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Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

By Madhusudhan Tammisetti

Chia seeds have a high percentage of protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. By weight, Chia seeds are 40 percent fiber, which makes them one of the great sources of fiber. They are about 14 percent protein by weight, which is high as compared to other plants. Since chia seeds also have amino acids, the human body is able to utilize the protein in them efficiently.

A 28-gram chia seeds serving contains 4 grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber, and 9 grams of fat. They also contain 18 percent of the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) of calcium and 30 percent each of the RDA of manganese and magnesium.

Chia seeds have more omega-3s than salmon, but chia seeds contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that humans are not able to properly convert it into docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (an important omega-3 fatty acid).

Let's look at the benefits of chia seeds to see if they can be of great help by adding them into your everyday diet.

Heart Health

Studies indicate that a diet that includes chia seeds, oats, soy protein, and nopal may minimize triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, increase HDL cholesterol, and decrease inflammation. However, no improvements in cholesterol readings or inflammation were observed in a different study that only looked at chia seeds. This doesn't mean that chia seeds don't have a positive impact on heart health. It may merely indicate that one part of the diet may contain chia seeds for better heart health.

Boost Your Energy

Research published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning concluded that eating chia seeds might improve fitness and boost performance. In the research, half of the athletes consumed just Gatorade. The rest consumed half the volume of Gatorade and the remaining with a chia drink. The experiment continued for 90 minutes.

The result was that drinking half chia drink and half Gatorade was almost as effective as drinking a full Gatorade drink. Therefore, the research indicates that the chia seeds have additional carbohydrates that athletes require for endurance activities while reducing their sugar consumption.

Lose Weight

Chia seeds contain high amounts of protein and fiber, which indicates that they may help reduce your weight. In the stomach, fiber takes lots of water and expands, giving a sense of fullness. It may also slow down food absorption. Protein also helps reduce one's appetite, and you may feel less hungry because of the protein present in chia seeds.

No association between the consumption of chia seeds and weight loss has been observed in research that investigated the impact of chia seeds on weight loss. However, adding chia seeds to an overall balanced diet may prove to be a valuable addition.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Orange, Calif.

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