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12 surprising benefits of chia seeds and how to consume it

You must have heard a lot about chia seeds but do you know why its so popular? Here are 12 health benefits of chia seeds and how you can include them in your diet.
View All Images Chia seeds in a heart-shaped container
There are many reasons why you should consume chia seeds! Image courtesy: Adobe stock
Aayushi Gupta Updated: 4 Apr 2024, 12:21 pm IST
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Chia seeds are like little health superheroes among all the different types of seeds. They’ve become really popular because they’re a nutritional powerhouse that offers a plethora of health benefits. Not only are they super nutritious, but they also taste really good! People love adding them to things like chia seed pudding or smoothies. If you’re a health-conscious person, trying out chia seeds in your diet would be a wise idea. But before you do that, it’s good to know all the health benefits of chia seeds.

In recent years, chia seeds have gained popularity as a superfood. Health Shots spoke to Nutritionist, and Dietitian Deepti Lokeshappa, to know why you should also incorporate chia seeds into your diet. Lokeshappa says that thanks to their nutrient-rich profile, chia seeds improve overall health and contribute to the well-being of an individual.

12 health benefits of chia seeds you should know

1. Packed with essential nutrients

Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse, packed with essential vitamins and minerals. They are an excellent source of fibre, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, and antioxidants. Consuming chia seeds regularly can contribute to overall nutrient intake, supporting various bodily functions.

2. Contains antioxidant properties

Chia seeds contain antioxidants such as quercetin, chlorogenic acid, and caffeic acid, which helps protect the body from oxidative stress. Lokeshappa says, “Antioxidants neutralise free radicals and unstable molecules that can damage cells and contribute to various chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer.”

healthy snacking
There are many ways to reap the benefits of chia seeds! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Rich in anti-inflammatory properties

Chronic inflammation is linked to various health issues, including heart disease and arthritis. Chia seeds contain antioxidants that possess anti-inflammatory properties, helping to combat inflammation in the body. Including chia seeds in your diet may reduce the risk of chronic diseases associated with inflammation.

4. Promotes heart health

The omega-3 fatty acids found in chia seeds, particularly alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), play a crucial role in maintaining heart health. According to a study published in Food Science and Nutrition, ALA has been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. It helps reduce blood pressure, inflammation, and improve cholesterol levels.

Also read: Chia seeds for cholesterol: 7 reasons why it can improve your heart health

5. Good for bone health

Chia seeds are high in nutrients that are essential for bone health, such as calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. According to Lokeshappa, “These nutrients are crucial for maintaining strong and healthy bones and reducing the risk of conditions like osteoporosis.”

Complications of arthritis
Chia seeds are good for bone health. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock.

6. Maintains healthy digestion

The high fiber content in chia seeds supports a healthy digestive system. Fiber promotes regular bowel movements, prevents constipation, and supports the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. A healthy digestive system is essential for nutrient absorption and overall well-being.

7. Supoorts weight loss

“Chia seeds are an excellent source of dietary fibre. This soluble fibre aids in the formation of a gel-like substance in the digestive tract, promoting regular bowel movements and preventing constipation. Moreover, it induces a feeling of fullness, which may support weight loss efforts by curbing excessive calorie intake,” explains Lokeshappa.

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8. Regulates blood sugar

The soluble fibre in chia seeds plays a role in regulating blood sugar levels. The fibre, fat, and protein break down carbohydrates. As a result, it curbs the glycemic index of carbohydrate-containing foods and prevents rapid spikes and crashes in blood glucose levels.

 blood sugar levels
Chia seeds are good to reduce blood sugar levels. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

9. Improves brain health

Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), are essential for brain health. While chia seeds contain ALA, which the body can convert to DHA to some extent, they may still contribute to cognitive function and support overall brain health.

10. Gluten-free alternative

Chia seeds are naturally gluten-free, making them an excellent alternative for individuals with gluten sensitivity or those following a gluten-free diet. They can be incorporated into various recipes, providing a nutritious option for those with specific dietary requirements.

11. Increases sexual desire

Chia seeds are incredibly nutrient-dense because they contain a high content of omega-3 fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, dietary fibre, protein, vitamins, and minerals, according to research released by IMR Press. Chia seeds can enhance your sex desire because of their fatty acids. These tiny seeds help to raise testosterone naturally, and testosterone is linked to sex drive, energy, and feelings of power.

Chia seeds for sexual health
Chia seeds can be a superfood for sexual health. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

12. Controls hair loss

Chia seeds are a great source of minerals, dietary fibre, and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which can slow down hair loss. Additionally, the zinc and copper found in chia seeds help prevent scalp infections and hair thinning.

How to consume chia seeds?

1. Chia seed pudding: Mix chia seeds with your favorite milk (dairy or plant-based), add a sweetener like honey or maple syrup, and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Wake up to a delicious and nutritious chia seed pudding.
2. Smoothies: Boost the nutritional value of your smoothies by sprinkling in a tablespoon or two of chia seeds. They add a subtle crunch and provide an extra dose of fiber and protein.
3. Yogurt toppings: Sprinkle chia seeds on top of your yogurt or Greek yogurt for an easy way to incorporate them into your breakfast or snack. It adds texture and a nutritional boost.

Also read: This vegan ‘flourless’ brownie recipe has chia seeds and peanut butter!

4. Add in salad: Sprinkle chia seeds on your salads or mix them into salad dressings. They add a nutty flavor and contribute healthy fats, fiber, and protein to your greens.
5. Chia seed oatmeal: If you consume oatmeal for breakfast, you can also add chia seeds to it.

Follow these easy ways to consume chia seeds and enjoy!

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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