Using Chia Seeds to Get More Fiber

As we already know, fiber is good for our health. This is essential to maintain a healthy weight, lower the risk of diabetes, heart diseases, cancer, and constipation. Luckily, fiber is available and can be added to our meals and even snacks. Unlike other food components like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, fiber is not digested by the body. There are two types of fiber. The first is the soluble fiber, and the second one is the insoluble fiber. Soluble fibers are those that dissolve through the water in order to form a gel-like material. On the other hand, insoluble fibers are those that promote the movement of material in the human digestive system. 

The number of fibers a human can consume varies depending on different plant foods. The easiest way to consume fiber is by eating plant-based foods, like seeds, nuts, fruits, and veggies. So, make sure that you are receiving the greatest health benefit by eating varieties of high-fiber foods. 

Moreover, according to the 2015 to 2020 United States Dietary Guidelines, it is suggested that men under the age of 50 years old should at least consume about 30.8 grams of fiber a day. Meanwhile, a female must get 22.4 grams of fiber every day. Interestingly, one ounce of chia seeds already provides 10 grams of fiber! With that, make sure you consider adding chia seeds to your drink, meals, or snacks! 

A photo of chia seeds and red cherries on a jar

Foods that are high in fiber, like chia seeds, helps people to feel full. Also, they have low calories and are proven to help with weight loss. Aside from being rich in fiber, chia seeds also contain alpha-linolenic and omega-3 fatty acids, which are also helpful for weight loss. In fact, these seeds are one of the richest sources of omega-3s. Research suggests that the omega-3s found on chia seeds can reduce disorders like arrhythmias, thrombosis, and other diseases that may lead to stroke, heart attack, or cardiac attack. 

Another fiber-related help that chia seed can offer is its capability to lower cholesterol and blood pressure level. As a matter of fact, even the 10 grams a day of fiber intake is said to reduce the total cholesterol level in the body. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that dietary fibers play a role in regulating the human immune system and decreasing the chance of inflammation. With this, it may also help in inflammation-related conditions like cancer, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases.

 As mentioned, chia seeds help in lowering the risk of diabetes. This happens because chia seeds have the capability to convert glucose to a slow-release carbohydrate, which is possible for those that have type 2 diabetes. High-fiber diets are also associated with the decrease of developing diabetes and are also helpful in keeping the blood sugar on a stable level. Additionally, based on the recent medical findings, diets that have 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories can be associated with the reductions in the risk of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. 

In addition to the wonders mentioned above of chia seeds, another interesting benefit of chia seed is that it aids in the decrease of diverticulitis flare-ups. Diverticulitis is the bulging, infection, or inflammation of the pouches that formed in the colon. These flare-ups could be countered by eating enough fiber to prevent inflammation. Interestingly, chia seeds could decrease the risk of diverticulitis by absorbing water in our colon, which makes it much easier for bowel movements to pass through. Although the cause of the diverticulitis is unknown, experts suggest that the disease is associated with a low fiber diet. 

These tiny oval seeds may be helpful to some of our bodily ailments, but they may also pose a risk if not consumed properly. According to a new study, chia seeds must not be eaten when in raw or dry form, especially for those that have a history of swallowing problems. Experts stated that chia seeds have the capacity to absorb water up to 27 times their weight. With that, cautions must be applied when consuming chia seeds. Before eating these tiny seeds, doctors advised mixing them up with enough liquid in order to allow them to expand fully. If taken raw, chia seeds may expand in the esophagus, which can cause an obstruction. Such a case was reported after a patient had eaten a tablespoon of dry chia seeds with a glass of water. So, it is important to note how chia seeds should be consumed.

Chia seeds can easily be found in several grocery stores. If one preferred to eat the seeds raw, they could sprinkle them on yogurts, cereals, smoothies, or oatmeal to have an additional nutty texture to your food. Meanwhile, vegans can also use the gels of these seeds as a replacement or substitute for eggs.