Chia Seeds – A Super Food. Benefits, Nutrition & Side Effects.

chia seeds

Chia Seeds – A Super Food. Benefits, Nutrition & Side Effects.

Chia seeds are a superfood.

They are a concentrated food containing healthy proteins, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, calcium and antioxidants.

Chia seeds are considered to be one of the few functional foods that can be effective in controlling obesity, the prevention of metabolic syndrome, and subsequently, the onset of cardiovascular diseases and type II diabetes mellitus. (1, 2)

What are chia seeds?

Chia is a plant (Salvia hispanica) native to Central America.(3)

The plant is said to have originated in Mexico and Guatemala. The Mexican state of Chiapa draws its name from the plant.

Chia seeds are small, brown, black and white coloured grains  – no bigger than a millimetre in diameter. The plant is related to the mint family, and its seeds have a nutty taste.

Chia’s when mixed with water or milk, can absorb up to 27 times their weight when soaked in liquid, and create a gel.

Nutrition Facts

chia seeds nutrition

Nutrition Value of Chia Seeds

These are the nutrition values of chia per 28 gms or 1 ounce (=1 serving) (5)

* Percent Daily Values (%DV) are for adults or children aged 4 or older and are for a 2,000 calorie reference diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.
NameAmount%DV
Protein4.4 g9%
Carbohydrate12.3 g4%
Dietary Fiber10.6 g42%
Omega 3 Fats (alpha-linolenic acid)5 g1000%+. However it does
not contain EPA & DHA.

A 28-gram, or 1-ounce, single serving of chia seeds contains 4.4 grams of protein.

Chia seeds are a great source of fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, calcium and antioxidants, as indicated in the table below. (5, 6)

NameAmount%DV
Calcium177 mg18%
Iron2.19 mg12%
Magnesium94 mg23%
Phosphorus265 mg27%
Potassium44.8 mg1%
Sodium5.3 mg0%
Zinc1.0 mg7%
Copper0.1 mg3%
Manganese0.6 mg30%

Benefits

Chia seeds are one of the healthiest foods in the world. They’re packed with hard to obtain nutrients that are important for our body and brain.

Chia was an essential plant for the Aztecs. Although a sub-tropical plant, it is now cultivated in parts of USA with the rise in demand among vegans and health enthusiasts.

 

chia seeds nutrients

Chia Seeds Nutrients

Here are some science-backed health benefits of chia seeds. Some are still considered inconclusive for the lack of  further proof and research:

1. Chia seeds are packed with dense nutrition.

Chia seeds have dense nutrition with low calories.

They have traditionally been the dietary staple of the Aztecs and the Mayans. It is only now that chia has become recognized as a modern-day superfood.

Health-conscious people from all over the world now consume this extremely popular superfood.

A one-ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains (5, 6):

  • Protein: 4.4 grams.
  • Fiber: 10.6 grams.
  • Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are omega-3s).
  • Manganese: 30% of the RDI.
  • Phosphorus: 27% of the RDI.
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDI.
  • Calcium: 18% of the RDI.
  • They also contain small amounts of vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2, vitamin B3 (niacin), zinc and potassium.

Chia is one of the world’s best nutrient-dense food source, calorie for calorie. It packs more calcium than milk, more antioxidants than blueberries, and more omega-3 than salmon.

For example, 100gms of milk has 125mg calcium, while 100 gms of chia seeds has a whopping 631mg of calcium!

Chia is a whole-grain food, non-GMO, usually grown organically. It is also naturally gluten-free.

Evidence also suggests that chia seeds may have strong anti-oxidant properties. (7)

You can buy chia seeds online here.

2. Rich source of protein

Protein is essential to human health.

Protein is the major component of our hair and nails. It is used by the body to repair tissue. The body also uses protein to make enzymes, hormones and other essential chemicals. Protein is also an essential building block of muscles, cartilage, skin and bones.

Protein is a “macronutrient,” meaning that the body needs relatively large amounts of it. But unlike fat and carbohydrates, the body does not store protein, and therefore it must be consumed in sufficient amounts in the daily diet. (8)

Protein is a weightloss friendly dietary nutrient.

According to studies, a high protein diet lowers appetite and has been shown to reduce hunger and obsessive thoughts of food by 60%. It also reduced night time snacking by 50%. (9, 10)

Chia is a great vegan source of quality protein. A one-ounce (28 grams) serving of chia seeds contains 4.4 gms of protein. (11)

3. Chia may help you lose weight

It can help you with weight loss

Chia Seeds For Losing Weight

Many believe that chia seeds can help in weight loss. Chia has a significant fiber and protein component both of which are known to help in weight loss.

Its soluble fiber absorbs large amounts of water and expands in the stomach. This increases fullness and slows the absorption of food (12). Several studies have shown that soluble fiber with hydrophilic qualities can lead to weight loss (13, 14).

According to studies, a high protein diet lowers appetite, reduces hunger and even obsessive thoughts of food by 60%. It also reduced night time snacking by 50%. (10, 15)

One study found that eating chia seeds for breakfast increased short term satiety and reduced food intake. (16)

A 6-month study was conducted in obese people with type 2 diabetes on a reduced-calorie diet with added 30 gms of chia seeds daily. It found that chia seeds caused significant weight loss, reduction in visceral obesity, better glycemic control and reduction in c-Reactive protein compared to a placebo. (17).

Other human studies conducted, however, have failed to show similar health benefits of improvements in body weight and health markers consistently.

While chia alone may not be sufficient to lose weight, it can be part of a healthy diet and exercise strategy.

Chia, with its significant protein and fiber component paired with its hydrophilic ability, is great for keeping hunger at bay.

Buy Online : Chia Seeds Online

4. High in omega-3 fatty acids

Compared to the salmon, chia seeds and flaxseeds contain extremely high omega-3 fatty acids.

However, the form of the omega-3 fats is different in both the food sources.

Experts consider the omega-3 fats sourced from animals to be of high quality, while the ones from plants (like chia and flaxseed) are considered vastly inferior. (18)

Omega-3 from oily fish had EPA & DHA, which is the bio-available active forms of omega-3 fatty acids. Chia and flaxseeds contain omega-3 fats in the form of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), which needs to be converted to EPA and DHA by the body.

Unfortunately, humans are inefficient at converting ALA to EPA and DHA.

Studies have shown that milled chia seeds can increase blood levels of ALA and EPA; however, no improvement was seen in the DHA values. (19, 20).

To get DHA for your body and brain needs, either eat fatty fish like salmon at least once a week. Taking fish oil will also work.

5. May lower the risk of heart disease

Chia is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and protein. Omega-3 fatty acids are good for heart health and help in maintaining HDL or “good cholesterol”.

Studies show that consuming chia will help you manage hypertension and high blood pressure.

Rat studies have shown that whole chia seeds can lower triglyceride inflammation, while ground chia seeds significantly improved the “good “ HDL cholesterol values. (21)

Several studies have tried to examine the direct benefits of chia, but the results have been inconclusive. In fact, one human study did not detect any improvements in risk factors (22).

Studies conducted on humans have shown that the consumption of chia flour can significantly reduce blood pressure in people with treated or untreated hypertension, which is a strong risk factor for heart disease. (22, 23).

Chia seeds can best benefit heart health when combined with beneficial lifestyle and dietary changes.

6. May reduce the Risk Of Diabetes

The National Institute of Medicine has found that adding a minimum of 14 gms of fiber to every 1000 calories consumed significantly reduced the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. (24)

High fiber diets are associated with stable blood sugar levels and reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. For every one serving (28.4 gms/1 oz) chia seeds have 10 gms fiber. This makes chia seeds preferable over other food sources of fiber.

Since obesity is closely linked to type 2 diabetes, chia is an excellent addition to the diet, as it increases short term satiety and reduces food intake. This again helps reduce the risk of diabetes. (16)

A 6-month study was conducted in obese people with type 2 diabetes on a reduced-calorie diet with added 30 gms of chia seeds daily. It found that chia seeds caused significant weight loss, reduction in visceral obesity, better glycemic control and reduction in c-Reactive protein compared to a placebo. (17).

Another 2017 study compared chia and flaxseed to study their glycemic control and satiety properties. While both showed improved glycemic control and satiety, chia has a greater ability to ability to convert glucose into a slow-release carbohydrate and increase satiety. (25)

Thus adding chia to the diet may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes; however, if one is already diagnosed with it, chia can help control it better.

7. Help With Bone Health & Osteoporosis

Chia seeds are dense in bone nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese content. In fact chia seeds have more calcium than milk!

It has a whopping 18% of the RDI of calcium in a meager 28 gms (single serving = 2tsps).

Combining them with Vitamin D and Vitamin K can make a real difference to people with bone health problems or people who cannot tolerate dairy.

8. Improves Digestion & Relieves Constipation

A diet with adequate fiber improves digestion and prevents constipation by inducing regular bowel movements.

When chia seeds are mixed with water/liquid, its soluble fiber absorbs large amounts of water and expands in the stomach. This increases fullness and slows the absorption of food (12).

The soluble fiber bulks up stool, feeds the friendly bacteria in the gut. This also helps slow the digestion to reduce hunger and make you feel satisfied. Adding an ounce (28 gms) of chia seeds to your daily diet may relieve constipation and improve digestion.

9. May Help With Diverticulosis

Diverticular disease develops in the colon when weak spots in the intestinal wall balloon outwards. Diverticulitis is a condition in which the diverticula become inflamed and infected.

While the exact cause of diverticular disease is not known, it has been associated with a low fiber diet. (27)

Adding chia seeds to the diet may decrease the prevalence of diverticulitis by absorbing water in the colon and making bowel movements easier.

Risks & Side Effects

As of now, there are no known side effects of chia seeds.

There are, however, some risks of trying to eat them dry from a spoon.

The 39-year-old man swallowed a tablespoon of dry chia seeds and then chased them with water. Since they absorb 27 times their dry weight in water, they expanded in size quickly, thickened into a gel-like mass and got lodged in the man’s oesophagus. This sent him to the ER. The man had a history of swallowing problems. (26)

It is recommended to let chia seeds expand fully in liquid before eating or drinking them to avoid such problems. People with swallowing issues as well as small children may face such problems.

What are chia seeds called in India

Chia seeds are not native to India, nor is it grown in India. Therefore, Chia seeds do not have any Indian name.
It is imported from the USA or Central American countries as its demand grows with awareness. It is extremely popular among health enthusiasts.

Subja Seeds vs Chia Seeds vs Flax seeds

Sabja seeds vs Chia seeds vs Flaxseeds

In India, chia seeds are often confused with flax seed and seed of tulsi (sabja). However, chia is not native to India and has to be imported. It may not be a part of traditional Indian cooking, but there are so many ways in which you can incorporate this nutritional food item in your diet.

There is a misconception that chia seeds are the same as flax seeds or sabja seeds. The confusion arises from their identical appearances and hydrophilic properties. All of them have health benefits, but they are different.

Flax seed is linseed. It is known as “alsi” in India. It is mainly used as cattle fodder. Linseed oil is used as an additive in edible oils and for varnishing and polishing furniture. Flax seed is more elliptical in shape, and appear glossier. Unlike chia, they are of uniform brown or amber colour.

Sabja seed (Basil Seeds) is the seed of Tulsi plant. It is widely used in India in making milkshakes, falooda, sherbets and other cool refreshments. Where chia is a black, brown, grey and white in colour, sabja is jet black.

Often, when buying from local shops or unbranded products, shopkeepers may try to pass off seeds like sabja and flax for chia.

To the inexperienced, they look almost similar and exhibit similar hydrophilic properties. It is best to buy from reputed brands. They are available online on various websites.

How to eat chia seeds?

Chia can be easily incorporated into our diets. Chia seeds are flavorless, and hence, can be easily included in any diet. When mixed with water, they can replace egg in vegan cooking.

Eating raw chia seeds

It is recommended that they should be added to another food or soaked before eating.

A popular way to consume chia is to eat it raw. You can soak it in water or milk and it takes on a pudding like consistency.

Chia seeds will add another texture to your food and make it more interesting.

Eating roasted chia seeds

You can also try roasting chia seeds and then sprinkle them like sesame seeds. Roasting chia seeds give them a slightly nutty flavour.

You can find many recipes online that use roasted chia seeds. A good idea will be to add chia seeds to hummus. Use it in your salads to make it crunchy and pack in some omega-3 fatty acids.

Related Articles

How to eat chia seeds for weight loss

chia seed for losing weight

Use it for Losing Weight

They can be easily incorporated in your diet. Here are a few ways to do that:

  1. Chia seeds soaked in yogurt: Studies show that having chia seeds soaked in yogurt reduces snacking as it gives you a feeling of satiety. (12) Soak 2-3 spoonfuls of chia seeds in a cup of yogurt. Or kefir if you have access to it.
  2. Chia seeds in your breakfast cereal: You can toss in a spoonful or two in milk and let it sit for an hour or so. You can also keep them soaked overnight. Add oats, museli or cornflakes to the mix and top them with nuts and berries.
  3. Chia seeds in banana smoothie: Soak chia seeds in milk overnight. Blend with bananas for an extra filling smoothie.
  4. Chia seeds in pineapple-pear juice: Soak 1.5 spoons of chia seeds in 3 spoonfuls of water for at least 30 minutes. Take 2.5 cups of pineapple cubes and 1 cup of pear cubes. Blitz in the mixer together. Now add the chia seeds, a pinch of jeera powder and some black salt.
  5. Chia seeds in bread spreads: Chia seeds can be sprinkled on jams and spreads for breads. However, it is better that you keep them soaked in the spread for at least 20 minutes so that they become soft and chewable. Otherwise, if you are making your own spread, keep them soaked in the spread base overnight. You can grind the paste or have it as it is later.

Easy Chia Seed Recipes

Chia has become a go-to material for renowned chefs and vegan foodies. Chia can be used to make no-bake desserts and puddings, but it can also be used in baked goods to add to the texture and nutritional value.
You can substitute almond or coconut milk with dairy milk, or use your choice of berries or fruits to make your chia puddings, jams and parfaits.

1. Chia Coconut Protein Pancakes Recipe

Chia Seeds in Hindi

हेल्थकेयर पेशेवर आज चिया सीड्स को एक सुपर फूड के रूप में सुझाव देते हैं और सभी को अपने आहार में जोड़ने के लिए कहते हैं। चिया बीज के स्वास्थ्य लाभ यहां दिए गए हैं जिन्हें आपको अवश्य जानना चाहिए। (8, 9)
चिया बीज को कार्यात्मक भोजन में से एक माना जाता है जो चयापचय सिंड्रोम की रोकथाम और बाद में कार्डियोवैस्कुलर बीमारियों और टाइप II मधुमेह मेलिटस की शुरुआत में प्रभावी हो सकता है। (8, 9)
भारत में, चिया के बीज अक्सर फ्लेक्स बीज और तुलसी (सब्जा) के बीज से भ्रमित होते हैं। लेकिन चिया बीज भारत से नहीं हैं, और उन्हें आयात किया जाना है। यह पारंपरिक भारतीय खाना पकाने का हिस्सा नहीं है, लेकिन ऐसे कई तरीके हैं जिनमें आप अपने आहार में चिया के बीज शामिल कर सकते हैं।

चिया सीड पर विस्तार से हिंदी में यहाँ पढ़ें।

what is chia seeds in hindi name

what is chia seeds in hindi name

चिया के बीज – लाभ, पोषण और नुकसान। Chia seeds in Hindi

चिया बीज क्या हैं? (what is chia seeds in hindi)

चिया मध्य अमेरिका से एक पौधे (साल्विया हस्पानिका) है।
कहा जाता है कि पौधे मेक्सिको और ग्वाटेमाला में पैदा हुआ था।
चिया के बीज छोटे, भूरे, काले और सफेद रंग के अनाज होते हैं – व्यास में एक मिलीमीटर से बड़ा नहीं।
पौधे पुदीना पौधों से संबंधित है और इसके बीजों का अच्छा स्वाद है।
चिया की विशिष्ट विशेषता यह है कि यह पानी के संपर्क में आने पर एक पतला, श्लेष्म बनावट प्राप्त करता है।
इसे चिया की हाइड्रोफिलिक प्रकृति कहा जाता है। तरल पदार्थ में भिगोते समय वे अपने वजन को 12 गुना तक अवशोषित कर सकते हैं- जो उन्हें एक मोटी तरल प्रकार बनावट देता है। (1)

चिया बीज के स्वास्थ्य लाभ (chia seeds benefits in hindi)

चिया बीज अब संयुक्त राज्य अमेरिका के हिस्सों में खेती की जाती है।
आज यह vegans और स्वास्थ्य उत्साही से एक बड़ी मांग है।
चिया बीज के कुछ ज्ञात स्वास्थ्य लाभ यहां दिए गए हैं:

खनिजों और फैटी एसिड की प्रचुरता

यह विटामिन बी -12, नियासिन, आहार खनिज और ओमेगा -3 फैटी एसिड में समृद्ध है। साक्ष्य बताते हैं कि चिया के बीज में मजबूत एंटी-ऑक्सीडेंट गुण होते हैं। (2)

प्रोटीन का स्रोत

चिया प्रोटीन का एक अच्छा स्रोत है। यह घुलनशील आहार फाइबर में भी अधिक है। (3)
यह दिल और मधुमेह के लिए भी अच्छा है।
चिया ओमेगा -3 फैटी एसिड में समृद्ध है। ओमेगा -3 फैटी एसिड दिल के स्वास्थ्य के लिए अच्छे हैं और एचडीएल या “अच्छा कोलेस्ट्रॉल” बनाए रखने में मदद करता है। अध्ययनों से पता चलता है कि खपत चिया आपको उच्च रक्तचाप और रक्तचाप का प्रबंधन करने में मदद करता है।
यह घुलनशील फाइबर और प्रोटीन में भी समृद्ध है, जो सुनिश्चित करता है कि आप लंबे समय तक भूख महसूस नहीं करते हैं और स्नैक्सिंग को कम करते हैं। यह मोटापे का प्रबंधन करने में मदद करता है और वजन घटाने का कारण बन सकता है। इससे रक्त शर्करा के स्तर को बनाए रखने और मधुमेह का प्रबंधन होता है। (4)

कैंसर विरोधी गुण

कुछ शोध से पता चलता है कि चिया के बीज खाने से कैंसर को रोकने में मदद मिल सकती है। (5)
कुछ शोध से पता चलता है कि चिया में क्वार्सेटिन भी होता है, जिसने कैंसर-निवारक गुणों का प्रदर्शन किया है। (6)

चिया बीज साइड इफेक्ट्स

चिया के बीज की संपत्तियों की व्यापक जांच की जा रही है। अभी तक, चिया के बीज का कोई ज्ञात दुष्प्रभाव नहीं रहा है। अध्ययनों ने कार्डियक स्वास्थ्य पर इसके प्रतिकूल प्रभावों के बारे में किसी भी निर्णायक साक्ष्य का उत्पादन नहीं किया। हालांकि, हमेशा यह सलाह दी जाती है कि आप अपने आहार में कोई भी बदलाव करने से पहले पेशेवर चिकित्सा सलाह लें। (7)

FAQs

Q1. What are chia seeds?

Chia is a plant(Salvia hispanica) native to Central America. It is said to have originated in Mexico and Guatemala. Chia seeds are small, brown, black and white coloured grains  – no bigger than a millimetre in diameter. Chia’s distinct characteristic is that it acquires a slimy, mucilaginous texture when it comes in contact with water. (1)

Q2. Is chia good for the heart?

Chia is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The latter is good for heart health and helps in maintaining HDL or “good cholesterol”. Studies show that consuming chia will help you manage hypertension and blood pressure. (4)

Q3. Is chia good for diabetes or weight loss?

It is also rich in soluble fibres and protein, which makes you feel full for a long time and reduces snacking. This helps manage obesity and can lead to weight loss. This leads to maintaining blood sugar levels and manage diabetes. (4)

Q4. How can I eat chia seeds?

A favorite way to consume chia is to eat it raw. You can soak it in water or milk and have it after some time. Try adding chia seeds to your oatmeal or cereals. They can be sprinkled dry, or soak up milk and become a jelly-like substance. Chia seeds will add another texture to your food and make it more interesting. (7)
You can also try roasting chia seeds and then sprinkle them like sesame seeds. Roasting chia seeds give them a slightly nutty flavour. You can find many recipes online that use roasted chia seeds.

Q5. What are chia seeds called in India?

Chia is not native to India, neither does it grow in India. However, it can be easily ordered online or bought from reputed brands.

Q6. Is chia the same as sabja or flax seed?

There is a misconception that chia seeds are the same as flax seeds or sabja seeds. The confusion arises from their identical appearances and hydrophilic properties.

Flax seed is linseed. It is known as “alsi” in India. Flax seed are more elliptical in shape, and appear glossier. Unlike chia, they are of uniform brown or amber colour.

Sabja seed is the seed of Tulsi plant. It is widely used in India in making milkshakes, falooda, sherbets and other cool refreshments. Where chia is a black, brown, grey and white in colour, sabja is jet black.

Q7 What is chia seeds meaning in hindi

चिया के बीज छोटे, भूरे, काले और सफेद रंग के अनाज होते हैं – व्यास में एक मिलीमीटर से बड़ा नहीं। पौधे पुदीना पौधों से संबंधित है और इसके बीजों का अच्छा स्वाद है।
चिया की विशिष्ट विशेषता यह है कि यह पानी के संपर्क में आने पर एक पतला, श्लेष्म बनावट प्राप्त करता है। इसे चिया की हाइड्रोफिलिक प्रकृति कहा जाता है। तरल पदार्थ में भिगोते समय वे अपने वजन को 12 गुना तक अवशोषित कर सकते हैं- जो उन्हें एक मोटी तरल प्रकार बनावट देता है।

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