7 Benefits of Chia Seeds: Side Effects and Nutrition Facts

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Often, we do not realize the nutritious benefits of the tiniest things growing around us. Chia seeds’ benefits have been known to us since the late 1980s, thanks to the marketing power that convinced us about mini seeds as a superfood

Even though, as of the present day, the nutritious content of the small seed has not been proven precisely. But we tried to dedicate this article to help you to know what chia seeds are, their benefits, side effects, and more. 

What are Chia Seeds? 

Ever seen the desert plant Salvia Hispanica? Well, chia seeds are the result of harvesting of the flowering plant. They are round and smaller in size and often can be seen either in white, black, or brown color. Mainly the seeds of Salvia hispanica are founded in Latin American states, Mexico and Guatemala. 

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what are chia seeds
what are chia seeds

Chia seeds’ benefits are known because they are hygroscopic and absorb the weight in liquid up to 12 times. So, when they are added to any beverage, a special mucilaginous coating with a gel texture develops. 

What are the 7 benefits of Chia Seeds? 

7 benefits of Chia Seeds
7 Benefits of Chia Seeds

Without beating around the bush, we would like to inform you of some of the inherent benefits of chia seeds. Check out what chia seeds are good for below. 

1. Helps in reducing weight 

Among our long list of the benefits of chia seeds, the immediate one that comes to our mind is that chia seeds help stimulate weight loss. The fiber content within each tiny seed aids in reducing belly fat. How? Because the seed absorbs water in the stomach, and while it expands, the strong appetite narrows down. 

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Some nutritionists also consider chia seeds beneficial in losing weight because of their rich protein content. You must consume about 25-38 grams of chia seeds a day to shed kilos of weight. 

2. Control Blood Sugar Levels and Prevent Diabetes 

Most importantly, the outer gelatinous coating of chia seeds controls any spikes in blood sugar levels. Due to its slow digestion ability, it acts as insulin and prevents diabetes. We can also add that regulating blood pressure levels is a significant benefit of chia seeds. 

3. Keeps a check on constipation 

Chia seeds have higher fiber content, which smoothens the digestion process. Not only that, but the insoluble chia seeds would transform into a gel when coming in contact with water. Such gel eases bowel movements and adds to your stools. 

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4. Promotes good cholesterol and boosts healthy blood lipid levels

These are among some of the rarest seeds that are richest in Omega 3 fatty acids. Such fatty acids are a great source of lowering the blood cholesterol level and reducing the chances of coronary cardiac diseases. 

The presence of monosaturated fats in chia seeds minimizes the possibility of LDL (harmful) cholesterol levels, reducing the chances of heart-related ailments overall. 

5. Adds extra energy and stimulates metabolism 

Some of the ingrained chia seed nutrients include zinc, iron, vitamins, and magnesium. And each of these components is great for boosting overall energy. You can take chia seeds as a workout drink, which sustains extra energy and inspires you to perform heavy workouts daily. 

It would help if you took chia seeds with some smoothies a few hours before the hardcore workout routine to burn off the carbs. The benefits of chia seeds also include the boosting of overall body metabolism. 

6. Gives you stronger bones and prevents osteoporosis 

The calcium factor within chia seeds is also higher, so you can take them if you require to improve the calcium content. Intake of chia seeds has proved effective in making both your bones and teeth stronger. 

Chia seeds protect bone health from future diseases like osteoporosis. Phosphorus and other minerals in chia seeds help strengthen bones. Chia seeds’ anti-inflammatory properties also help prevent arthritis and limit the chances of skin raging. 

7. Healthy sleep cycle 

The two particular hormones, melatonin and serotonin, are good for maintaining a healthy sleep cycle. The secretion of such hormones occurs with adequate tryptophan ( an amino acid) in the body. Chia seeds contain higher tryptophan, which helps relax and is good for sleeping. 

Do Chia Seeds Help You Lose Weight? 

Even though not medically proven, several assertions claim the curb or frequent appetite-suppressing potential of chia seeds. The logic behind such assertions is that chia seeds contain a rich share of fiber, making you stay full for longer hours a day. 

So, it, in a way, rescues you from overeating. If one tablespoon of chia seeds contains five grams of fiber, then you should take at least six spoonfuls of chia seeds daily. 

Do Chia Seeds Help You Lose Weight
Do Chia Seeds Help You Lose Weight

This is because any strict weight loss diet plan would require you to consume at least 30 grams of fiber daily to reduce your appetite.

So, partially or indirectly, chia seeds help in weight loss by making you feel less likely to eat too much. However, surpassing your daily calorie limit won’t help much. 

4 Chia Seeds Nutrition Facts 

Well, now you are aware of the long list of benefits of chia seeds, so all credit goes to their inherent nutrition properties. Check out the list below. 

It is suggested that you take a minimum of 25-28 grams of chia seeds a day. They contain nearly 138 calories per ounce. Other than calories, some effective chia seeds nutrients include 6% water, carbs, fiber, protein, and fat. Let’s look into all that individually. 

1. Fat: 

Chia seeds contain all types of friendly body fat. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are heart-healthy and prevent sudden cardiac attacks, play a vital role among all the important nutrients in chia seeds. 

The omega-3 fatty acids have their source in plants and are better than flaxseed. When you consume omega-3 fatty acids, other than coronary cardiac ailments, the chances of cancer and body inflammation also reduce. 

Chia seeds nutrition facts encompass not only Omega 3 and 6 but also saturated, polyunsaturated, trans, and monosaturated fats. 

2. Protein: 

Chia seeds comprise nearly 19-20% protein, which is typical of all other seeds but certainly better than most grains and cereals. 

Maximum protein intake would reduce the possibility of unwanted cravings and appetites and assures fullness after meals. Even though chia seeds have a good protein share, they should not be taken as the sole protein source for any individual. 

3. Carb and fiber: 

Approximately 80% of chia seeds’ carb content comes from fiber. Both soluble and insoluble fibers are present in the chia seeds. Eventually, the fermented chia seeds would formulate short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). For those who are not aware, SCFAs improve your colon health.

4. Minerals: 

Even though the vitamin content of chia seeds is not high, many minerals are present in them. Some of the chia seeds benefits would include the

  • Manganese to improve body metabolism, growth, and systems improvement. 
  • It contains iron, which transports oxygen throughout the body, and enriched hemoglobin content in red blood cells. 
  • A fair share of phosphorus strengthens bone health. It also looks after the proper tissue growth. 
  • Calcium improves bones and teeth. 
  • Other crucial minerals are copper, selenium, and magnesium. Why copper? It contributes to good heart health. The other two minerals also play a crucial role in bodily processes. 

Leaving the known minerals, fiber, protein, and fat components aside, within chia seeds nutrients, you will also find herbal compounds such as caffeic acids, quercetin, chlorogenic acid, and antioxidants like kaempferol. 

5 Side-effects: Are chia seeds good for you? 

After discussing what chia seeds are good for, you must also know the side effects of eating too many chia seeds a day. See below. 

  • Though not for all, medical records show some individuals’ severe allergic reactions to chia seeds. Serious allergic reactions like anaphylaxis can occur after consuming extra chia seeds regularly.  For your relief, those with a medical history of allergies to cat dander or grass pollen are more likely to be allergic to chia seeds. 
  • Overeating chia seeds may act the opposite. It can cause lower blood pressure because it contains a high quantity of omega-3 fatty acids. Such components work like blood thinners and decrease blood pressure. 
  • A diabetic patient with regular consumption of chia seeds may face a steep blood sugar decrease and end up with insulin dosage adjustment. 
  • Chia seed oil also helps in tumor growth in the body. Though chia seeds may work on interacting with anticancer agents, no adequate evidence has been recorded about it. 
  • Chia seeds often react when taken with powerful antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs. The rich amount of omega-3 fatty acids may enhance the chances of bleeding. Even antioxidants like Vitamin C, E, or A supplements might have additive or competing effects. 

Go, Go, Chia! 

If you have read the entire article, then you can’t doubt chia seeds’ benefits. The tiny seeds help reduce weight and control blood sugar levels, cholesterol prevents cardiac diseases and guarantees a healthy sleep cycle. However, our only take is that don’t overconsume the seeds, as that will react oppositely. 

Don’t eat chia seeds daily while taking medications or antioxidant supplements. As a precaution, ask your doctor if it’s safe to eat chia seeds with supplements. Besides, it is safer to avoid such herbal seeds daily for women who are conceiving or breastfeeding because their effects have not been recorded yet. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about chia seeds

Q. What are chia seeds? 

Answer— Chia seeds are harvested from the mint flowering plant Salvia hispanica. They are flat white, brown, or black seeds mostly found in Latin America, Mexico, and Guatemala. 

Q. How chia seeds can be eaten? 

Answer- The mild-tasted seeds are generally added to baked food, desserts, or beverages. You may commonly prepare smoothies and pudding and make granola or chia drinks with the seeds. 

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Lucia Sterpone
Lucia Sterpone
Lucia Sterpone, a dedicated nutrition professional with a remarkable 8-year journey in promoting well-being through sound nutritional practices. Lucia specializes in providing expert nutrition counseling and education to individuals and groups. He has a passion for helping people improve their health through proper nutrition and lifestyle changes.

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