Apples for the Teacher

Potential Benefits and Side Effects of Chia Seeds

 

There’s obviously a reason why chia seeds are labeled as “super seeds”. Indeed, it does not necessarily do everything well for your body, but it can definitely provide many beneficial nutrients to our body. 

Chia seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, carbohydrate, and calcium. They are very high in antioxidant activity which gives them a long shelf life. The high antioxidant activity of chia seeds are also helpful in fighting the production of free radicals in our body, which contributes to the anti-aging and anti-cancer effects. The amazing thing about chia seeds is that it can provide an enormous amount of nutrients with very few calories. As mentioned in the last post about chia seeds, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds has 139 calories. Aside from the macronutrients it provides, the 2 tablespoons of chia seeds also provide 18% Calcium of the RDA, 30% Manganese of the RDA, 30% Magnesium of the RDA, and 27% Phosphorus of the RDA within only 139 calories. Chia seeds are also very high in quality protein and fiber, which helps promote gut health. 

Besides the benefits chia seeds can bring to our health, it also has some potential side effects. As I mentioned above, chia seeds are very rich in insoluble fiber. This can be beneficial to your gut health if consumed in moderation, but it also means that over consumption can lead to gas production, bloating, diarrhea, and cramping. Moreover, individuals who are taking blood pressure medication or blood thinner should consult a physician before consuming chia seeds as it may interact with these drugs. Chia seeds can also be an allergenic food to some individuals.

The bottom line is that although chia seeds can create some potential problems, consumption should not be discouraged as there is not much evidence showing side effects happening on healthy individuals, and its nutritional benefits can be very valuable in our diets.