6 Functional Benefits Of Chia Seeds

Recently, there seems to be more and more beverages containing Chia seeds (Salvia Hispanica). One reason for the popularity of  this unique-looking product is that these seeds are loaded with various functional properties.

1. Non-caloric and loaded with nutrients

Chia seeds are an ancient super food that has been used by the Mayans, Aztecs and Incas. Chia seeds are a complete source of protein. They have two times the protein of any other seed or grain. These seeds are one of the best sources of fiber, which is useful for cleansing purposes; this cleansing allows for more nutrients to be absorbed through the digestive system. Chia is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, boron, and niacin. In addition, it contains all of the essential amino acids and vitamins B, D & E. This super seed contains eight times more Omega 3 than a serving of Atlantic salmon.

6 Functional Properties Of Chia Seeds2. Chia seeds are full of antioxidants

Antioxidants fight the production of free radicals, which can damage molecules in cells and contribute to aging and diseases like cancer. Despite the fact that antioxidants don’t really have a strong, proven effect on the human body, it is believed that getting a significant amount of antioxidants from food will affect your health positively. It is said that chia seeds have more antioxidants than blueberries. Antioxidants speed up the skin’s repair systems, and prevent further damage. Taking chia seeds can prevent premature skin aging due to inflammation from free radical damage.

3. Get full without consuming kcal

Almost all of the carbohydrates in Chia seeds are fiber; this leads you to a feeling of fullness and consuming fewer kcal. Fiber also feeds the friendly bacteria in the intestine, which is important because keeping your gut bugs well fed is absolutely crucial for health. And because Chia seeds are also high in zinc, they help your body increase leptin. Leptin is a key hormone that regulates your body’s appetite, its energy levels, and how your body spends energy. It also improves stamina and endurance, making Chia a great source of nutrition if you are looking to get in shape.

4. High in Quality Protein

6 Functional Properties Of Chia SeedsChia seeds are ideal for a vegan/vegetarian protein drink. These super seeds are 20% protein. They also contain a good balance of essential amino acids, so our bodies should be able to make use of the protein in them. Chia seeds are a perfect solution for people who eat less or do not eat animal origin products. A high consumption of protein will also help you to retain a feeling of fullness and decrease kcal intake.

5. Impact for the bone and teeth structure

The majority of the nutrients which are important for bone structure can be found in Chia seeds. This includes calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein. These seeds can be considered a good source of calcium, especially for those who are lactose intolerant or who do not consume dairy products. With Chia seeds being packed with calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A and zinc, it’s no wonder that they are a top food to help your teeth! Calcium is the building block of your teeth and necessary for tooth health. Zinc prevents tartar by keeping plaque from mineralizing onto your teeth and has an antibacterial effect that keeps bad breath germs away. Vitamin A and phosphorus are also important for strong teeth and a healthy mouth.

6. New type of energy drink

It is thought that Chia seeds can help athletes load their bodies with carbohydrates for endurance events, while increasing their intake of nutrients and decreasing their intake of sugar. By adding a serving of Chia seeds a day, you can help boost your metabolism and burn belly fat as well. Studies show that the addition of Chia seeds to your diet also reduces visceral adipose tissue, a “belly fat” tissue that affects the metabolism of the body and is a component of obesity.

The Aztecs took Chia with them wherever they went. It was fed to runners and messengers for their long distance travels, and warriors would fuel up with it before battles and marches. This super food might look like magical beans; however, the many properties of Chia seeds are being testified not in a book of fairytales but in true historical facts.6 Functional Properties Of Chia Seeds

Author - dipl. eng. Ieva Jurevičienė

Ieva currently Head of NPD for MyDrink Beverages. Her work encompasses innovation, new product development, recipe optimization and consulting.