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Benefits of Chia Seeds And Its Side Effects

Last Updated: Feb 25, 2024

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Chia seeds are a source of antioxidants and rich in nutrients. The seeds are also rich in polyunsaturated fats, particularly the Omega-3 fatty acids. These seeds are helpful in reducing the inflammation, reduce high cholesterol and enhance cognitive performance. Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, which is associated with reducing the inflammation, regulating the bowel function and even lowering the cholesterol. The seeds are both grain and gluten free, and are very healthy for the body. The overall health of an individual can be improved by the intake of chia seeds. These edible seeds are very useful and help to control hunger. The chia seeds are known to enhance the diet as they are enriched with super nutrients. They have the ability to help an individual lose weight.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are excellent edible seeds which are used as energy boosters. The meaning of Chia is strength and they are regarded as concentrated foods that contain healthy fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, protein, anti-oxidants, calcium and protein in it. They are un-processed whole grains that can be absorbed by the body easily unlike the flax seeds. It is a modern-day superfood which is regarded as an excellent dietary fiber and that helps in weight loss. It is consumed mainly by people who are health conscious.

Nutritional Value of Chia Seeds

The nutritional value of Chia seeds in one ounce or 2 tablespoons is equivalent to 139 calories. The amount per 100 gms of Chia seeds equals to 486 calories and it consists of 47% of fat. The best part is that it does not contain any cholesterol and the carbohydrate content is about 136%. It also consists of vitamins and minerals, besides saturated and polyunsaturated fats. The chia seeds can be added to food as these have a mild nutty flavor. These tiny seeds are packed with lot of nutrition and are valued highly for their nutritional and medicinal value.

Nutritional facts Per 100 grams

486
Calories
31 g
Total Fat
16 mg
Sodium
407 mg
Potassium
42 g
Total Carbohydrate
17 g
Protein

Vitamins and Minerals

1 %
Vitamin A
0.63
Calcium
2 %
Vitamin C
42 %
Iron
83 %
Vitamin B-6

Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

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Mentioned below are the best health benefits of Chia Seeds

Loaded with Anti-oxidants

High amount of anti-oxidants are present in Chia seeds, which are useful in protecting the complex fats in the seeds. They provide positive effects on the health as they comprise of anti-oxidants. They are useful in fighting the production of free radicals that can harm the molecules in the cell and contribute to diseases like cancer.

Rich in Nutrients

These popular super foods are easy to digest, especially when they are prepared properly. Chia seeds are versatile ingredients that provide plentiful benefits. They are high in vitamins and minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium. It is rich in dietary fiber and comprises of 37% of dietary fiber and 20% of protein.

Good for Skin and Ageing

The top benefit of chia seeds is that it comprises of high concentration of anti-oxidants and has been proven as nature’s rich anti-oxidant food. It is very beneficial in preventing premature skin ageing which occurs due to inflammation and radical damage. The repair systems of the skin are repaired by the anti-oxidants and prevent further damage to the skin.

Improves Digestive health

Chia seeds are rich in fiber and per ounce of these seeds contains 11 grams of fiber. The insulin levels in the body can be maintained by intake of chia seeds and they also act as a natural blood sugar balancer mainly because of the healthy fats and high fiber content in them. A person can have regular bowels by including fiber in their diet. It is known to curb hunger and consequently, it suppresses the appetite of an individual leading to weight loss.

Good for Heart

The ability to regulate cholesterol, lower blood pressure and reverse inflammation is made possible by consuming chia seeds which are extremely beneficial. Consuming chia seeds is very good for better heart health and the chances of developing atherosclerosis are also regulated, by reversal of oxidative stress.

Excellent for Diabetes

Chia seeds are known to be rich in fiber and alpha-linolenic acid. It help to prevent metabolic disorders like insulin resistance and dyslipidemia. These two factors are responsible for the development of diabetes. The onset of dyslipidemia can be prevented by eating these seeds.

Best for Pregnant Women

These tiny seeds are very nutritious and healthy for the body and expectant mothers should incorporate these seeds in their diet. The nutrients depleted during pregnancy can be replaced by consuming chia seeds, as they boost energy. It is equally good for the development of the baby.

Helps Boost Body Metabolism

A handful of chia seeds taken daily is very essential for the runners, as these help to boost their body metabolism. The visceral adipose tissue is also reduced by consuming chia seeds. The tissues are actually related to belly fat tissue, and are an important component of obesity.

Lose Weight and Build Muscles

Chia seeds are excellent plant based sources of protein and they are seeds used by individuals interested to add on lean muscles, balance blood sugar levels and burn fat. The nutrients that are lost at the time of exercising or during workouts are replaced by chia seeds. Chia contains boron that helps to metabolize nutrients like manganese and calcium for growth of healthy muscles and bones.

Helps to Fight Cervical and Breast Cancer

It has been observed that these seeds are rich in ALA or alpha lipoic acid, that is known to limit the growth of cancer cells in the cervical region and for breast cancer. The seeds destroy the harmful cancer cells without disturbing the healthy cells in the body. Women struggling with cancer should include chia seeds in their diet. In short, they are cancer fighting foods.

Top Food for Dental health

Chia seeds are enriched with various nutrients like calcium, phosphorous, zinc and Vitamin A. The necessary nutrient for good dental health is calcium and that is the main building block of the teeth. Plaque can be kept away from mineralizing on the teeth, by Zinc which prevents tartar. For healthy mouth and strong teeth Vitamin A and phosphorous are very useful.

Excellent Energy Boosters

The chia seeds are useful in decelerating the process of sugar absorption as well as these help to slow the process of converting the carbohydrates and sugars from the seeds in to energy. The process of slow burning of sugar along with high protein content is useful in attaining a sustained energy boost for the body.

Uses of Chia Seeds

These little seeds brimming with anti-oxidants are proven to be rich in Omega 3, which is found even in fish. The risk of obesity and diabetes can be reduced by intake of chia seeds. The overall performance of the body can also be improved by the intake of these tiny seeds. These seeds are rich in protein and fiber, that help to fight unwanted fat in the body. The properties of these chia seeds are fantastic and athletes can be benefitted by taking them as these help to keep the body hydrated for a longer time. Incredible health benefits can be gained by consuming these seeds which are rich in nutrients.

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Side-Effects & Allergies of Chia Seeds

There are very few side effects linked with chia seeds. In rare cases it has been observed that these seeds have an effect on prostate cancer. Only at times do some people experience discomfort in the stomach on consuming the chia seeds and when taken in higher quantities. It should be consumed in moderation. The potential side effects that can be caused include gastrointestinal issues like constipation, diarrhea, bloating and hard stools. The seeds comprise of high source of Omega 3 fatty acids and can cause the blood to thin out and result in the lowering of blood pressure drastically. It is best to consult the doctor before you take chia seeds. It can also cause allergies like skin rashes and watery eyes.

Origin And Cultivation of Chia Seeds

There are very few side effects linked with chia seeds. In rare cases it has been observed that these seeds have an effect on prostate cancer. Only at times do some people experience discomfort in the stomach on consuming the chia seeds and when taken in higher quantities. It should be consumed in moderation. The potential side effects that can be caused include gastrointestinal issues like constipation, diarrhea, bloating and hard stools. The seeds comprise of high source of Omega 3 fatty acids and can cause the blood to thin out and result in the lowering of blood pressure drastically. It is best to consult the doctor before you take chia seeds. It can also cause allergies like skin rashes and watery eyes.

References

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    Written ByDrx Hina FirdousPhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child CarePharmacology
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    Reviewed ByDt. Ms. Shilpa MarwahB.Sc (Home Science), Post Graduation Diploma in Dietetics and Public Health NutritionDietitian/Nutritionist
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