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More About Chia Seeds
With a range of essential nutrients, Chia seeds are rightly regarded as a superfood. They have been used for centuries by the Mayan and Aztec, although they only gained popularity as a health food just over a decade ago. They are available on the market in capsule and powder form and can be used in cooking a variety of dishes such as desserts and salads.
Chia seeds are obtained from a flowering plant known as Salvia hispanica, which belongs to the mint family and grows in parts of Latin America. Good-quality seeds are black/white in color (shouldn’t be brown)
Why are Chia seeds good for us?
These amazing seeds are loaded with various nutrients which include the following:
- Omega-3 fatty acids,
- Fiber content,
- Quality protein,
- Vitamin B12,
- Minerals such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.
Even better, they are low in fat, carbs and are gluten-free.
What are the benefits of Chia seeds?
- Improving heart health: Studies suggest that this superfood can promote heart health by reversing inflammation, lowering blood pressure and regulating cholesterol levels in the body.
- Weight loss: It can also help trigger weight loss. It does this by keeping you feeling full for the better part of the day, slowing digestion and boosting the absorption of electrolytes.
- Fighting free radicals: The potent antioxidants in Chia seeds supplements can prevent the production of free radicals that are known to among others cause cell damage and trigger cancer.
- Energizing: Regardless of how you take them, the seeds can give you a quick and natural energy boost due to their high protein and potassium content. Athletes can really benefit from this.
- Strengthening bones: They supply your body with calcium, boron and phosphorus, which are some of the minerals that are very important for bone health.
- Detoxifying: They can also naturally flush out toxins in your intestines and ensure a healthy digestive system.
- Good for dry skin: Chia seeds have been found to be very beneficial for dry and sensitive skin. They help increase hydration and minimize trans-epidermal water loss.
What are the possible side effects of Chia seeds?
In general, very few side effects have been associated with Chia seeds supplements. However, there are some that have been reported and it’s important to consider these before starting to take the supplements. These include:
- Flatulence (stomach gas),
- Stomach discomfort,
- Interference with nutrient absorption,
- Prostate cancer.
The Omega-3s in Chia seeds can also be troublesome for individuals with certain blood diseases or those taking blood-thinning medication. It’s best to consult a professional before taking them.