5 Benefits of Chia Seed, Superfoods to Prevent Various Diseases

5 Benefits of Chia Seed, Superfoods to Prevent Various Diseases

donutmedialab.com– Chia seeds are the tiny seeds of the Salvia hispanica plant, a type of mint plant. The color of chia seeds varies: black, gray, to black with white spots. It is oval in shape with a size of about 1-2 millimeters (mm). In Indonesia, you can get chia seeds in supermarkets and specialty shops that sell healthy food ingredients. Well, really, what is the nutritional content in chia seeds that are classified as super foods or super foods, and what are the benefits for health?

The nutritional content of chia seeds

Chia seeds have a lot of nutritional content that can provide benefits for the health of the body. Here are the nutritional content that you can get from 100 grams of chia seeds:

  • Water: 6.96 grams
  • Energy: 534 kcal
  • Protein: 18.29 grams
  • Fat: 42.16 grams
  • Fiber: 27.3 grams
  • Calcium 255 milligrams (mg)
  • Iron: 5.73 mg
  • Magnesium: 392 mg
  • Phosphorus: 642 mg
  • Potassium: 813 mg
  • Sodium: 30 mg
  • Zinc: 4.34 mg
  • Copper: 1.22 mg
  • Selenium: 25.4 micrograms
  • Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C): 0.6 mg
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 0.161 mg
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3): 3.08 mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.473
  • Folate: 87 micrograms

Not only that, chia seeds also contain omega-3 fatty acids, various antioxidants, and minerals.

Health benefits of chia seeds

Various nutritional content that you find in chia seeds can actually provide health benefits such as the following:

1. Prevents cell damage

Chia seeds are foods that are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are believed to fight the production of free radicals in the body that can cause oxidative stress. When it occurs continuously, oxidative stress can cause damage to cell molecules and accelerate aging.

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Not only that, oxidative stress also triggers cancer. Therefore, the antioxidant content in chia seeds has the benefit of preventing cell damage, so you can also prevent the aging process from being too fast and the risk of cancer.

2. Maintain ideal body weight

If you are trying to lose weight, consuming chia seeds is one of the right choices to keep your weight at a normal rate. The reason is, chia seeds have a fairly abundant protein content.

Usually, protein is one of the important nutrients to consume while on a weight loss program. The reason is, high protein intake into the body helps reduce appetite and the desire to eat snacks outside of mealtimes.

Not only that, the fiber content in chia seeds also has the benefit of making you feel full longer. Even so, more research needs to be done regarding the benefits of this one chia seed.

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3. Lowers the risk of heart disease

A study published in the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition in 2014 stated that chia seeds have benefits in lowering blood pressure. It is, in particular, effective in people who already have high blood pressure.

Yes, the fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds do have benefits for lowering high blood pressure. Given that hypertension is a risk factor for heart disease, consuming chia seeds can also reduce the risk of developing the disease.

In fact, animal studies show that chia seeds may also help address several other risk factors. These include lowering triglyceride levels in the blood, overcoming inflammation, insulin resistance, and reducing fat in the abdominal area.

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4. Improve bone health

Chia seeds contain high levels of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein. The content of these nutrients has an important role to maintain the health of your bones. In fact, the calcium content in chia seeds is considered higher when compared to various dairy products.

Therefore, if you want to maintain bone health from an early age, chia seeds are the right choice of healthy food for consumption. But remember, chia seeds also contain phytic acid which can reduce the absorption of calcium in the body to a certain amount.

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5. Lowers blood sugar levels

Experiencing a spike in high blood sugar levels after eating can be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes that you need to be aware of. Well, chia seeds are thought to have benefits to help control blood sugar levels in the body.

Several animal studies have shown that chia seeds increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin, which can help control and stabilize blood sugar levels after eating.

Maintaining blood sugar levels in the body can reduce the risk of developing various other serious diseases, including heart disease.

How to use chia seeds?

You can consume chia seeds directly or mix them into food. The taste of chia seeds is similar to the taste of nuts, making it suitable for both sweet and savory foods.

You can sprinkle chia seeds on cereals, salads, and even rice. In fact, you can add chia seeds to smoothies, yogurt, or pudding. When mixed with liquid, chia seeds will expand and change to a jelly-like texture.

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For those of you who are vegetarian or allergic to eggs, chia seeds can also be used as a substitute for eggs when making cake batter. The trick, mix 1 teaspoon (tsp) of chia seeds with 2 tablespoons (sdm) of water.

One tablespoon of the chia seed mixture can replace 1 egg. For those of you who have a gluten allergy, chia seeds can be an alternative because chia seeds do not contain gluten.

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