4 Things You Should Know About Chia Seeds

 

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4 Things You Should Know About Chia Seeds

Chia seeds have been getting a lot of attention of late. Only a few years ago, they were relatively unknown to the general public. Things are a whole lot different now however, as a result of their categorization as part of the so-called “superfoods” and heavy marketing, their popularity and demand have drastically surged upwards.

There have been all kinds of claims and promises regarding their health properties - from the numerous vitamins and nutrients to their high antioxidant source, to being able to stimulate weight loss. But are these seeds overhyped? Are they truly the miracle foods as how they are marketed? Below are 4 things you should know about these tiny yet mysterious seeds that were once highly valued by the ancient Mayans and Aztec civilizations.

Chia Seeds DO NOT Help In Reducing Weight

Chia seeds are heavily marketed and widely touted as being the “miracle food” that will magically promote weight loss when consumed consistently. As good as that may sound, it is unfortunately, only as good as it sounds (read: it won’t).

A study conducted by the Appalachian State University in North Carolina showed no conclusive evidence on the weight reducing properties of chia seeds. “Over a 12-week period, we did not see a change in appetite or weight loss,” said researcher David Nieman. “Our study showed no reduction in body weight, body fat and no improvement in traditional cardiovascular markers from 50 grams of chia per day. There is nothing unusual about chia, despite the mystique about it. Companies are pushing it as a miracle food, and it is a highly nutritional product, but it’s not very different from other nuts and seeds with the same nutrient makeup.”

Chia Seeds Are High In Omega-3…Well Kinda

While no concrete evidence has proven chia seeds to aid in weight loss, the good news is that chia seeds do in fact contain significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids - pivotal to our body in many ways, which includes heart and mental health - are found in both marine sources such as salmon and krill, as well as from plants sources which are mainly from nuts and seeds, including yes you’ve guessed in, chia seeds.

As a matter of fact, chia seeds are a good robust source of omega-3, and gram per gram, is much higher than salmon. But like every party pooper at parties, there is a drawback. Omega-3 acid found in chia seeds consist only of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA) and do not contain both docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) - which is where most of the nutrients are from. What this means is that even by consuming large amounts of chia seeds, it will not result in equally high amounts of omega-3, because our body needs to convert ALA into both DHA and EPA, and the ratio of converting is low and at a very small amount. Simply put, omega-3 from animal source is a much more preferable source.

It Makes You “Drop Some Friends Off At The Pool”/ “Go Number Two” / “Do A Code Brown” More Often

Chia seeds are insanely high in fibre content (28 grams of fibre in one ounce) and have the tremendous ability to absorb high amounts of water (up to 10 times its weight in water), which means that it’ll eliminate accumulated waste in our digestive tract when it bulks up its size. What’s more, since it is highly absorbent, it will also help to keep us hydrated. If you happen to have some trouble with your “visitation”, then you chia-ly (pun intended) need to add this into your diet.   

It Is A Good Source Of Protein, Antioxidants, And Nutrients

For a plant source, chia seeds have extremely high protein content (4 grams in one ounce, which is higher than eggs). Furthermore, they are loaded with antioxidants and are also high in both magnesium and calcium. They are also low in sodium and high in both iron and calcium. They are, however, relatively high in calories, one tablespoon of these seeds already contain 70 calories and that’s excluding additional smoothies, salads, yogurts or whatever ways that you eat with them, so do go easy on them! 

Don’t You Wish Your Chia Seeds Are Hot Like Chia?       

Though they are high in fibre, protein, anti-oxidants and minerals, you don’t need to go gung-ho and be part of the chia seeds craze, because like everything else, there is no miracle. When it comes to being healthy, the combination of a balanced diet and exercising is still and forever will be, the best way. 

 

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