Chia Seeds Benefits and their Weight Loss Properties

Chia seeds have made a significant part of the daily diet of several communities including ancient Americans for many decades due to the limitless Chia seeds benefits. These seeds belong to the mint family and are harvested from a Salvia Hispanica plant. Chia naturally grows in Mexico and southwestern US, but today it’s also commercially grown in other countries, such as Argentina, Bolivia, Guatemala, Ecuador among others. There are several Chia seeds benefits. These seeds are included in different recipes to enhance the foods’ nutritional value and can be consumed raw or can be processed for various delicacies.

Chia seeds are rich in calcium, antioxidants, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids which make them extremely nutritious for daily intake. Apart from this, the seeds also contain proteins as well as different minerals and vitamins. All these nutrients found in chia make them beneficial for consumption by people of any age group, particularly, those suffering from nutritional deficiencies. Besides their nutritional properties, the Chia seeds also offer several other health benefits.

Chia Seeds Benefits

Control blood sugar: A unique combination of both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber can help slow down the conversion of eaten food into sugar by the body. Preliminary research indicates that Chia seeds can help diabetic people to control their sugar levels as well as protect their hearts. Moreover, Animal studies indicate that diets rich in chia lower triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels, while enhancing HDL cholesterol level. The white-seeded species of Chia, known as “Salba” also helped in controlling blood sugar as well as maintaining C-reactive protein and blood pressure.

Protect the heart: Some animal studies have detected Chia’s ability to help preserve good heart health. Some studies also found that when these seeds were given to rats on high-fat and high-carb diets, they minimized liver and cardiac inflammation, and also increased glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity because they are sources of an essential fatty acid known as “a-linolenic acid (ALA),”

Manage cholesterol: Some studies also indicate that including Chia to your daily diet may help control cholesterol levels and blood fats. In a study carried out in 2009, rats were fed with a sugar-rich diet for 3 months, then Chia seeds were used as the source of the fat in this diet for 3-5 months in half the initial number of animals. This diet prevented the rise of fats and high lipids in the blood, which helped to minimize abdominal fat.

Protect against cancer: Early animal studies have suggested that Chia seeds may have some protective properties against cancer. For example, research from Argentina showed that these seeds hinder growth and spread of tumors in a rat.

Enhance energy: Since they are highly nutritious for their size, the seeds make perfect energy diets for hikes, long runs or other involving tasks. The high-protein content, as well as the slow-burning fibers, can keep you going for many hours. Chia seeds are considered as one of the best stimulants because they are much healthier than coffee, less expensive and more legal compared to cocaine, and more effective than any 5-hour energy drink.

Stabilizing the digestive system: The Chia seeds are known to help in maintaining and restoring intestinal health, though there are no scientific studies carried out on the subject at the moment. Perhaps, it is due to their high fiber content that most people experience this effect. In the modern world of processed foods, rich sources of soluble or insoluble fiber may be quite difficult to find. These seeds help enhance regularity, and can be easily digested. Chia seeds digest slowly, and keeps the colon hydrated. Most people swear by this seed for preventing diverticulitis (colon inflammation).

Boost brain power: Fatty acids help in maintaining the functioning of neurotransmitters and brain cell membranes. Omega-3 fatty acids contain DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which is used only by the nervous system and brain. They also contain EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) which have been proven by studies to be effective in getting rid of low-grade inflammation triggered by clinical depression. These seeds are rich sources of the essential fatty acids; which is the natural brain food.

Chia Seeds Benefits: Chia weight loss benefits

Appetite Suppressing Ability: Chia seeds were highly valued by the Aztec and Mayan civilizations. The early Aztec warriors relied on them for energy provision and survival, since these seeds kept them full for almost 24 hours. The high fiber content of these seeds can suppress your appetite by keeping you full for a longer time. When added to the daily diet, they can also prevent overeating. Therefore, even if you eat your normal serving of a given food, you’ll feel fuller due to the addition of Chia seeds. For instance, adding just one teaspoonful of Chia seeds to a cup of salad would not only fill you up but will also eliminate hunger pangs between your daily meals thereby helping in weight loss.

Slows conversion of carbohydrates to fat: When mixed with water, the Chia seeds can swell up to about 6-10 times their normal size, because of their fantastic fiber structure. The nutrients found in the Chia seeds furnish the body with significant energy to handle the daily activities. Chia seeds contain a balanced combination of fiber, fats, carbohydrates and protein, which provide the body with the energy it needs. When a person consumes these seeds and they absorb moisture to create a gel-like consistency inside the stomach, the effect results in the formation of a barrier between the carbohydrates consumed and the intestinal enzymes. Consequently, the rate of conversion of carbs to sugar is reduced . Therefore, a steady energy is delivered to the body while the level of blood sugar is stabilized. When one’s blood sugar is stabilized, he/ she doesn’t crave for sugary or fatty foods, which prevents unnecessary calorie intake during the day. This promotes the weight loss process.

Boosts Metabolism: Chia seeds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. When it comes to plants, they are actually the richest source of omega-3 essential fatty acids. These acids help boost the metabolic rate, thus making the body to burn more fats. This translates to weight loss. Chia seeds benefits also include promotion of lean muscle mass.