose weight, we should consume chia seeds regularly.
Useful for bones and teeth-
Chia seeds prove to be helpful in maintaining strong bones and teeth because it contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium and vitamins which helps in preventing the disease of osteoporosis (weak and fragile bones) by aiding in the development of bones. In research by NCBI, it is believed that calcium-rich chia seeds prove to be very effective for teeth apart from bones. Therefore, it is considered good to consume chia seeds for bone growth and strengthening teeth.
Beneficial in diabetes and high blood pressure-
Chia seeds are also beneficial in the problem of diabetes and high blood pressure. Research conducted by the Journal of Food Science and Technology suggests that the fibres, unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidant (inhibiting the effects of free radicals) properties in chia seeds combined play an important role in controlling elevated blood sugar. Apart from this, omega-3 fatty acids present in chia seeds help in reducing high blood pressure due to the high calcium and sodium content. Therefore, the consumption of chia seeds is considered nutritionally important in the treatment of this disease.
Beneficial for the heart-
Chia seeds are very beneficial in keeping the heart-healthy. It is rich in iron and vitamin A which helps in keeping the arteries of the heart healthy. Therefore, by consuming chia seeds daily, the risk of all heart-related problems such as irregular heartbeat and heart blockage, etc. is reduced.
Beneficial for a cancer patient-
According to a report by the UCSF Medical School, chia seeds are rich in alpha-linolenic and alpha-linoleic acids which is a type of omega 3-acid. These properties help prevent breast cancer. Apart from this, chia seeds kill cancer cells without harming normal healthy cells. Therefore, consuming chia seeds is considered a good option for the growth of healthy cells and the destruction of cancer cells.
For healthy immunity-
Antioxidants are found in chia seeds which are helpful in fighting infection. It also provides protection to the body. In this way, it helps in making the immune system strong. So, include chia seeds in your daily diet.
Helpful in increasing energy-
Breakfast is most important because it gives the body the energy to work throughout the day, that's why everyone must have breakfast. It is very important to take nutritious food during this time which provides energy and vigour to the body. Therefore, including chia seeds in a healthy breakfast is considered a good option. The energy found in it helps in keeping the body active throughout the day because nutritious foods like vitamin B, zinc, iron and magnesium are found in chia seeds, which are helpful in giving energy to the body.
The omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids present in chia seeds work to increase sperm cells in men which improves the fertility of men.
Many such nutrients are found in chia seeds which are very important for pregnant women. The calcium and magnesium found in it help in the health of the pregnant woman and the development of the bones of the fetus. Apart from this, magnesium also helps in preventing low birth weight and increased blood pressure in pregnancy.
To protect against pollution and ultraviolet rays of the sun-
Pollution causes respiratory and lung diseases. In this case, it is good to consume chia seeds because vitamin D present in chia seeds protects the body from the effects of pollution and removes many serious diseases. Apart from this, the DHA and EPA present in chia seed oil also removes the problems of sunburn, tanning, ageing etc. caused by UV rays.
For healthy skin and healthy hair-
Chia seed oil works to enhance the beauty of the skin. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) present in it are used to treat many skin diseases. With this, acne, rashes, redness and other skin related problems can be reduced. Apart from this, the omega-3 fatty acids present in chia seed oil also improve the condition of the hair along with the skin.
Side effects of Chia seeds
- Chia seeds are rich in fibres. Therefore, consuming it in excess can cause constipation and gas problems.
- If a person is sensitive and gets allergic to new things, then such people should consume chia seeds only after consulting a doctor or expert.
- Chia seeds have blood-thinning properties. So, if someone is already taking a blood-thinning medicine, then avoid taking it.
- People who have recently had surgery should not use chia seeds.
- It should also not be used at the time of bleeding disorder.